Daily writing prompt
What traditions have you not kept that your parents had?

Yes and No. Yes, I accepted the family tradition, and no, I did not maintain it. My mother’s and father’s lineage are full of people who made a living from the sea, fishermen, merchant seamen, and the odd privateer or two. I went to sea while in the Navy and sailed extensively in sailboats, but I eagerly settled into the shore establishment.

Frankly, I discovered that extended periods at sea were uninteresting to me, and the allure of the shoreside was too much of an attraction. Do you think sailors see the world? Think again. More likely, they see the harbor, the bars, and lots of maintenance work on board that needs to be achieved in port. So I studied to be a maritime anthropologist and became a marine carver – producing quarter boards, transoms, eagles, and all the lovely doodads that make a vessel appropriately attired – a fine instrument for sailing the far reaches of Neptunas Rex’s domains.
Why did I head down this path? Because I could not, with impunity, abandon my family tradition entirely. My grandfather Carreras couldn’t either. A bad heart kept him ashore, so he carved and modeled ships and boats.

I was once poised to accept a lovely position in the middle of the country, far from salt water. The institution seeking to hire me sent me real estate listings weekly, showing how inexpensive and beautiful homes were in that area. It was a clever ploy that almost worked. But in the back of my mind was a portion of me that calculated how many hours drive I’d be from a substantial body of water. Too many were the result, and we stayed within a single hours drive of salt spray, the smell of coastal flats at low tide, and the sounds of waves against the breakwater. 
Traditions survive, fade, or transform as circumstances and desires unfold. You do what you can.

7 Replies to “Tradition”

  1. I am just certain that you could actually be a pirate, in disguise of course, and your name is something like, The Carver! aye aye Carver…

    1. Please, Privateers – gentlemen of fortune – it’s sooo gauche referring to Henry Morgan’s fleet as pirates. They had Letters of Marque and Reprisal!

    1. In many cases this is true. I knew a minister whose focus was on merchant seamen in Boston and nearby harbors. Many of the seamen from some countries were never let off the ship. He said that phone cards were the big requested item. the wanted to call home.
      I’ve also been told that some ports are not too safe for liberty in.

  2. 👍 Midwestern son-in-law’s fear of flying is full-blown now, so he hasn’t been on this coast in years, but he did get to see and be in the Atlantic a couple of times.. he loves it. His parents have never seen an ocean. I don’t think I could sustain my will to live without it. (The Great Lakes don’t compare, as don’t rivers leading to the ocean.) What a sweet tugboat — is someone living in it?

  3. The tug is the Kingston II, and it’s on the front entrance to the Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic CT. For many years it was the Seaport’s tug for work around the Presservation Shipyard and the rest of the museum.
    I agree with you, thinking about being landlocked gives me the shivers. There is the old story about a seaman who decided he hated the sea. He trudged inland carrying an anchor, until he found a location where no one recognized what the anchor was. There he settled. Clearly neither one of us would do anything so foolish.

    I envied your post on the Tall Ships. My wife was tied up this year, and getting away for it just did not work out.

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