From his comic strip barstool
Hagar the Horrible announced that he had nine
true loves in his life. Readers, and perhaps the
tavern regulars, too, were relieved to learn that
Hagar's nine loves were all boats he had owned
and loved. I clipped and taped this strip to the
Have I told you that Vic
is a bit like Hagar?
When we were dating, Vic
confessed to me that he had been in love before.
I listened patiently and apprehensively to love
stories that didn't involve me.
The first true love of
his life, Vic said, occurred when he was only
12 years old. He had an affair with an older sailboat.
He even made a set of sails for it... from bed
I'm sure I understood that
his pre-teen's psyche had been imprinted with
a powerful, though strange, attraction. I married
I'm not sure to this day
if I know about all of Vic's earlier sweethearts
but I've been an enthusiastic partner with him
on every acquisition since. The arrows that Cupid
released at us were surely tipped with a Love
Many people meet and fall
in love with a boat and remain true to that boat
for their entire lives. But whose veins course
with this potion would never agree to be with
just one boat for the rest of their lives. People
change. Their circumstances change. So, understandably,
some are going to fall out of love with one boat
and fall into love with another. The process repeats
In an earlier View from
the Marina column I analyzed some of the failed
marriages. Some owners are just not able to attend
the physical needs of their vessel. Some owners
are not physically up to the demands of climbing
steps and ducking through passageways. And some
realize too late that their boat likes to run
with a fast crown and all they want is to cruise
slowly and comfortably to nowhere in particular.
In the strip, Hagar started
counting his loves. "1... 2... 3... 4..."
When I read that, my boating memory kicked in
and I started counting up our loves: The sailboat
that was our "home" for four years.
Dolphin, a 36-ketch. A Boston Whaler. Another
Boston Whaler. A sailing dinghy, a canoe. A Grand
Banks trawler. Another Grand Banks trawler. And
still another Grand Banks trawler. Several sloops
ranging from 25 to 35 feet. Two houseboats. Then
dinghies, dinghies, and more dinghies, all inflatables.
Hagar told the boys in
the bar that a man is lucky is if he has one true
love of his life. A boat owner nine times, Hagar
had been lucky nine times. Counting boats only,
Vic and I have Hagar beat several times over.
Sometimes truth speaks
to you from the funny papers.