I grew up listening to the stories of my grandfather, Troy Behning, a man of the sea, and a traveler of the world. He lived in different places in the South Pacific, from Tonga to Hawaii, and roamed the oceans on various vessels in an era far calmer than the world in which we now live.
As an upholsterer, he ferried his equipment from place to place, setting up shop in the islands, hand-crafting sails, canopies, and similar needs for sailors, fishermen, explorers, and others. Such men, in those days-gone-by, took full responsibility for the upkeep of their vessels, replacing boat propellers, repairing motors, and engaging in all labor required to thrive in the life they had chosen.
When I knew my grandfather he had long before traded the sea and the islands for inland rivers and lakes. He built a life on Lake Pend Oreille near Sandpoint, Idaho, traveled the mountain west with boats in tow, and shared his vision of the sea with me.
From him I learned the arts of trolling and fly fishing. When he wasn’t teasing me for catching minnows, he was filling my heart and mind with visions of a world I still have never known. I have to presume that this hunger for the sea, which is so much a part of who I am, was transferred to me through his words. No man can take from me what he provided. No wealth can purchase the stories and dreams that entered my mind as I looked into his eyes, watched his face, and listened to the tales of a vibrant, elderly man whose young heart had long-ago been captured by sea. It is mine. It is my treasure.
Troy Behning was, among many things, a man of the sea. And though I would like to say that I, as his grandson, am also such a man, I am not. Nonetheless, he poisoned my mind with a hunger to return to a place I have never been, to seek a life that may no longer exist.
So as I write my novels, extending yet another generation of the Behning gift of story-telling, my heart remains focused upon a future in which I will captain my own yacht or two. With propeller humming, I’ll set course across a blue horizon, seeking unknown coasts, islands, and ports. I’ll compare the visions my grandfather conveyed to me with the world that now awaits.
… And I’ll write.
If you were to read my novels you would discover “Melicia,” which means, “The Islands of the Sea,” so named by ancient travelers from Earth. These had voyaged across the void of space, and settled upon a glimmering system of worlds that inspired their memories of Earth’s beautiful islands. Though they knew they might never sail upon Terran seas again, they passed stories of their ancient sea kingdom, upon a far off world, to the generations that would follow them.
My grandfather was the first Melician. My novels are inspired, in part, by the stories he told. And the reality of a future life, in which I seek the seas, again, is fast approaching. My journey is recorded here.
About the author:
This article has been written by Mohit Jain who is a self confessed traveling and trekking enthusiast. He has written various travel articles for online boating and cruise magazines.
Mohit has spent 2 years working with VEEM Propellers Australia’s best known propeller manufacturer. VEEM are makers of yacht propeller and other high performance propellers and are known the world over for their patented Interceptor Propeller Technology.