Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Good Poetry and Delightful Rosé Get Mixed Up With a Bad Crowd

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?
(from Leisure, WH Davies)

This got frustrating, so I quit doing it.
There comes a time in the year when every noble skipper and daring captain decides to prepare for the upcoming season.  In theory, this means a careful inventory of gear and supplies aboard the ship with some elbow grease thrown in for good measure while things are set to order, Bristol Fashion, etc. etc. I can see all you seasoned salts now, nodding your heads in collective agreement, stroking your fine beards and thinking of Preparations Past.

I strive to do the same, but fail on a regular, disheartening basis.  I am coming slowly to the point of accepting that I am a lazy, messy sailor, a somewhat indifferent boatbuilder, and while I may aspire to higher levels of exacting standards I'm almost positive that I'm only fooling myself.


Who wants to putz around the boat in the backyard on a beautiful spring day when there are ISLANDS TO CIRCUMNAVIGATE and BRIDGES TO DUCK UNDER and other such funness that is paramount to long and healthy life?!  It is mucho easier to pack the above mess back into their respective bags, compartments, boxes, and 5-gallon buckets and hitch the wagon to the black and dark and somewhat underpowered 4 Horses of Mazda and get the screw out of DODGE!  Vroooooom to Great Bay! It was ascertained by close examination of nautical charts that there were two islands that were begging for some hot NNECS action! (did not actually look at charts but happened upon islands that had been forgotten to the mists of memory and time)

The true nature of reality beckons from.... JUST BEYOND
(please someone pull the plug on TED... please, anyone, please)

NNECS' own Captain Callsign circumnavigates these two islands
in the western portion of Great Bay!

With much bravery and gusto Lovely Wife and the dashing Captain Callsign hit the Squamscott River and motored north.  We had wind and tide against us and a low slung railroad bridge to contend with.  The Iron Mizzen started on the first pull with last year's gas (!!! huzzah, I say, this is where you should say "huzzah" as well), and we plowed northward into the beckoning and everlasting sky and the endless horizons that only salt water delivers.  SCOUT purred contentedly, afloat once more as she shook off her winter sentence of garagist isolation.  The garage is just the WORST.

We plunge into the open arms of the blue
The masts go up and sails roll out.
The flags fly and we power ahead, quiet now.
We sneak up on those islands.
One of the islands we circumnavigated.  The second one is in background.
Once we arrived at the islands the circumnavigation commenced.  We pull around the first one, and beat up the narrow channel while watching copulating horseshoes up on the banks.  The Lovely Wife found this oddly exciting. The channel was narrow and the tacking strategic, and I made a wonderful close pass of the weather end of the island, dodged some rocks and took off wing-and-wing back down the other side.  We pressed in close to the terrain, skimming the bottom by a few inches.  I love the Sea Pearl 21 for this! Whatta boat.  Lovely Wife finds it unremarkable as she knows nothing else but shallow draft.  "Is this something special?" she asks, slightly annoyed as I continuously point out the perilously close bottom that speeds by.  YES. YES IT IS. Shallow draft. Follow at Own Risk.

We glided into the lee of the first island and dropped the hook for a SCOUT special: Picnic On A Herreshoff Designed Cutting Board. Everyone knows how special this is.  Today's fare consisted of a prosciutto sandwich, a chicken shawarma burrito (you can find this delicacy at Wellington's in Concord, NH) and a "delightful" bottle of rosé by Famille Lafage... Miraflors 2015 from southwest France. Of course, it was kept cold, thanks to SCOUT's very modern high-tech cooler that is the envy of all other coolers.  I know a thing or two about coolers.  Also joining us for picnic was my new Mudd Knife, courtesy of Lovely Wife, and the book "Good Poems."

During picnic time there was much enjoying of the rosé, the sandwiches, and most deviously, the book "Good Poems." Clandestine-like at our secret anchor hide-out we read several poems to each other as we swayed in the quiet lee of the island. It was a devilish affair, very deviant, and dark.  The only other sounds were the lapping water, some seagulls, and the wind in the trees as it swirled complex shapes around this terrestrial obstruction, our island. AND OF COURSE we were serenaded by the continuous yapping of an obviously untrained derelict spoiled dog coming from the deluxe apartment compound on Moody's Point, just south.  'Merika.

Anyway, great book. Good poems.  Really.

NOTE: Mudd Knife. Herreshoff cutting board.
The book is not a joke. I carry books on SCOUT.
Intrepid Readers should know this by now.

Bound for Island TWO and then south to the ramp.
I scared the seagulls into lofty flight.
Lovely Wife rests in her world famous chair.
Boy oh boy, I hope we get back before last light.

I poet now!

Go sailing, Intrepid Readers. The Waters, they beckon you like songs from above and over the horizon, those songs that you can't hear but you know that they are there. Go, answer their call, their siren call. Lose yourself, just go, go now. Water is calling.... Answer!


  1. Thanks for a thoroughly entertaining write-up!

  2. happy spring Callsign!!
    Capn Danger Danger

  3. Callsign, you remain my hero! Who do we have to rob, bribe, threaten, or beg to get you and Scout to sail with the Goats this September? No commitments are required, no promises are expected; pencil us in for Sept. 23-24-25, Long Island Sound, vicinity Hammonasett or thereabouts. It would be an honor for many of us. 'Nuff said...

  4. Sailing yes. Organizing no! That works until it doesn't work. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you friend. Stay dry!

    I had my first ever knock down this spring and it was exciting. Wet. Fortunately not too cold. And I only lost a few things.