Adventures In Coastal Living

I lived on the coast most of my life. My memories of places, people and events frame these stories. I always start with something true…but, I sometimes wander off a bit.

The Dumps

Who can forget driving to the dump covered in a carpet of dirty white gulls and watching the waves of birds parting magically before your car?

Encouragement

I invited Charlotte to Community boating to go sailing. We were not on the water five minutes before asking when we would get to where we were going. I had to explain that we were already there.

Geedunks

I’d learned in the Navy that what geedunks ( sweets and specialty items not served at meals) the ship sold were not necessarily what I wanted. So I had a private stash.

Fieldwork

When I lived on or traveled to coastal Maine in the seventies, I was tied closely to my wife’s home town by bonds created by that marriage. Back at the university, I was for studying for a career in anthropology. In Maine, I was understudying for the Cap’n on board his 34 foot ketch, being introduced as his son, and learning how to fit in.

Molasses Cookies

It’s been decades. But every time I visit Portland, it’s inevitable that I’ll think about those cookies. Losing a good friend is always hard, but losing a great molasses cookie. That’s tragic.

A Rangeley Boat

it was the reek of pure Old Woodsman. Over the long lifespan of the boat, gallons must have been spilled in it, because no amount of restoration would ever remove all that smell.

Fantasy ship

Flotation

Sitting on the float, I could look at my reflection in the water. If I shifted focus, I could see the thousands of small jellyfish swarming around the float and the nearby wharf.

Sweepers, Sweepers!

Boats need cleaning, and as general maintenance helper and crew member supreme, it was generally my job to sweep, swab, polish and groom the pride of the Cove; Psyche.

Crossing The Line

I mentioned the shortness of twilight in the tropics. In the northern and southern latitudes, we are used to extended twilights at sunrise and sunset while in the tropics, it is a rush job – suns up and suns down.

Heading For The Breakwater

Accuse someone of having poor skills as a sailor. Accuse them of being a lousy cook. Accuse them of stupidity. But, the worse thing you can do is stick the Jonah label on anyone. It’s like a stripe of paint down your back. It holds and ruins your reputation.

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