Old as Dirt!
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tampa Bay Area
Thanked 154 Times in 146 Posts
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A Christmas Eve to Remember...
One of my most memorable Christmas’s occurred in the mid-1970’s while I was working on a consulting contract in Seattle. One of the fellows in the office I was in at John Graham & Co, invited me to join him and some friends for a Christmas Eve day sail from Seattle to visit pals that lived on the western end of Eagle Harbor on Bainbridge Island. He had a wonderful old wooden sailing boat and we had a great sail across the sound to Bainbridge Island and easily worked our way to the shallows at the western end of the bay. After a few hours of visiting, and having Irish Coffee’s, we prepared to leave but discovered ourselves hard aground. The tide did not extract our keel from the mud until well after dark and light air and falling temperatures made for a slow, cold, traverse back to Seattle. Just as we passed Tyee Shoal, it began to snow and the falling snow created a hushing sound over the gurgle of the water along the sides of the ship. We remained silent as visibility was reduced to almost nothing and we strained to hear the sound of any approaching traffic. Then. Faintly, in the distance, we began to hear singing—only a whisper at first, but gradually louder until, suddenly, out of the gloom the bright red of a running light appeared close aboard our port bow. Just as suddenly, a bright light lanced out, framing the yacht, and we could then see the bright orange slash of a Coast Guard boat in its reflection off the snow, close aboard our port side. “Is everything alright with you fellows?” enquired the crew chief. Yes replied our skipper, explaining our grounding earlier in the evening. “Well then, have a Merry Christmas and keep safe” the chief called out as their light winked out and they swung away, slowing, into the dark. Shortly, a chorus of “Silent Night” resumed, out of the dark, to which we all joined in and then we sang our way back to Bell Harbor.
And a very nice Christmas Eve it was….
"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."