Category Archives: Yankee


You don’t see that many people hitch hiking these days.  Certainly not like in the late ‘50s and ‘60s when I was doing it as a matter of necessity.  Where we lived up in Whistler, BC you see quite a bit because we have many young people from all over the world who come to work in the resort.  Many do not have cars and hitch back and forth to work.  Of course, it’s a closed community with only one road in and out so it’s pretty safe.  I will pick up these kids unless they are wearing their trousers at half-mast, have their baseball cap on sideways or are carrying a skateboard.  I know. So shoot me.

Back in 1959 when I went off to Cornell I frequently hitch hiked back and forth to my home in Buffalo.  Generally it wasn’t much of a problem to get a ride, but that was before well-publicized abductions and car-jackings came into vogue. And, before 24-hour news channels came into being. In 1960-61 I put my thumb to the test in what turned out to be about 10,000 miles of hitch hiking around the US.  I had good luck and bad on the road and certainly some bizarre experiences.  Before getting into all that, maybe a little background.


I went off to college at 17 and was quite naive. Public high school had been great fun and not too difficult but, Cornell was another matter.  I figured everyone there was smarter and better prepared than me.  I had to work my ass off to catch up and survive academically.  It was also necessary to work for my food since it became clear early on that this college thing would be a self-financed deal.  On top of all that I had no idea what I really wanted to do with my life.  In short, I was a confused young man.  I quit my job two weeks before the end of the term to study for my finals.  My roommate had flunked out already and I knew he was a Hell of a lot smarter than me.  (You know it’s true Laddie).  Of course, that cut off my meals and being broke I subsisted on wheat germ mixed with sugar that I stole from the cafeteria… and lots of coffee.

Returning to Bay View I found out that my Mother had run off with the guy who would become husband #3 of an eventual four.  My stepfather had become bitter and more ornery than usual over this turn of events and I found it impossible to live with him.  So I spent the summer with my good friend Bill living in his family’s cottage on Lake Erie.  We both worked at a nearby beach as lifeguards and spent the summer in a blissful bachelor existence.  During the long evenings in the beach house I discovered that Bill, who was in his second year at Kent State, felt as disillusioned with college and vague about his future as me.  Over the course of the summer we agreed that we should both take a leave of absence from college and hitch hike around the country.  Our goal was (at least mine) to “grow up” and see what the world had to offer.  The universal opinion on this plan seemed to be that we were “ruining our lives.”  We went anyway.

When the beach closed for the summer we each shouldered a Navy sea bag and headed south.  To make good our escape and get clear of Buffalo, we took a bus to Pittsburgh.  From there we hitched in the rain to Washington, DC.

After a night in a cheap motel we spent 15 hours the next day going 300 miles.  Following a pleasant night in Lucy Nathan’s Tourist Home in Raleigh, ten minutes of hitching got us a 700 mile ride to Leesburg, FL where things once again went dead.  It was the middle of the night with no one on the road.  When the cops came by the third time, they invited us to sleep in their brand new jail.  We accepted.  I must say I was a little nervous when they took our ID and locked us in, and I was relieved when they let us out in the morning.  Not as nice as Lucy’s but, certainly better than sleeping in the ditch with the snakes.  The next day several rides took us to Miami.
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In hitch hiking you never know what the day will bring.  Often you can stand on a likely spot for hours with no luck.  Or, you will get rides of short distances and get dropped off in the middle of nowhere.  And then suddenly you will catch a ride of hundreds of miles with someone who is going exactly where you want to go. It’s totally random.
In Miami Bill and I set up housekeeping in a one room apartment near the Orange Bowl and started looking for work and sailboats to sign on as crew.  At a local shipyard we found that we could sign on as crew and do the dirty work that the union guys did not want to do anyway.  We spent our days sweating in the sun chipping and painting anchor chain and doing other grunt work.  It paid the rent and kept us in beer.  We found an opportunity to get on the yacht “Holiday” owned by the Squirt Company.  That chance kept moving around and getting delayed so, (impatient me) signed on with the “Brigantine Yankee”.  Bill waited it out for months but finally got to make some great trips on the “Holiday” that took him all through the Caribbean, up the coast to Acapulco and on to California. We both got what we were looking for, I guess.
I made two hitching expeditions to Rollins College in Orlando where my good friend Pete was a student.  On my second visit we drove back to Buffalo together for Christmas.  The Yankee was undergoing renovations below decks at the time.
Returning to Miami I rejoined the Yankee and stayed until early April.  I knew it was time to try to earn some money if I wanted to go back to school, so the brilliant plan was to hitch hike to Alaska where, I had read, opportunities to make big bucks abounded.  I had joined up on this leg of the adventure with a fellow named, Rip Bliss who had been a fellow deck hand on the Yankee.  The trip would be complicated by the fact that Rip had no money.  Thus, our sleeping arrangements on the long jaunt from Miami to Chicago and LA were on various occasions:  An orange grove; a tomato hot house; a railway car and the odd field.  We also relied on the kindness of strangers.  

We often got picked up by religious types and were invited to their services.  We always accepted for the pitch usually included a meal.  I attended in my year of travels; Lutheran, Methodist, Catholic, Mormon and even Jewish services.  I regarded it as a broadening of my understanding of my fellow man.
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Our goal was to hitch hike the length of Route 66 which stretched from Chicago to Los Angeles.  As usual we had good and bad luck and we met some interesting characters along the way.  One day after spending all night trying to get out of Springfield, MO (and searched by cops three different times) we got a ride from a guy who owned a cave…. as in tourist attraction cavern.  He gave us a free tour of the caverns lunch and a ride back to Rt. 66.  We struggled to get to Tulsa and then got a long ride to Ft. Sumner, NM where we slept in a railroad car.  

The next day we got picked up immediately by a WAC (as in female Army) who took us all the way to Rip’s home in Carpinteria, CA. – 1000 miles or so.  Now every guy who’s ever stood by the side of the road with his thumb out has fantasized about being picked up by a sexy female.  Our female did not inspire lustful thoughts. She did, however, stop every 100 miles or so and buy another six-pack.
After a couple of days of food and rest at Rip’s home we continued our journey up to Seattle and arrived (both of us at this point) pretty much broke.  The Alaska thing would have to wait.  Funny thing…  I never have made it up there.  We needed jobs quickly and after getting turned down by the smoke jumpers, hooked on with the Forest Service with their Pine Shoot Moth Survey.  The purpose: To discover the extent of infestation of the pine shoot moth in the ornamental shrubs in various communities in Western Washington.  They were worried that these critters would get into the commercial timber and raise Hell.  
This job had one advantage and one major drawback, the latter being, we would not get our first paycheck for a month.  The advantage was we would be paid per diem while we traveled around the state.  At least we would eat and have a place to sleep.  This worked fine for a couple of weeks until they discovered I had one semester of Entomology and other science courses.  I got yanked off the road and brought in to run the lab and manage the office.  I also got to live in the office located in an abandoned lumber warehouse.  I slept on a half-couch with my feet propped up on a folding chair. I kept milk cold by plugging the bathroom sink and running the water slowly. I salvaged a hot plate and a couple of pans and for amusement trapped mice. 
I was desperately low on cash when I got a well-traveled letter from Jack Alexander, a guy who had come aboard the Yankee as a guest.  He wanted me to call him about a job.  When I called, he offered to send me a round trip plane ticket to Minnesota to look it over.  I was suspicious.  It sounded too good to be true.  On the other hand, what did I have to lose?  Besides, I had never been on a commercial flight and, I was extremely tired of my own meager meal plan.  I had never experienced luxury like that jet flight to Minneapolis and back!  The job involved ostensibly working for the family owned Cold Spring Granite Company, then the largest in the World.  But, the real job was playing big brother to his young sons, aged 13 and 9. His wife was a wheelchair bound MS patient and he traveled all the time.  He wanted me to spend the summer with the boys at their lake cottage and teach them swimming, sailing, gymnastics and anything else constructive I could think of.  The money, with food and lodging included, would be generous enough to enable me to go back to Cornell.  It was a summer job that I would do for the next three summers and always included an extensive canoe trip into the border wilderness between Manitoba and Ontario at the beginning of each summer.
That first year as the summer wound down Bill hitch-hiked up from Southern California and we spent a few days at the lake before hitching together back to Buffalo.  Thus we finished the trip as we had begun a year before…. Standing together at the side of the road with our thumbs out.  

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Pictures of the Yankee

Hello! It’s your blog “mistress” here! I found some pictures of the Yankee and thought I would share them here.

In 1963, the Yankee ran aground in the Cook Islands, off the coast of Rarotonga. Here is what she looked like within months of that accident.


This photo, while not dated, is clearly some years later.


Here’s what she looked like around 1989. This is the most recent photo I could find. Someday I’d like to visit the Cook Islands to see if I could take more pictures, and just experience the beauty and culture of this place.

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Time for Humor?

With the stock market sliding downward like a flushed toilet and the Chicken Littles crying financial Armageddon if the US Congress fails to enact a $700 billion “rescue” package, this might be an excellent time to try to find something to chuckle about. Herewith a few tales to try to cheer you up.

“How Do You Know He’s a King?”
In one of my early trips into the Bahamas as a deckhand aboard the Brigantine Yankee, we had one guest who set a new standard for obnoxiousness. Nothing pleased him and he complained in a loud voice about everything. He refused to follow any instructions from either the Captain or crew.

The “heads” on Yankee were about the size of a telephone booth and the marine toilets operated by a long pump handle that flushed the bowl out to sea. We had carefully instructed the passengers on the use of this balky equipment and warned them of their tendency to clog. We cautioned them not to throw anything into them, not to over pump and to contact a crewmember if they had a problem.

One afternoon as I strolled down the passageway I heard someone in one of the heads furiously pumping the toilet. It took only a few pumps to do the job and this guy (I could hear him muttering inside the tiny space) was levering the handle with determination. Uh oh, I thought.

Sure enough. Just as I was about to shout to the guy to stop pumping it backfired with a resounding blast. It sounded like a hand grenade had gone off in the enclosed space.

All went quiet and I became concerned. Then the door swung open slowly and, like a scene from a “Roadrunner” cartoon, out stepped our resident asshole. He was covered from head to toe with little bits of shit and toilet paper. He had it on all sides and even the top of his head, as the force of the blast had ricocheted off the walls and ceiling. Only the soles of his shoes were spared. With his appearance and the stunned look on his face, I had only one possible reaction—I fell down laughing.


A Bunch of Blarney

In the 80s when our company represented the POS equipment manufacturer, VeriFone, I traveled frequently to San Francisco for meetings. On one trip after meeting with the sales managers we all headed out for dinner together. Maybe we had a few cocktails. It was a balmy evening so we all decided to walk back to the hotel. On the way I paused at the many beautiful buildings, put my nose up next to the granite facades and announced to my friends the identity of that particular granite. They all knew that I had been in the marble and granite business for 15 years before getting into the credit card market. I would sniff a wall of granite and announce, “Ah yes, this is Carnelian granite from South Dakota,” or “this is Balmoral from South America.”

This supposed skill in identifying the source of granites from their smell particularly impressed one of the young woman sales managers. “You can actually tell the difference from the smell?” she asked.

“Yes,” I replied, “It’s like wine taking the minerals and characteristics of the soil in which it’s grown.” We proceed down the street with her sniffing the walls along with me. She was not having much luck in discerning the difference, but I assured her it was an acquired skill.

We all headed home and I forgot about the whole thing. Then several months later, I happened to be talking on the phone to same gal early one morning. She was describing her vacation to Mexico and I only half listening as I sipped my morning coffee. She said, “I bought one of those marble chess boards down there—you know, with the green and white marble squares? You’ll have to sniff it for me and tell me what kind of marble it is.”

Well, had I been more alert that morning I might not have given away the game. As it was, I did a spit gag with my coffee and tried to choke back my laugh. Didn’t work. “You son-of-a-bitch”, she said and hung up. At the next sales meeting she tried to get someone else to fall for it by asking me to sniff the granite coffee table. Sadly for her, they were skeptical.


Orange You Glad I Asked?

For my 50th birthday I got an unwelcome gift…. Adult Onset Diabetes. The tiny islet cells in my pancreas suddenly decided to quit making insulin. I had to go directly to the needle and injecting insulin. My doctor, a morose and humorless guy, sent me off to the hospital where a plus sized diabetes nurse trained me on how to properly load a needle and inject it. The latter skill we perfected by sticking the needle in and pumping it into an orange.

Insulin can be dangerous if you take too much, so when starting out doctors are naturally cautious in working you up to the appropriate dosage. I had been going along for several weeks taking the prescribed amount and plotting the results of my blood sugars on a graph on my computer. (No doubt this comes as a surprise for many— that I could actually do that on a computer, I mean). My blood sugars were still running way too high and it was obvious that I needed to take more insulin. I decided to fax my graph to my trusty doctor.

As I mentioned, my doc had zero sense of humor and later retired from medicine because of severe depression. I had never seen the poor man smile. I faxed the blood sugar results to him with a note attached. It went like this:

Dear Dr. Imsey,

Things do not seem to be working out as you can see by the attached graph. I have been injecting the insulin into the orange for the last couple of weeks with poor results. Should I eat the orange?


He called me for an immediate appointment and when I walked in he actually had a smile on his face.

I hope you do too.


Filed under Diabetes, Dick, Granite, Yankee

My Captain…. Once Again

Those of you who know me likely suspected that I lacked the computer skills to set up this blog. You would have been correct and, if you doubted that I actually knew how to post these entries or amend them, you would also be right. Daughter Karen, to whom I have been sending my scribblings for a while, kept suggesting that I start a blog. I, of course, kept saying, “Yeah, yeah.” And did nothing.

So she created the thing. Now when I send something to her, she posts it and adds any pictures she deems appropriate from her collection or mine. She is my “blogmaster”. There, I feel better having confessed. And, thanks Karen.

(You’re welcome!)
(Note: Read “My Captain” 12 Nov 2007, before continuing)
When I sent her the “My Captain” piece she did some research on the Internet concerning the Brigantine Yankee and Captain Kimberly. She discovered that Cap was alive and well and living in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. After tracking down his address and phone number I vowed to go and see him when Loi and I visited Florida to spend some time with our friends Pete and Shirley. We are in the midst of that expedition as I write this.

This week, after a visit to the UDT/SEAL Museum in Ft. Pierce and a stop in Vero Beach to spend some time with a mutual high school pal, we made the jaunt up to see the Skipper. He’s 87 or 88 now (he could not be certain which) and living in a group home with six other folks. It’s a good set up. He’s got his own large bedroom and private bath and is allowed to have his aging dog, Lucky, with him. His room is filled with memorabilia from his decades at sea including several models of square-rigged ships he’s building. The place is located right on the river front where it joins the ocean so he’s not far from the salt water where he’s spent his entire adult life.
I would like to think that he remembered me after 46+ years, but I don’t think so. Hundreds of eager young deck hands must have sailed under him over the years and a lot of water has passed beneath his keel since then. We talked about the Yankee, Frank the foul tempered but brilliant cook and Mel the First Mate from Marblehead. He described the around the World trip he took on her and how he met his wife Gloria aboard and married her when the Yankee reached Tahiti. Sadly, his wife died two years ago.
For reasons he did not explain, he left the Yankee mid-way through the trip and several subsequent captains failed to bring her home. She was eventually blown on to a reef in the South Pacific and destroyed. Cap was obviously saddened by that turn of events for he loved the Yankee. “She was a fine ship,” he said. As I have said in the past, any praise from Cap is high praise.

The Skipper explained how he and his wife acquired a ketch and began running charters out of St. Thomas. They were looking for a square-rigged ship but costs and availability were problems. Then luck smiled on them. A film company had rigged a Baltic schooner as a “pure Brigantine” for the film “Hawaii”. Once the filming was complete they just wanted to get rid of it. Being in the right place at the right time Cap and his wife were able to purchase the ship for the ridiculous price of $30,000. They named her Romance and began twenty-five years of deep-water charters. They did two circum-navigations of the World and several trips into the South Pacific, as well as charters in the Bahamas. The hundreds of people who sailed with the Kimberlys maintain an association with get togethers and a website. Clearly, the Kimberlys were loved by many. Sadly, the Romance is also at the bottom of the sea. She was heavily damaged while at anchor in the Bahamas and had to be scuttled. I believe the Kimberlys had left the ship by that time and others owned it.

After an hour and a half of conversation it was dinnertime at the home and time for us to leave. He walked us to the car and shook my hand in his claw like grip. He clearly relished having visitors and hated to see us go. He obviously loved talking sailing and ships. At times he seemed lucid and occasionally a little vague as I guess you would expect of someone who is 87, or maybe 88, years old. But, to me he was the same old Captain and had changed far less than the fresh faced 18 year old that had come aboard his ship in 1960.
Smooth sailin’, Skipper. And, thanks.

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My Captain

The last time I saw him I was standing at the end of a lonely pier watching him disappear over the horizon. Tears were streaming down my cheeks. I didn’t cry easily in those days, unlike now, some 45 years later. He wasn’t my father, or necessarily a father figure. He was my Captain and was always addressed as such. Sure, I called him “Cap” and “Skipper” sometimes, but never Art or Mr. Kimberly.

Cap, a Marble Head, MA native, was short and slight, the wiry sort, and even in his early 40s could scoot up the rigging like a frightened monkey. He had unusually smooth skin on his face, deeply tanned that gave him the complexion of a polished western saddle. One blue eye sparkled and could drill a hole in you. The other one, the glass one, never looked quite right. The eye, his face and his lack of a sense of smell or taste were the result of a runaway winch on a sailboat that tore half his face away. That little adventure cost him his Masters License and job as an oil tanker captain. The only job he could get was captain of a charter boat… with foreign registry, of course.

If he ever regretted it, he never said so. On the other hand, he never said much of anything unless he was giving orders or had had a couple of rum swizzles, a vile concoction he drank because he could nearly taste it. We usually stood the 4 to 8 watches together. Coming on deck for the morning watch, I would take the wheel and sail the Yankee through the darkness while he paced the deck quietly humming and singing to himself in his gravelly voice. In foul weather or beneath a brilliant star filled sky, he never varied his rolling gait up and down the slick teak deck. Unless it was something to do with the course or trim of the sails, we hardly ever spoke.

As dawn approached the Skipper would take the wheel while I dashed forward to the galley to grab a cup of Frank’s thick coffee. Quickly back on deck, I would retake the helm while the Captain went below to shave and clean up. For the next hour I would have the Old Girl to myself. Keeping the sails full and drawing, surging through the waves, she responded quickly to light touches on the big spoked wheel. I would stand silently awed by the magnificent kaleidoscope of the Caribbean dawn. With a fine ship beneath my bare feet, a strong coffee near at hand and a beautiful day aborning, all was right with my World.

The Yankee had started life before World War I as a North Sea pilot schooner named Loodschooner 4. Steel hulled and nearly 100’ long; she sported high bulwarks and a raked clipper bow, a perfect design for the nasty weather of the North Sea. Irvin Johnson of National Geographic fame acquired the ship in 1932 and renamed her Yankee. He refitted her foremast with yardarms in a classic Brigantine rig making her a true “square rigger”. After five circumnavigations of the globe, Johnson sold her to Mike Burke of Miami Beach in 1959. Mike planned to use Yankee and her sister ship, the schooner Polynesia, on 10-14 day “barefoot cruises” in the Bahamas.

I signed on the Brigantine Yankee in 1960 as an 18-year-old deckhand following my freshman year at Cornell. It was my year off to grow up and earn some money to return. I came with little real sailing experience but it was clear I wanted to learn and was willing to work. So Cap taught me. First I learned the skills of a deck hand; the names of the sails, their parts and the various lines that control them, rigging, splicing and helmsmanship. Then, he showed me how to be a topmast man. How to safely climb the rigging, work on the footropes and set and stow the topsails.

As you might expect, the Skipper had an aversion to winches. The only winch on board was the anchor windlass. Everything else was hoisted and hauled by hand. Each deck hand was expected to find the proper line immediately in the pitch dark. No flashlights either, thank you. It was no easy task. The foot of each mast was a maze of lines; clew lines, buntlines, sheets, braces, downhauls and halyards. The safety of the ship depended on quick reaction for the squalls in the Caribbean came quickly and with ferocity. We were often roused from our bunks with the cry of “All Hands on Deck!” Rushing topside we would clew up the topsails, scamper up the rigging and hurry out on the footropes to lash the flapping sails to the yardarms. It was hard and dangerous work, unsuited for the faint of heart, especially agoraphobics.

Turnover was high on Mike Burke’s Windjammer Cruises ships. At $2.00 per day, a bunk and board plus $10 or so a week in tips it was a lot of work for what amounted to beer money in Nassau. But, I loved it. Whether sailing quietly at night with stars blazing overhead and phosphorescent waves curling off the bow or perched high in the rigging under a brilliant sky, sails full and the white hull charging through the waves like a spurred stallion beneath me, I ate it up.

The weeks passed quickly and Cap discovered I had other useful skills. When anchored, I’d swim off to a reef and spear a grouper or two for Frank, our perpetually cranky cook. Before long, I became the only person on the ship besides the Captain who dared cross the threshold of Frank’s galley when I found places where I could gig enough lobsters to feed both passengers and crew. I started taking guests out on snorkel and SCUBA trips when we visited various islands on our way to and from Nassau. “Damned expeditionists”, Cap called them, although he was clearly pleased for the Yankee had no organized activities for them.

Mike Burke was starting to talk about organizing an around the world trip for the Yankee. The previous owner, Irving Johnson had done it five times, all with hand picked college students. Burke was looking for paying customers and Cap was worried that the group that showed up with the coin might not have many hearty sailors among them. So, Cap started grooming me to go as First Mate. He started teaching me piloting, celestial navigation and the rules of the road. At dawn and dusk we’d be out on deck, sextants in hand, shooting stars and plotting our results. At noon we’d take our sun shots. When we started getting pretty much the same positions on the chart, he would simply nod in approval. Not big on praise was Cap. In fact, I can only remember one time that he gave me a real compliment.

On that day the Yankee and Polynesia happened to end up at the same anchorage off Gt. Abaco Island and we were both ferrying guests back and forth to the shore. Art, Frank’s assistant, and I were returning to the Yankee empty after dropping off a load of guests. A straight line back to the two ships would take you across a shallow sand bar where the waves were breaking now that the tide was going out. The coxswain of Poly’s launch had foolishly tried the direct route over the bar fully loaded and had swamped the boat dumping all the passengers in the drink. They were hanging onto the boat as it bumped and dragged on the bar while the waves washed over them. To pick up the guests who had already been in the water awhile without swamping our own launch would be tricky. I had Art ready the anchor of our double-ended launch, slid past them, dropped the anchor and backed down until we were abeam of the floundering guests. We carefully took them aboard and cautiously worked our way through the surf-like waves and off the bar. We left to Poly’s crew the unpleasant task of recovering their own damn launch and coxswain. After we dropped off the wet but happy guests at the Polynesia and returned to the Yankee Cap said, “Nice piece of seamanship, Dick”. I was stunned, as if I had just been awarded the Presidential Citation.

I learned a lot more than knots and seamanship from My Captain… like leadership. He demanded much of his crew, but he worked as hard as any one of us. Gruff and taciturn, he none-the-less looked after us, taking money out of his own pocket to see that we were adequately fed in port.

On one trip he taught me a lesson in courage. We were trying to beat a hurricane back to Miami and as we crossed the Gulf Stream during the night, were losing the race. With only the staysails set we were bombing along before the wind, solid waves coming over the high bow and sweeping the deck from bow to stern. Cap and I spent the night using our combined strength at the wheel to keep the Yankee on course while the water swirled aggressively around our legs. The guests and crew hunkered below with hatches battened. He remained calm and controlled even when we seemed on the verge of broaching and rolling her over. As the dawn broke grey and ugly and the rain washed the crusted salt from our eyes and ears, I could finally see the enormous waves that towered over our stern and threatened to “poop” us. If Cap was at all worried, he never showed it.

In the end, after nearly six months, I decided to leave the Yankee. Burke didn’t want to pay me much of anything for the round the world trip… not enough to go back to Cornell anyway, and, I feared, if I stayed away two years, I might never go back. On my final trip we dropped off the guests at Port Everglades. I was leaving the ship there while Cap and the rest of the crew sailed her back to Miami Beach. Cap called me down to his cabin when they were ready to get underway. He poured each of us a drink of the powerful rum we bought for $2.60 a case in Freeport and said, “Well, what are you going to do now?” He interrupted my rambling explanation which amounted to “Hitch hike to California” with “I guess you really don’t know do you?’’ He said, “I hope you figure it out.” We finished our drinks, shook, said our “good lucks” and I went over the side to tend the dock lines as they shoved off.

The slip where Yankee was tied up was not much wider than she was long and they needed to turn a 180 to get out of there. It would be a tight maneuver using the engine and spring lines. Instead he did the near impossible. Using the sails alone he backed the jibs and then the forestay- sail swinging her around as neat as you please. Now THAT was a real piece of seamanship! Normally Cap would have motored out of the harbor before hoisting the sails. But, as I tossed off the last line, he waved and started shouting orders. Before he passed the bell buoy he had every sail on her full and shining like gold in the slanting sunlight of evening. It was a thing of beauty. I stood there on the pier alone, duffle at my feet without another soul around to see it. I knew that he did it as a parting gift to me. It was a gift without price.


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