Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Marine Gene

Is there one?

If there is, I inherited it from my father, who like to spend time in small boats on Wisconsin lakes fishing for muskies.

Maybe there is. I took every chance to be on a boat growing up. (Well, except one, which I still regret to this day: in high school, I had the opportunity to crew on a sloop in the Mackinac Island race; I declined due to homework. Stupid.) You might think college would have been a distraction... but then there was the Purdue Sailing Club.

Our kids grew up on sailboats - Cal 21, Catalina 22, and finally the O'Day 25. The movement of the boat became second nature to them while they were babies.

So... Is there a marine gene?

Erica (Trace Metals Chemist, King County Environmental) and son-in-law Ken (Analytical Chemist, Amgen) have a 17' Larson runabout named Firecracker which seems to get wet nearly every weekend during the Seattle summer. It spends most days in Lake Union or Lake Washington, but sees salt water occasionally as well. They also have a canoe hanging in their carport.

Adam (Lead Design Engineer, PACCAR/Kenworth) went in a slightly different direction. He *built* his boat, a kayak - stitch and glue construction - from Chesapeake Light Craft. It is gorgeous. Green Lake and Lake Union are his favorite haunts. And he introduced Jane to kayaking for Mothers' Day this year.

What do you think? Is there a marine gene? If there is, it must mutate when passing from one generation to the next, since no one has a sailboat... yet. A father can always hope.

(I do know that there is a beer brewing gene - it is on the Y chromosome.)


Adam Salnick said...

I built my boat with extra storage. That way I can carry a few extra of those beers.

Ken said...

Not as much room as a cooler in the back of Firecracker.

Erick said...

Just reading all of your old posts and figure I would chime in on this one.

My Dad and I have been debating about the marine gene for some time. Both of my parents were always fond of the beach, but never owned a boat and I rarely was able to get on one growing up. I picked up surfing at a young age to entertain myself at the beach, and that began my love affair with the ocean.

When I picked up the sailing bug my parents were confused as ever. I never had really been sailing, it was just something I felt I needed to do. But we could never ignore that my mother's father was an Admiral in the US Navy, and my fathers' father was a Dutch Merchant Marine. They spent much (if not most) of their lives on boats and near the maybe it skips a generation?

Either way, I do wish my grandfathers were still around to enjoy Windsong with me. I'm sure they would love it, and my parents seem to be reliving some memories of their parents through my new boating adventures.

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