In general, I'm not a brave girl. I come around but only after expressing a lot of verbal insecurity and topping it off with some grade-school whining. When we first arrived at the boat yard, I was a bit timid walking down the dock. There are alligators in the water, for God's sake. But now, after living on the boat for a few days, I actually seek out the local gator and feel a kinship when I see him. On this day in particular, I was looking down trying to distinguish nature from reptile, and when I glanced up, there he was taking in the sun with half-closed eyes.