One last sail

Jul 24, 2014 by James in Dena's Blog Posts, James' Blog, Life Under Sail

After a month of West Marine wage slavery, interviews upon interviews at Whole Foods and living on a mooring at the Wessagussett Y.C. I (James) finally got the call from Whole Foods…

“Congratulations Mr. Lane, we’d like to offer you the job of lead-receiver at the Brighton, Whole Foods Market! Now, let’s talk about money and when you can start…”

My answer to them about cash was so far out of their range that all I got was abject silence, followed by a clearing of the throat and… “The pay scale in Boston is a little different from that in Manhattan.”

So we dickered. They said one number that almost hurt my feelings, I said another that made them gulp then I sat down and wrote a long email to the manager (or rather, Team Lead) of the store and finally we settled on a number that was not quite in the middle.

I took the job.


While James was negotiating like a fucking pro, I was booking my West Coast tour for Blue Water Dreams.  I’ve contacted dozens of potential venues (literally, and not in that modern sense where literal means figurative) for readings and workshops.  I have a pretty full schedule now, about as full as I’m comfortable making it.  There are only a few days of chill between flying to Seattle and then flying back from San Francisco.

I’m confirmed at Good Vibes, for a reading and workshop on consecutive nights (San Francisco), the Gay Romance Northwest Meet-up (which started it all, Seattle), Orca Books (Olympia), Blow Salon (Berkeley), the Gender Alliance of the South Sound (Tacoma), the Ingersoll Center (Seattle, for a visit), and a radio interview for People You Should Know.  I have tentatives at Art of Loving (Vancouver, BC), Gender Justice League (Seattle), a social justice book club by my friend Molly (Seattle), and In Other Words (Portland).

Hell yeah!

I’ve also written a few articles I’m going to pitch to Good Old Boat and other marine magazines.  The photo of James, above, is fruit of one of those efforts.

All in all, we’ve both gotten a ton of shit done since leaving Sheepshead Bay.  Vacation, hard work, long bike rides, and good progress.  Now we’re entering a new phase.

Throw off the lines!  Goodbye, Ratner mooring ball!

The Boston Harbor, including all the islands, isn’t as big as I thought it was.  We looped around Peddocks Island and sailed in good company across the Nantasket Roads.


We came up close on Georges Island before gybing at Gallops Island.  We headed northwest through the Nubble Channel between Long Island and Nixes Mate (still loving these names).  Crossing the President Roads brought us up the southwest side of Deep Island.

Once we had enough of the flats off Point Shirley, we tacked back across President Roads to the west of Spectacle Island.  Rounding the south end, we tacked three times between Moon Head and the Sculpin Ledge.  Not everyone has managed as gracefully as we did.


All this travel took only five hours, so we had a lovely evening anchored off Long Island in the Sculpin Ledge Channel.  I love anchoring in places other than the sanctioned anchorages.  We did our mariner’s duty by putting up the anchor ball and setting up the dark-to-dawn light.

Our trip into Boston Harbor proper was marked by furor.  A huge cargo ship was being tugged into the Mystic River and it was escorted by four local harbor police, two 50-cal Coast Guard gun boats, and a helicopter.  The cops harried the other boaters to keep them out of the way, but we were well outside the channel and attracted no attention.

We are now hook down between Piers Point Park and the Boston Harbor Shipyard.  Another perfect surgical anchoring experience, although setting the stern anchor was a bit of a calamity…nothing we couldn’t handle.  We’re still waffling on heading a little further out.  We have never anchored this close to land.  At low tide, we’re in 24 feet of water, but it still appears that we’re about to touch the hard stuff.


The row to the shipyard is short, and our relationship to them is uncertain.  We talked to a couple ladies in the office and neither gave a definite yes or no on using them as a dinghy dock.  We’ll just keep doing it until we hear otherwise.  They did give us the shower code, so it feels more welcoming than not.


A walk, ferry ride, another walk, and a 20-mile bike ride got our bikes to East Boston from North Weymouth.  We’re good to go and ready to explore the town.

“…Life is but a dream.”

Jul 11, 2014 by James in James' Blog


I don’t want to go back to work selling over priced marine hardware to power boaters who just don’t know how to do anything on a boat but work the throttle… But that’s what I’m doing, so I get in the little boat, I throw off the lines and I row.

I row away from our beautiful old sailboat. She looks a little less proud with her little silver hat (a collapsible sun shade that really was done working last year but, it does shade the sun), her light streaks of orange rolling down her topsides, (proof of a long overdue rebuild of her toe rails) and the big ugly mooring ball that ties her to the earth (a not so subtle reminder that she has to stay put for a while so the humans that live aboard her can pay for their food), but she’s beautiful and strong.

As I row in the direction of the dock at the Wessagussett Y.C. I hear a faint sound of children singing an old familiar tune, a song that anyone that speaks the English language has heard at least once in their lives.

Row, Row, Row your boat, gently down the stream.

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily

Life, is but a dream.

Two thing suddenly occur to me at the very same instant…

1) Their singing to me!

2) That song is so Zen that it’s almost perfect in it’s elegant philosophy. As the layers were added on buy another chorus, and another, and another the truth of my life became clearer and clearer.

I am row, row, rowing my boat through my insignificant little dream, and I am incredibly happy…

They were singing to me!


Wessagussett Y.C.

Jun 22, 2014 by James in James' Blog