My father built this boat. Every inch by hand. I was very young. For years it sat under a slowly browning canvas cover at the bottom of our small yard. No mast, no sails, not seaworthy. It was something he would always come back to. He always knew what needed doing next. Even after it had sat for years. I remember the day he fitted and raised the mast for the first time. There it sat, on stilts in the middle of the yard, just a hull, a framed cabin and finally, a raised mast. Dad was beaming. He picked me up in his arms and climbed into the framing. Sat me on a timber beam where the bridge would later be and smiled.

‘We’ll sail her together one day my son.’ he said to me. His crows feet and smile lines clenched tight. I will always remember the brightness in his eyes.

Life, like the sea is unpredictable and unforgiving. We would never sail the boat together.

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