With sand between toes Allie scours the ocean floor, searching for traces of ancient mariners. Petrified hulls, once hell-bent for high water, now teeming with life: urchin, fish spawn, and seagrass tethered to transom reviving mythic tales of treasure and conquest. An ocean exploration spawned by her father’s unfinished dreams brought her to these shores, once home to the family she now knows only from photographs, their paper edges rounded with time, surfaces creased and cracking, resembling the grooves on her grandmother’s papery skin – what little she remembers of it.
She relishes those moments, few and far between, when she can reach into the past, wondering about her family’s history and what her father was thinking as he sanded the tiller of his first sailboat. At 8 years old, he looks so grand sitting there on that rickety bench, happily sanding away, his aunt and uncle hard at work repairing the hull of a boat that would take him on his first adventure away from home. Is this why she decided to take this journey? She brushes the bangs from her eyes and looks off to the distant shore of Gardiner’s Island, the white windmill glinting in the sun, as it has so many times before, like a beacon calling on a courage that she never knew existed until the day her father left.
…to be continued
[A novel start]