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.


I wasn’t going to do it. The advice from the “wise heads” in my wife’s family was to buy a multi-unit house, have the tenants pay the mortgage, and live in one of the units. They thought I was stubborn and maybe a bit inscrutable when I stated that I would not do it.


Now, it is true that many of us New Englanders do appreciate a few weeks of winter break in Florida. But, likewise, most of us perversely love the cold weather in April and early May we call spring.


The little boat did kind of look like a terrapin. It was a bit beamy and of a design almost guaranteed not to capsize. It was a perfect small tender for a larger boat. And a safe one for a couple of adventurous teens to explore the Harbor. I had enjoyed my time with the kids as they “helped” design the transom banner I’d carve for them.

Two Friendship sloops awaiting restoration.

Bilge Rat

The King James Version of the bible says that “Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest.” However, at sea, things are different

mural on Rocky Neck

Getting Wisdom

Spinney let me accompany him one afternoon while he did a marine survey of a sloop one of his regular customers was interested in buying. The sloop was on the hard, so Spinney first walked around, taking in the general lines and appearances of the boat. Next, he noted and mentioned to me items the general upkeep and condition of the boat.

An Inconvenient Pine

The Cap’n finished tamping his pipe, lit it, and then tersely commented- “They’re just Summer Complaints.” My wife, her mother, and Cap’n’s brother nodded in agreement. I kept quiet.


There is something about the tide that has always attracted me. The tide encroaches on the land twice in twenty-four hours, and every high and every ebb brings new possibilities. Especially after a storm, old shorelines are revealed or concealed, wrecks not seen in a lifetime exposed, and treasures and trash tossed for your examination.


I’ve been told that Lake Superior is very chary about giving up its secrets. So when the video and photos of the schooner barge Atlanta emerged the other week, It got me started thinking about lakes, seas, oceans, and sailors.


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