The Borealis recounts the humorous but richly informative true story of the restoration of a recalcitrant and irascible antique Alden sailboat known as the Borealis. The narrative follows (at a discrete distance, of course) Jinna, Lonnie and the Borealis throughout the three decade “Battle of the Borealis.”
Written in the vein of “The Boat Who Wouldn’t Float” by one of Jinna’s and Lonnie’s favourite authors, Farley Mowat, the tale documents the precipitously steep but nevertheless agonizingly long learning curve “travelled” by these two first time boat owners.
As the young (but rapidly aging) couple grapples (sort of) with the day to day tragedies dealt to them courtesy of the Borealis, they metamorphose from neophytes incapable of nailing two boards together to expert boatbuilders. Necessity is, as they say, definitely the mother of invention. The Borey was a mother of a boat.
Beginning with Lonnie’s purchase of the obscenely overpriced, decrepit and totally unsound vessel in Fort Lauderdale, the narrative follows the two aspiring world circumnavigators as they fight to finance their folly working as musicians in south Florida, the Keys and anywhere else they could find a cruise ship, nightclub, bar or restaurant to hire them. Finally they end up… still living aboard their squalid old tub… on the furthest fringes of the Indiantown Marina in Indiantown Fl.
There, hidden securely in the maiden cane under an appropriately ancient live oak tree to avoid offending the public, they squander over three years rebuilding and cold moulding their rickety, repugnant hulk of a vessel. With no electricity, no running water and no real hope of success… unless arriving at their graves could somehow be construed as success… Lonnie and Jinna finally hammer out a cease fire with the boat. The Borey is re-launched… sort of like The Prisoner of Chillon regaining his freedom.
It is said that pathos begets humour and this story certainly proves the claim. The story also demonstrates one can live out one’s dream. Let’s face it… if these two can successfully restore a boat which should have become an artificial reef… you can too.