16 Jul

I often post my progress on the Seeker, and sometimes, my sailing adventures. This time, I feel like something different.
It was the first day of Christine and my sailing voyage. We left Provincetown on Columbus day, late in the day, in the year of ’72, and sailed over to Pamet River, in North Truro.
My father sailed with us. He was a little nervous, as there was a sea running, and he had never been is seas before. He’d spent his days in the Great South Bay.
After anchoring, we had a pleasant meal and went to bed. My father was leaving us at Pamet. That night, although I anchored the boat where I’d spent the fall of ’64 aboard the Southern Cross, and was sure I was in deep water, discovered I was quite wrong. The river had shifted and we went aground, spending an uncomfortable night.
After my father left Christine and I got ready to head out across Cape Cod Bay.
I started the motor, and the White Oak bracket broke as soon as I put the engine in forward. I wrestled with the damned thing, and finally got it under control, not letting it either hit the boat, or submerge. But, without power, we drifted into shallow water, and, as the tide was running, we were aground in a heartbeat. I tried to push us off with an oar, but nothing doing.
I quickly jumped in our inflatable dinghy and made my way to a Boston Whaler. The engine was unlocked, as was typical in those days. I started the engine, slipped it off it’s mooring, and quickly had a line onto the “Unity” our twenty-two foot Block Island boat that I built with a lot of help from Christine.
It had rained a few days ago, and there was a lot of water in the Boston Whaler, but, they’re unsinkable, right?
I put the engine in reverse, and the water and the tow efficiently sent the stern of the whaler underwater. I jammed it into forward and avoided sinking it, but still.
Then I decided the hell with it, and proceeded to rig up the outboard bracket, adroitly dropping my grandfather’s hand drill over the side, and after diving in and salvaging that, my brace and bit also decided to plumb the depths.
I believe it was right about then that Christine said, and I quote, “are you sure you know what you’re doing?”
At the time, I had been first mate on the Southern Cross, mate on the Hindu, had owned my own boats since I was three, everything from rowboats to racing sloops. I was also a member of a small elite storm rescue team.
But, really, what could I say after a display of seamanship that would have made the three stooges proud. The fact was, if I hadn’t had such a damned good saltwater pedigree, I think I would have been asking myself the same question.
It’s really hard to present yourself as being remarkably competent, when you’ve just made an utter and complete ass of yourself.

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