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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:General
  • Language:English
  • Series title:The Borealis
  • Series Number:1
  • Pages:450
  • eBook ISBN:9781620956793

The Borealis

A True Story Year About Living Aboard While Restoring A 90 Year Old Wood Boat

by Lonnie Dee Robertson

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True story about living aboard while rebuilding a 90 year old wood boat
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.
About the author
I’m Lonnie Dee Robertson. Let me give you a little biographical background. I was born in Harbel, Liberia West Africa. My mother was pregnant up until the exact moment I was delivered so I didn’t have a lot of choice in the matter. I pretty much had to do what she wanted but I did not mind for throughout her pregnancy we had been very close. Due to my youth and inexperience at the time of my birth I was rudely excluded from the decision making process as to where I would be raised. Apparently since my parents were already in Liberia they thought; “What the Hell, we’ll raise the little blighter here.” So it came to pass. Upon completion of the seventh grade I had almost exhausted the Ed. Programme at the Firestone Staff School in Harbel. The school curriculum comprised only the first through eighth grades… as based upon the Ohio school system in the USA. Further education could only be secured offshore. So… for reasons still incomprehensible to me… during the eighth grade I tragically agreed to incarceration a military school in the great American midwest. Transferring from Harbel Liberia to a military academy is tantamount to being dragged screaming and naked out of a warm bed and then hurled bodily into a vat of ice water surrounded by demons flailing you with cudgels, chains and whips. The following year my sentence was mercifully commuted and I gratefully matriculated at a school in the Swiss Alps. I was much more comfortable there. Having already established a pattern of wandering I pirouetted from school to school all the way from there through college. I went to too many schools to enumerate. Actually there are probably some of them I don’t even remember. Nothing good came of all this education (except that I didn’t end up in Viet Nam… I was invited but previous commitments made it impossible for me to accept… sorry Lyndon). I ended up as an artist… so what good would an education have been anyway? Art for me takes three forms; writing, music and last and most bizarre, woodworking and sculpture. Since I lacked the appropriate education and motivation necessary to secure a productive job I have made my living… if you can ennoble it by calling it that… as a musician and entertainer. I wrote articles for magazines etc. so I could afford icing on the cake. The involvement with wood I pretty much kept to myself. I used it to keep my boats afloat and to make their interiors absurdly fancy. To add further to my credentials as a misfit I live on a boat. Through deviousness and manipulation I have even managed to convince my wife Jinna to live on a boat. No one is, after all, free of sin. To be truthful I have lived on three boats. I think I finally have it right this time. My current endeavour is a book wherein I impart the true chronicle of my 30 years living aboard and restoring a decrepit wooden sailboat… all the while becoming decrepit myself. I will post excerpts from the book on a more or less regular basis on this blog… at least if you see it you will be forewarned… Lonnie Dee Robertson