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Life on the Marina

Each yacht has its owner’s stamp — in the moniker, the quixotic embellishments, size and colour, and together they are a joy to behold at any time of the day.

The seals in the Marina love the yachts. They climb up and sunbathe on a quiet deck or gambol up and down.

Last summer, I got the chance to spend some quality time living on the Marina. No, not the beach in Chennai but the home to many carefully selected and lovingly maintained yachts in a delightful American town.

Each yacht has its owner’s stamp — in the moniker, the quixotic embellishments, size and colour, and together they are a joy to behold at any time of the day. In the quiet of the dawn, they bob gently, at noon they are all ready to seize the day, and as twilight approaches, they sink into a wondrous slumber.

The weekends are a riot of sails. It is an alluring sight to behold, as the boats move out of their berths into the sea for a well-deserved run, or sometimes even host a lively party on the deck. No wonder then, that those few yachts left behind look forlorn! Some owners stay on the boats. “It makes great economic sense,” said one of them to me when I expressed surprise. I love to see the yachts light up as they return home in the evening. Sometimes the owners enjoy a drink on the deck with friends, or potter around to fix a niggling leak. And as I spy them go back in, I imagine them cooking themselves a light supper at the galley, and then settling down comfortably in their bunk beds to the gentle ‘bob bob’ of the water.

My favourite among the fleet is the majestic Invictus. It stands tallest in the Marina. It usually just lolls around looking grand, but sometimes there are officious-looking guests on board. And if I’m lucky, I can see it set sail for a cruise.

The seals in the Marina love the yachts. They climb up and sunbathe on a quiet deck or gambol up and down. Their bark, as they play among the yachts, is definitely ear-catching. Those not partial to the idea of rollicking sea lions on their deck, have an ingenuous plan — a pail full of water serves as a deterrent.

The yacht parade in December is a sight to behold. The yachts are wonderfully decked out. Hawaiian beaches are a favourite theme, as is the Christmas tree and manger. They glide by, late into the night with music and revelry on the deck. And all along the route, folks stand and cheer these little jewels on the water.

There goes the punter’s SeArcher, the eclectic Now & Zen, the predictable SeaHorse and Fairliner. Was the Lilou named for a beloved? And the Galatea, the object of desire, a Greek mythology lover’s? And finally, as the next beauty sails along, the eternal truth dawns on me — these sea delights are safest in the marina, their harbour, but that’s not where they are meant to be. Stay safe, you aptly named Storm Chaser.

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