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).
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.