sailboat living

Welcome to the Weekly Guest Spotlight DC McMillen

Tonight’s guest is writer, DC McMillen, author of

the The Rusty Nail. For more about DC, click on her photo to visit her website.

I like to spend summers on my sailboat. If you don’t have a sailboat in a marina, you are probably thinking, “Well, la-di-dah,” while visions of people who look suspiciously like the guy on the frozen fish sticks box hover in your mind. The truth, however, is that boat living is eerily similar to trailer park living. Let me run through a day in my marina. I choose….Saturday.

I wake up feeling grungy, hung over from participating a little too boisterously in the bon fire party at the beach the night before. I debate on taking a shower but the showers are a little further than I care to walk at the moment so I plug the kettle in to make myself a cup of Starbucks vanilla instant coffee. Before the water has come to a complete boil, I realise that I did not do dishes (again) and am now completely out of clean mugs. I look around for a solution that does not involve me walking my tub of dishes to the public sink in the laundry rooms. I silently curse my boyfriend for not yet fixing the tap in our boat an then my eyes land on my beer glass from last night.

Sighing, I pour some boiling water into the mug, give it a good swish and then make myself an instant coffee. I smoke a cigarette while drinking it on the back of the boat and tossing little bits of bread to the anxiously waiting baby ducks. They squabble and quack at each other as they greedily flock to my offerings. I see a friend across the basin and three boats to my right. She smiles, waves and then brushes her teeth, spitting foam into the lake surrounding her houseboat. Deciding I, too should brush the fur from my teeth, I dip back inside the boat, not so silently curse my boyfriend this time for not yet fixing the sink, grab my toothbrush and head to the public washrooms. As I am brushing my teeth a woman in an expensive, floaty dress and a lot of shiny gold jewellery walks in. She ducks into a stall and emerges after a couple minutes, pulls a toothbrush and paste from her oversize Gucci bag and uses the sink beside mine. It’s then that I notice she is not wearing any shoes.

I head back to my boat, check my email, check my blog, check twitter, check my Amazon page, check Facebook, check Goodreads, check Triberr, check my friends blogs, and then recheck everything three times. My boyfriend wakes up and I check my watch. Where the fuck did the time go?

The boyfriend reminds me that Spence and Nat are having a party today. I drag my ass to the showers, wash a few dishes so I can feel like I’ve accomplished something and then buy some blocks of ice from the marina store. When did they raise the price of ice from $2.50 to $3, I ask some people I know but don’t really know. This sets off a discussion about the rising prices at the restaurant and bar. Someone buys me a drink so I watch my ice melt as we bake in the sun, discussing how the marina used to be “in the old days.” I realize most of the people partaking in the lively discussion are in their 40’s, the average age of marina members. I’m in my early thirties, but from the way we are talking, you would think we are senior citizens discussing a bygone era instead of somewhat young people talking about ten years or so ago.  I wave to my boyfriend as he wanders by, beer in hand, to do his usual rounds. Everyone at the marina seems to do the rounds, visiting friends and checking out new boats.

I take the private ferry to the city, grab a bottle of wine for the party - and one more for the after party, a few groceries and head back to the marina. I wash the vegetables and prep them at the picnic table. As I do this, people stop by to chat, some of them help me stab toothpicks through grape tomatoes, leaves of basil and pearls of bocconcini but most of the visitors simply help themselves to an alcoholic beverage in the cooler beside the picnic table and wrap up their conversations when the can is empty.

Having finished prepping my dish for the party, I shove it in the icebox and spend the next couple of hours writing on my laptop. My boyfriend calls me when it is time to go to Spence and Nat’s. We walk together to the basin next to ours and put our wine, a bottle of $18 rosé between a $10 box of shiraz and $50 bottle of chardonnay. My appetiser skewers now sit on a picnic table with homemade coconut shrimp and roulade, a watermelon spiked with vodka, cooked from frozen pigs in a blanket, various dips and crackers and veggies, and celery portions slathered in either Cheez Whiz or peanut butter.

My boyfriend is talking shop (he’s a mechanic) with a yacht owner and the marina’s custodian. I sit with a group of people I know well and we gossip viciously about the woman who recently docked her boat next to mine. She’s a lovely woman but her boat is unkempt and cluttered with shit, which disturbs the aesthetic of our strip in the basin. We conclude she’s a hoarder and someone must complain to management about having her moved to a basin that is more…welcoming of her junk. Of course none of us will complain…we’ll just bitch about it until the gossip finally catches up to her, and then she will likely decide to move her boat to another spot all on her own.

My boyfriend flitters about the party chatting with everyone. Everyone at the marina loves him because he can fix boats and is best friends with a man who runs a towboat business. I stay rooted to a particularly comfortable lawn chair and talk amicably with all who join me. Every once in a while my boyfriend will bring me a fresh drink or a plate with some food on it.

I realize that I have had entirely too much to drink and I’m ready to go. My boyfriend joins me and we walk through the island’s public park that our marina backs onto. A Hare Krishna festival is taking place so we weave through it, leaning on each other slightly. We laugh and join in the clapping along with music. People offer us vegetarian food and we eat it. Someone wraps me in a sari and my boyfriend whips out his camera phone to snap photos. This is a dry event so my boyfriend and I try to be stealth while we drink the last our wine. We toss the empty plastic wine glasses in the recycling, I give back the sari and we head back to the boat, where I immediately pass out, er, nap.

I wake up a few hours later to the smell of barbeque. Grabbing condiments and dishes, I head out of the boat and join my boyfriend and a few new friends. Just as they finish eating (I was too full from party and Indian food to even think about eating), we hear a band start up. They’re playing at the marina bar and it is obvious even from a distance that they totally suck but what else is there to do? A group of us head to the bar and my boyfriend buys the first round. We dance to shitty music while drinking shitty well drinks, and we are having way too much fun. We party until the band catches the last private tender home at 1am, then walk to the beach to see who is at the bonfire tonight.

Someone from our basin is playing a guitar while others sing; I join in for a round of Proud Mary. We find out that one of our buddies has secretly installed a hot tub near his boat, which is in a secluded spot in the marina. The water doesn’t actually get hot but the jets are in working order. The BF and I follow him to the hot tub, well hidden by a group of trees to find several drunk, bikini clad women with fake breasts frolicking in the tepid water. Laughing at the site, we retrace our path through the beach and head back to our own boat. It’s getting late and I’m in the mood to play Scrabble, of all things. Our neighbours and favourite marina friends, an entertaining gay couple who keep their boat fastidiously spotless, have company. The air is billowing with the sweetest smelling smoke. They ask to use our barbeque and we consent. One of them offers me a puff of his joint and I take it. My boyfriend declines. We sit with them for awhile, chatting with their friends and playing cards. I give up the drunken notion to play Scrabble because I’m ready for bed. As I’m climbing into my boat, my neighbours tell me that they are having a party tomorrow, BYOB, and would I like to come. I agree, and promise to bring an appetiser.

The last thought I have before falling asleep is that I forgot to do dishes.


D.C. McMillen lives in Toronto, Canada. She enjoys writing about dirty sex in questionable places but has been known to write about other subjects, on special occasions.

D.C. is featured in MuseItHot’s Short & Spicy line up with The Rental and the upcoming story A Decent December. Her debut novella, The Rusty Nail, was recently published through Rebel Ink Press, and she is featured in several sexy anthologies.

D.C. is obsessed with Twitter and invites you to look her up at @mcmillendc, her blog, or on Facebook, where she goes sometimes.

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Posted on July 20, 2012 .