Messing About In A Boat

There is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.

— Kenneth Grahame, Writer – The Wind In The Willows

IMG_2438And that’s exactly what I do. I mess about in a boat along with my humans and their boat friends. We call our group gatherings a “raftup” but another term “messabout” was used for an event in 1990 for the beginning of the Southern California Small Boat Messabout Society, SCSBMS. In the UK, “banter” is used especially in the canals. It doesn’t really matter what it’s called, it’s all the same… the emphasis will be more on talk and camaraderie than actually doing anything constructive.

These are a couple of photos from our Memorial Day long weekend cruise back in May of this year. Seventeen boats rafted together. We called it the Backyard Bash Cruise because this time the location was not far from our marina in local waters. Normally the group cruises across the Georgia Strait to Gabriola Island in the Gulf Islands but human dad felt that was too far to go for just a weekend, even if it was a long one. So we never went.

IMG_2430Our cruise master organized a pirate dinghy poker run and the silly humans frivolously dressed themselves and their dinghies in pirate fashion.  Not me though. Human mom forgot to bring my pirate hats. She had bought 2 of them last year from a Halloween clearance bin because she couldn’t decide which one she liked better. Guess what I’ll be this Halloween. To play, the humans were given some clues to find the location of 5 “stations” on the water where they would get a random playing card to create a poker hand. The winners won a share of the booty (ante). My humans didn’t win, but seemed to have a lot of fun in the process.

Our official cruise schedule for the year is over now. Minstrel is still waiting for one of her sick cats (engines) to recover before we can go boating again anyways. In a couple of weeks we will be taking the students from the boating course out on a day cruise. The students get to put theory into practice and actually plot the course, with paper and pen using paper charts, and take us from the marina to a nearby bay. If all goes well we will arrive in time for lunch and an afternoon to just mess about nothing.


Writing 101 Day 7: Today, use a quote or passage from something you’ve read to introduce your post. You’ll see a similar technique at the beginning of a book or chapter in the form of an epigraph.

9 thoughts on “Messing About In A Boat

  1. On our last cruise of the season (to our favourite spot at Rebecca Spit after lunch at the Heriot Bay Inn), Wayne and I were saying that sometimes things work out the way they are supposed to. We purchased a 30-foot Bayliner thinking we needed something bigger. It was a huge mistake for us, but perfect for one summer of cruising with our cat Stick Tail. If we had our smaller 24-footer it would have been much harder for him (litter box and a comfortable place to sleep). Stick only lived until the following January and we sold the big boat shortly after that. We find our 2452 Bayliner is much better for just the two of us, and our travelling makes it hard to bring another cat into our lives. On another note, we may be getting into the sailboat world if we can find a small one that is reasonably priced to use on Powell Lake. Wayne’s first try was a Laser, but it was too hard to handle as a learning boat. – Margy

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    • I agree, that’s the way the catmos works. We also have a 24ft Campion but I’ve never been on it. The humans took it to Desolation Sound many years ago for 2 weeks, and were quite comfortable, but they like the 42ft trawler better, so I do too. We had use of and almost bought 54ft Symbol which was very nice, but the sale didn’t work out. We’d never get a sailboat for many reasons although it would be cheaper on fuel and much quieter.

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  2. You and your humans have so much fun with your boat! The only boat I’ve been on was the one to Catalina Island… and I wasn’t so sure what I thought about that! But my human is considering taking me again, so maybe I’ll get used to it.

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  3. Messingabout on a boat must be fascinating fun for you curious kitties. Do you ever get nervous though if the waters get a bit wilder than normal? That’s the one fear I have about traveling over night on the water, I have seen too many Titanic type movies I think! I would however have no hesitation traveling aboard a boat with you as Captain Percy, as you show such confidence supervising the decks and staff of Minstrel. Your humans must have a devil of a time on trips they take without you aboard to run things, or have you trained them to be able to function in times when a cat is not available for supervision? Nowadays with all the advanced technologies I suppose it is easy for you to at least communicate/advise/direct from home via satellite/radio/cell/email/text? I’m sure they are relieved knowing you can be consulted at a moment’s meow? 😻💙

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    • Yes, If the waters are a bit rough before I’ve found my sea legs, I tend to get a little sea sick. After that I’m good. We don’t travel if it gets too rough, not even the humans like that. That might mean getting to stay an extra day until it calms down…yippee! You would be very safe on Minstrel. The crew is very well trained and I am confident they can handle things when I’m not there, which is not very often. You are welcome to come aboard any day!

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