"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Monday, May 04, 2009

View from the Big White Boat: A Three Hour Tour

This year I took a guest--a fellow legislator--with me on the shakedown cruise of the Motor Ship Mount Washington. We left town at 8 a.m. and by 9:15 mine was among the vehicles being expertly parked at Centre Harbor's dock, where they pack in the cars like sardines! We were early enough to be among the first sardines (car-dines?) in the can.

Boarding the boat, we found the usual array of hot coffee, tea, and baked goods. Settled down at a table in the middle deck. My friend had brought her knitting.

Setting out.

Among the many other dignitaries, the Governor was on board. While being interviewed by this reporter, he notices me taking his picture!

I assured him that the school children from my town enjoyed their meeting with him last Friday. Later, I was called into service as "unofficial" photog when a passenger wanted her picture taken with him. He explained that a lot of his time is currently spent monitoring statewide developments in the H1N1 virus.

Only 3 Committees of the House of Representatives are invited to the shakedown, and I'm lucky enough to serve on one of them. Several members of my committee availed themselves of the opportunity. I saw at least one State Senator. And 3 of the 5 Executive Councilors.

Up in the wheelhouse, the Captain performs his duty. (Last year they let me "drive." Very briefly.)

While on board, the Governor commissioned a new captain, who took over command for part of the journey.

She's too young to vote, Governor. (But her parents and grandparents can!)

My first loon of the season, swimming out of the town docks at The Weirs as we were coming in.

They were ready for us.

Our Governor disembarked and we took on the State Fire Marshal. We continued our tour. Out in The Broads we made a big circle. There was soon an announcement that the Fire Marshal had handed over the necessary paperwork, certifying the big white tub for another season of operation.

The surrounding blueness. How many shades? Cerulean, azure, baby blue, powder blue, sky blue....

Did I have fun? Absolutely!

Much to my relief, we encountered no pirates. And no monsters. (Rumour reports the existence of a cryptid called "Winnie" roaming the depths of Lake Winnipesaukee.)

When cast back onto shore at Centre Harbor, there was a bit of a wait for the unpacking of the sardine can. Once released we hit the road and headed far south and slightly east to the cottage. We stayed only a brief while so my guest could check the place out. She liked it. A lot. She's an artist, wants to come back and paint pictures. It's a good place for that. And for writing, which I hope to be doing there later this week.

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