It was a fairly cloudless day. The wind blew westward, or at least it blew roughly westward, and the waves were, for the most part, low. The beach’s slope was gentle, though it seldom wasn’t and everything looked like it was going to be a good day.
They had been waiting for this day for a long time, though it had nothing to do with the weather. It was the day they would finally be able to test out their boat, or more accurately, raft. For the longest time they wanted to design and build boats and they had worked on doing so for a good while. They were still quite young but it was something that held their attention for a while and so they had spent a lot of time learning about how to maintain a boat from their village’s fishers, in between their time needed to be at school.
They weren’t the strongest swimmer, though they were trying, so when the fishers would allow them to come on some fishing trips it usually would remain in either closed waters, or not too far from their island. As they got older there was some venturing a little further out on days of good weather, but only for a day. They wanted firsthand experience on how a boat operated and how their purpose could vary, but they could only get that experience with the fishing vessels. Still, it was enough.
When they were nearing the end of their education they spent time learning how to maintain boats from working at the dock sheds, and through that they learned more about structural design and integrity. Through this they were able to slowly put together ideas for their first boat and they were able to obtain scraps.
Through the years they played around with making small platforms and structures to try and float them and when it worked it would leave them excited. What they were learning whilst working on boats The closer they got to building their first boat, the more they thought about why it worked and what they could do to improve. When they failed they would try not to beat themselves up about it and work out what went wrong.
Eventually they reached a point where they felt they were ready to build a boat and so they took what they could and started building. It was a few months of work and they tried to do it with as little interference as possible. It’s not that they felt they knew more than others; despite what they had learned over the years their knowledge and experience was not anywhere near that of the fishers and dockers who helped them out. They wanted to take what they learned and built upon to see if they could do it themselves.
The day was finally here and so, with a little help they brought their boat down to the beach. For a brief while they looked out to the ocean and appreciated its relative calmness. In one way they were thankful for this, for if anything went wrong it’d be easy enough for them to get back to the beach. On the other, they hoped that their day of testing would feature rougher conditions.
Their boat was mostly a simple raft with a shelter, a spot for a sail and space mostly for cargo. If it floated without issue on the ocean they’d try and add a few more things if they could as they hoped they’d be able to start moving food and supplies down a river that ran from their village to another part of the island where a research station associated with some of the distant city’s universities was situated. Of course the station was already receiving supplies, but if they could take over, or at least help with this then they could get more experience directly controlling a boat.
After a few words shared they pushed the raft onto the water and hopped on. Unsurprisingly it remained afloat. With little hesitation they started using one of the punting poles they made to try and get a little further out. With some difficulty they succeeded and soon put up a sail, and waited for the wind to be favourable.
Occasionally the sail picked up something and it moved the boat around a little, but it didn’t go far. Still, they were excited by the result. They were sailing, even if it was close to the shore and their boat was holding, and that was good enough for them in that moment.
Slowly and awkwardly they made their way back to shore and they celebrated with the small group that was there. It was progress and it was success, and for them it was one step closer to eventually heading to the far off city and studying at one of the universities there. They wanted to design and build ships, and they wanted to work on a few different kinds outside of what they saw at their village.
As they pulled their boat back to where it was being stored they thought about how it was probably a year or so until they would be making their way to the city away from where they were. They hadn’t been to a city before and they wondered if it was fine to make the journey whilst still a teenager, but there were plenty of safe ways to get there, and between now and then they’d be able to work on their boat and see what else they could add to it to make it easier to sail, or maybe tear it down and build something new out of it.
Whatever they chose, there still was a lot of work ahead of them. However, it didn’t matter at that particular moment as there still was a lot ahead of them. They had a lot to see and a lot to do, and they were looking forward to what lay ahead.
The time it took to write one thousand words: 31:41:22
This was much slower than I’d hoped. It’s also based in part off an idea I had a long time ago. Even though this covers that idea pretty well, I might write with that idea as the sole focus some time.
Anyway, I’m still feeling out this worldbuilding thing and still trying to get things together. Very soft and kind of dull writing but it gets some more things across, though it could have gotten across more. Maybe. Dunno.
Written at home.