My name is Earl . . . - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 02-26-2006
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Mkfcdl is on a distinguished road
My name is Earl . . .

(I hope this comes across as intended)---

My name's not Earl, but I have a confession. This concerns a single-handed sailor in the BVI's in October of 1998 when I was chartering out of Tortola with my wife on our honeymoon.

The confession is that I knew nothing at that time of cruising and barely more of sailing. My wife and I met on a sailing charter in the spring of 1998 and at the time of this story we were on our honeymoon. I had no previous sailing experience except several courses and my wife had about twice as much as I. We chartered a Bene 45 out of The Moorings in Tortola for two weeks--the first week with a stay-aboard instructor and the second week on our own. The first week we dodged the tropical wave that later became Hurricane Mitch and sank the Fantome (we met on her sistership the Polynesia). The second week we decided to sail to St. Croix from Soper's Hole and this is where the story really begins.

We found a spot in Soper's Hole to anchor (which we did without any yelling if you can believe it) and then decided to go ashore for something to eat. About that time, from a well-used but decent sloop not far away a young man approached in a dinghy, saying "hello." My wife is from Toronto, and I'm from Houston, and so we were both a little wary and just exchanged "hi" and "how are you" and that was that. He said he was by himself and was down from the states, blah blah blah. We later saw him ashore eating dinner by himself while these two newlyweds took our own table.

I'm sure it's possible that he was ultimately up to no good and might have robbed us blind on the pretence of helping us with some newbie problem or other. But I don't think so.

In retrospect, I think my wife and I passed on a great opportunity to spend a few moments with someone who was doing what now we dream of--casting off and sailing away. Truthfully, our defenses were up coming from big cities and trust was down. And while I can't find you like the television character tries to do and make things right, let me say that if you're out there, I hope your voyages have been safe and your anchorages pleasant. My wife and I often think back to that time and wish we had been more social to the kind of person that we now aspire to be.

Cheers to all far from home but close to port,
Mark

Last edited by Mkfcdl; 02-26-2006 at 04:10 PM.
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Old 02-26-2006
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Well said.

John
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Old 02-26-2006
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A sundowner in your honor

The irony is that I'm planning a single-handed trip from Texas to the Bahamas as we speak (where my wife and daughter will join me). Maybe I'll run into the guy and buy him a drink.

Or maybe some newlywed couple from a big city will say "hello" to me on my dinghy and feel uncomfortable as I wait for an invitation to buy them a drink...

Cheers,
Mark
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Old 02-28-2006
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i sailed with Earl

Not related to the subject here, but you did bring up Earl. Earl was not a sailor, but had gone out with me quite a few times. I thought he had picked some skills up. After one nice sail we were heading into my slip. I explained to Earl that as the forward quarter passed near the pier, as I turned in, it would be a good time to step off the boat on to the dock. Silly me. I assumed he would know that his mission was to take the bow line with him, but he never thought of that. Of course the wind blew the bow off the pier and a perfect docking was turned into a mad scramble. Earl was, however, safely standing on the dock from where he could watch the ensuing show.

I have another Earl story, but will resist for now.
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