Having farmed for many years in rural South Carolina, I know that one can deduce a lot about a fellow from his pickup truck. Suspecting that the same could be said about a fellow and his boat, from my vantage point on the Bluff I begin to "Sherlock" the strange situation of the mysterious sailboat.
That it's a sailboat with no sail, just a small outboard motor hanging somewhat precariously from its stern, tells me it couldn't have come from a great distance and surely had not ventured into "the bounding main". But then, doesn't the Inland Waterway oft befriend the weary?
The little boat gently responding to the tide's nudging is badly in need of some tender loving care. A broken shroud, the tattered American flag hanging limply from the backstay, peeling paint on the hull, a dangling line thought to once hold a fender, and that missing sail tell me the vessel has seen some rough weather over the years. Perhaps the owner has come through some rough seas himself . . . or maybe storm winds are still blowing in his life. My deduction is bolstered by his chosen anchorage . . . an isolated spot in the May River abeam of and only a hundred yards or so away from The Church of the Cross. Is he running from something and at the same time subconsciously searching for Someone, or neither?
"Data, data, data. I can't make bricks without clay!" Holmes would say at this point.
Seeing a pickup truck from afar allows one to deduce only so much about its owner - to look inside the cab is to glimpse his soul. I suspect the scene below deck is just as disheveled as it is topside and that the captain's recent past includes a bit of chaos . . . perhaps a lost job or a lost love. Neither scenario bodes well for men; they tend to run from them, seeking a lonesome spot to lick their wounds. Maybe after hastily donning a t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops and stowing a case or two of his favorite libations, the captain weighed anchor in a desperate attempt to escape to Margaritaville; but alas, his libations and little motor gave out too soon . . . or did they?
'Tis a mystery; and having had precious little clay to work with, I hasten to draw an obvious conclusion. By God's grace, the sail-less boat and its owner now find themselves afloat in seas as smooth as glass. To the extent that repairs are needed, I hope this respite will serve as a worthy dry dock of sorts for both; if I've misjudged and both are seaworthy, I pray that neither strays too far from shore! That much is "elementary."
In His Power and for His Glory,