Boating In The


  by Bonzai Yak

  112 pages

Chapter 5: Territory Characters (part a)


So getting on back to the basics again, just to review, the Territory, it's mostly water, right? And you'll always find islands wherever you sail, so the first thing to do when you find someplace new is to get the whole shape of the island down. Sail all around it, or walk the coast so you know the extent and the size. Some of the islands are large and expansive like the Island Of The Empty Twelve. Others are small, you can walk all around them in no time at all and map them in nothing flat. A good thing to do is to put small sticks in the ground all around the coast of any new island you find. Helps the shape to stick in your mind, and it's also a very nice way to play with the island itself. But don't get me wrong, those stakes you put in don't give you a claim, they're more of an island massage.

When you draw out an island map, be sure to put in all the different types of terrain. Beaches are features you'll want to include, rocks and cliffs, they're important too. Sometimes you'll find there are marshes as well and it helps if you mark out the best route through so you won't catch your boat in the muck and the weeds. Places where tides and currents are high, lighthouses, buoys, whirlpools and jetties, harbours and grottos, caves and wrecks, sandbars and mountains, waterfalls, fountains, places of portage and anything else that comes to your sight should be there on the map. Name what you find as soon as you can, a story can be the best way to relate what's there in a place and it helps you remember yourself.

It's always a good idea to include some mark to mark off the more dangerous places you find when you sail the sea. Helps you know the best way to go and what to avoid on the way. You'll find for instance that large busy streets in the everyday world are often the places in the Territory where the current and rocks make it hard to sail. You have to look for the best way to make a safe crossing across these difficult places. Oftentimes everyday features occur where rocks or a beach make it easier to find a good way. Stoplights and crosswalks in the everyday world are clues you can use to navigate through the most dangerous seas.

In the everyday world there are certain locations you'll generally find more conducive to use in a Territory way. Schoolyards and parks, empty lots, railway tracks and alleyways are often quite open to boating. But even in places as easy as these, you'll sometimes be apt to feel ill at ease. You'll wonder at times if the everyday world will allow you to change the way that you see and slip into the Territory. Finding and mapping the islands and seas, it's not such an odd thing to do don't you see? The everyday world has neighbourhoods, right? Islands are something like that only different. Seeing neighbourhoods in the everyday world is like seeing the islands in the Territory.

But one is one thing, the other's another; what seems to work mapping neighbourhoods in the everyday world isn't so good in the Territory, particularly so if you stick to the reasons the everyday guys use to organize all the neighbourhoods they encounter. They're not really making a Territory map, they're more into theories of economics, of social ideas and politics. They've lost their sense of fun and frolic and the neighbourhood islands they put on their maps tend to lack a sense of joy. Better to look to the kids instead, they're out in their neighbourhoods every day finding the shape that their islands make. The way they play and the paths they take as they act out their stories, it's a way to be with the Territory. They don't use the maps that the adults peruse, they make up their own in a communal way with whatever the other kids want to play. Maybe an adult could do the same thing. It can't be that hard to just let yourself go and play all day in the Territory the way that kids like to do.

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