Excitement Mounts on the Dock: The End of This Week Will Include Our First Book-Club Symposium

People end up living on boats for any number of reasons. When I brokered boats, I saw more than one man pull into the brokerage parking lot with a hangdog expression, a car full of junk, and a fresh divorce decree. I worked with multiple ladies who’d gotten a taste of the sea and knew they would call her home for the foreseeable future. Wealthy retirees turn to boats for mild adventure, and the down-and-out may see in a boat a preferable alternative to the ol’ “van down by the river.” You can shell out eight figures for one of our beloved headaches or pick one up for the equivalent of the local mechanic’s lien.

Everyone, though, seems to come to boats with a certain intention, a certain sense of choice or “agency” or purpose. In mindfulness practices, one might see boat dwellers as engaging in intentional living.

Which brings us to this fledgling book club. In an effort to examine our choices, consider concepts related to “the good life,” and grab some good conversation with good friends, a few dockmates, the Bosun, and I have formed a haphazard lyceum to read some “philosophy lite” and jaw about the why and wherefore of life (and the bad choices we love to make—because really, choosing a boat is a bad choice).

Our first book: Daniel Klein’s Travels with Epicurus, an accessible, fun peek at one man’s adventures in Greece and ruminations on the ideas espoused by Epicurus. Is it all about “wine, women, and song”? Nope—not for Epicurus and not for our lyceum. Though a few of us like a little wine 🍷and we all love more than a little song 🎶.

Is it about virtue, judgment upon death, and preferring to suffer evil rather than perpetrate it (a la Socrates’ take in Plato’s Gorgias)? Maybe. At least for me. But there’s no “maybe” when it comes to contemplating these ideas with friends and a good meal—this sort of exchange is not “maybe” enjoyable; it’s the sort of meaningful human connection C.S. Lewis extolled in discussing philia-love/friendship in his The Four Loves. And it’s another reason why I love life on the dock.

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