Intrepid Readers and Mates, ahoy. I unfortunately announce the passing of Count Gregoire de Frontenac, adventurer, philosophe, and beloved brother-in-law. He now sails the night skies into the oblivion of which we must all follow.
|He always hated this portrait|
You may remember Count Gregoire from the breathlessly exciting Amateur Hour installment: BILTREK2012 (legendary) and a short follow up featuring his futuristic Ship of Tubes and Plastic Bags in Count Gregoire de Frontenac Goes On Adventure. I for one will certainly miss Count Gregoire quite deeply. And so, with him in my heart and mind, I decided to go DUCKPUNTING! (trumpets!)
YES DUCKPUNTING! Duckpunting makes all things straight and good, and I decided what a better day to go duckpunting than the day before the memorial event! A sailing-memorial of sorts, if you will. So with Count Gregoire in heart and mind I sped down the interstate to our favorite Stereotypical New England Character, Cap'n Dory Dan! I had big plans and visions in my head of duckpunting, streaming a black pennant, putting MRS MUMBLES into distress, disorder, and discombobulation for a mourning photo op, and making a libation-ous offering to Poseidon for the safe passage of Count Gregoire across the Oceans of Tyme. (thyme?)
As I pulled into Dory Dan's homestead, I realized I forgot the black pennant. No big deal, we can still put MRS MUMBLES into mourning and make libation-ous offerings. Dory Dan was deep in his duckpunt, fixing the broken mast step and thwart from our last punting day the autumn prior. The air was thick with the smell of linseed oil and turps and freshly sawn pine.
|It's always 1882 at Dory Dan's|
I soon passed Dan, because his plank-on-frame duckpunt had been in his hot dry shed for the past three weeks. For you non-nautical types, that means his planks were dry, and not swollen shut and so every joint was like a faucet allowing water to enter the hull. Dan was bailing his duckpunt and flipping her on her side to empty the small ocean inside. I found this quaint, then quickly realized this was going to be the theme of the day.
|Dory Dan rowing into a little creek I pulled into|
|YAR there be water in them bilges!|
|Dan emptying his duckpunt. Notice the dory-built construction style of his duckpunt.|
The planks overlap the stem too!
|Shortcut across the marsh|
After lunch, Dory Dan did some more bailing.
|OH Poseidon, watch after Count Gregoire with your aquatic-y goodness (Hi Neighbor!)|
|Duckpunt wallowing in the stream|
|THE WATER COMING IN BETWEEN THE PLANKS FOR CHRISSAKE I CAN SEE IT BUBBLING IN|
(super close-up picture of this available on request)
|Dan is just moving in this pic. I wish I had more to show of this. Incredible sailing.|
|Mud adorns our bows as evidence of multiple excursions from the planned routes into the marshbanks.|
I dropped my painter, with current and wind pushing MRS MUMBLES upriver and away from me at a great rate of speed. I was marooned on a Massachusetts marsh that was quickly going to be covered in cold May ocean water. JEEPERS. And it was all my fault.
Dory Dan to the rescue! He jumped high, turned his punt around, and sailed like my life meant it in pursuit of MRS MUMBLES. He grabbed the punt with his oar, and then drifted/rowed the two boats to the marsh banks opposite me and across a large creek. I, in full sea-boots, took off at a sprint yelling over my shoulder that I would find a crossing of the marsh creek. Now, these creeks are narrow, but deep, well over 6 feet. I could only swim across, which this time of year wasn't in the cards. So run I did, which including jumping over many smaller creeks, and falling in the mud.
|Dan stopped bailing, and sailed off to catch MRS MUMBLES...|
|Red dashes = Me, exercising my heart and lungs, running to meet Dan and boats|
Red arrow = Stranded
Green Arrow = Dory Dan with boats
Blue arrow = Point of Dawning Comprehension
|My hero, Dan.|
|Bailing. Again. More bailing.|
|And we're off for home! Coming down the creek|
|Dory Dan inbound to the boat ramp. Yeah!|
|Just missing MRS MUMBLES|
|ASHORE! NO HYPO! I deem this day a success!|
WE HAD FUN, and that honors Count Gregoire more than anything else we could have done.
Stay healthy, Intrepid Readers and thank you for reading.
|Fair winds, friend and brother.|