Adventures of s/v WILD HAIR


Our land life took on form, solidity, routine. We had mastery of a limited set of skills. We had habitual expectations of others and ourselves. Going sailing, we let go of our attachments to our roles, views, and rituals. We persist because we are growing in this shapeless and dynamic world.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Bedtime in Nassau

It was lights out after a busy day in Nassau readying the boat for the arrival of our kids. We had carried from market to boat five days of all-you-can-eat food and drink for five people, freshened all the sheets and towels at the Laundromat, filled our water and propane tanks, and scrubbed the boat spotless inside and out. I was near sleep when I kindly and semi unconsciously helped Dinghy to the port light window so she could see what was making the sound that captured her attention.

This was how I found myself with the lights off in my stateroom holding the cat’s rump to the port light as my marina boat neighbors wove their way drunkenly down our shared pier. Like all good sailors, they were doing their damndest to be silent in their stupor as they navigated with care the route to their boat.

“Don’t move,” slurred the gallant man as he firmly planted his beloved, middle-aged wife not more than four feet away in the center of the pier.

“ O.K. I won’t move” she vowed in an earnest whisper.

Silence. More silence. Then, krrrr—splash!

Pause. Pause. “You’re kidding me” his bride muttered in monotone, keeping her promise not to move.

Concerned now for his well-being, I silently removed the cat from the window and took my own look through the port light. My view was limited to a steadfast mid-section of the woman and the man’s soggy body from belt-buckle to nipple. Somehow the knave had climbed out of the drink.

“How is it?” She deadpan whispered.

“Cold,” he quietly giggled.

He disappeared beyond my line of sight.

“What are you doing?” She prodded.

“Pulling the boat closer,” he logically responded.

“Oh, like that’s going to help!” She muttered, still guarding her position.

Without fanfare, she too wobbled out of my view. Shifting my concerned-neighbor view to a new window, I saw that they both had successfully mounted their vessel. They were safe.

I don’t know if they saw my cat Dinghy floating mysteriously at the port light. I don’t know if they saw me: a strange woman lurking in the dark. I do know that I laughed myself to sleep.

By the time I woke at 07:00 the next morning, they and their boat had departed. The sauced couple is made from stronger stuff than I.

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