The kids and the little boat

I count 17 or 18 people here.

Every weekend, I have this ritual where I watch this bunch of kids head out in their boat and then return.

What I mean is, at the condo next door, I see a bunch of kids, who look to be about 16-years-old, possibly older, go out in a small boat. They leave in the afternoon and return at sunset, when the sun is at the magic hour. For some reason, I enjoy watching them. I don’t spend much time snooping, I just usually hear a lot of noise – music, people talking, etc. and I look outside and there they are.

I watch them head out and when I hear the music/noise at sunset, I see them coming in.

I think the boat is owned by an older man, because when they return, this silver haired guy goes out and checks the boat, locks it up, and does whatever it is he does. He must be the father or grandfather of one of the kids. I think one of the boys, because I’ve seen the boy alone with the older guy’s dog a few times, so it’s basically his father’s or grandfather’s boat.

That’s one crowded boat.


I love the energy that these kids have and how polite and helpful they are. They help each other on the boat and off the boat and when they return, they help with removing all the stuff, you know, coolers, towels and such.

The strange thing is that there are usually from 15 to 20 people on the small boat. Yes, I counted. The boat looks to be 20 to 24 feet, so I’m not sure how comfortable that is, but most likely they head out to a sandbar or “the flats” and I heard the older man mention Soldier Key one time. So the kids ride out and then spend the time in the water, I guess.

I know, I should mind my own business. But I just love the scene of them going out and coming back. I don’t know why. Maybe it reminds me of my youth. For so many years, I spent it boating or at the beach, I grew up in and around the water – I went to the beach almost daily for years. So maybe I’m remembering my youth. Whatever it is, I get a kick out of seeing them.

When they started this routine, it was the end of the school year, so I thought that this was their last hurrah after school ended, but it went on all summer. They usually go every Saturday and sometimes Sunday, too. Now that it’s September, they are still at it.

It’s about the same number of boys and girls – all friends and really good friends it seems.

I know a few of the people who live in the condo building next door, but not the boat owner, so I am speculating about who all these people are.

One funny thing is that on a weekday – usually a Monday or Tuesday, a lady and man come and clean the boat. I guess it’s full of sand, dirt, footprints and the like, and they spend hours there, cleaning, getting it ready for the next weekend. This photo below is the lady this morning. She’s there early, cleaning it up.

Right on cue, she’s there Monday morning to clean the boat.

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