Memories and Realities
04 September 2014 | Clear Lake, Texas
We sailed back into Boothbay, Maine harbor a few minutes ago at least in our memory. With the help of Brown's Wharf webcam, we were visiting one of our favorite harbors of the cruse. Ah, what a wonderful place this time of year with the cool temps and crystal blue northern fall sky. It is a serene piece of New England forever home to lobstermen who will share their world with transient sailors for a few months then most likely enjoy watching their sails disappear over the horizon come fall. The square riggers of pirates and patriots have given way to those in faster boats with televisions and coolers but none the less in absolute awe of the sea. The sights, sounds and smells of that place is recorded in the permanent parts of whatever memory we have.
Bear is now truly recovering and this weekend will be the first time she will go aboard Why Knot since late June. There is still work to be done aboard (as there always is) so the bilge coolie (that would be me) will see to it they the Admiral, Scurv, ABSD and Why Knot are treated well. With the entire crew aboard, WK is whole and ready for the visit.
There is a story about the aborted final leg to our home port. I had guest crew recruited for the effort and when it was apparent we were needing to scrap the sail and come home to be with Bear. I decided to move WK to a slip and away from the yard. To that end, we pulled out of the yard slip and motored around to the other slip. It was a typical hot and sticky August afternoon. Prepatory to getting to the new slip, I asked Paul to man the bow line and Frank to mind the aft line. Steve was to mind the other aft line but remained under the Bimini. Just as we approached the slip, requiring some tight maneuvering due to traffic and wind, Neptune decided to unzip the block sized black cloud above us. No one anticipated the amount of water in that cloud. Unzip is the right term as that little cloud was uncompressed into a much bigger container. Instantly, I could no longer see Paul. However, the idea was that Paul would cleat off the bow line immediately thus allowing the boat to come against the dock starboard side. The wind and rain added a bit of urgency lest we drift into something in an uncontrolled way. So through the wind and rain I suggested rather loudly that he needed to get that done. Already, the wind was having its way and things were about to get nasty. Still no evidence that any attempt was being made to cleat off. A slightly louder coaxing but nothing. Then the rain subsided a bit and I could see Paul (might I add that Paul's foulie was warm and safe in the cabin) through the still blinding rain. I suggested, sort of, that he expedite the cleaning. He heard me this time and suggested that I could do a few things with the suggestion. Seems the problem was that the dock had no cleats whatsoever. I then politely asked if he might tie off to the piling to which he was attached. The light from the bulb above his noggin was blinding. The dock has "tide risers" with slip rings to which one secures dock lines. The tide risers are pipes that allow ted dock lines to rise and fall with the tides. They are a great idea for storm surges. In all our cruising, this is the first time to see docks with them. So, Paul and Frank were sacrificed (got really wet) in that learning experience. I can still see Paul standing on dock looking for the mystery cleats while drifting in and out of view. Just as all dock lines were secured, that little cloud drifted away and the sun turned the sauna on.