…on the Prodj

It’s the only work worth doing!


When I (James) posed that hypothesis to a woman on the docks in East Hampton, New York, she laughed at me and replied, “Motherhood is the only job worth doing!” And I, of course, replied in absolutely the worst way I could…


I laughed, deep from the gut, completely speechless.


…I no longer have that job.

Feet on the docks in Boston, I went to work proving my worth to my new crew by finding all the things wrong with my new environs, documenting them, and silently, stealthily fixing everything, making it look easy with a wink in my eye and gleaming smile on my totally manufactured mouth, all the while inspiring my new coworkers to continue to perform admirably.




And Dena, she got to to do the only work worth doing.


From my perspective she inspired and activated an entire marina to get to work, for their Indian Summer days were surely numbered!

Every single one of the two-hundred or so people living and boating off these docks had to stop and admire the work she was doing on the caprails on S/V S.N. Cetacea.

It’s no joke. I (Dena) had more conversations since starting this project than in the six months prior to arriving here.

These caprails are about four millimeters thinner than when they were installed, so the fasteners were showing all over the place (having busted their bungs). Rather than sand them smooth, losing another couple millimeters of thickness, we decided to fill the grain with West System G-Flex and go from there. Next steps: prime (2 coats) and paint (3 coats).

Meanwhile, I also got the key to being a bike-only family.

Color me thrilled! They don’t seem to be making these anymore, so I felt lucky to find one.

We also sorted a couple of odd problems…

We’re pretty confident that this was done when the fuel tank was replaced by a previous owner. The PO or their minion cut the propane solenoid switch power cables and spliced in some more so that it would lead around (rather than over) the new tank. Of course, that means 8 butt connectors in a damp environment. We fixed the butt connectors, but running unbroken cable is on the to-do list for later.

Another strange thing about this boat is that there’s no dedicated negative bus bar. Whoever put the system together used the electrical meter’s shunt instead. What a mess! And one cable fried its end meaning…yep, we fix it and now everything’s fine again.

And that whole thing gives me hives, so there will most definitely be a redesign! Of course, there’s a different large project that is now in its initial phases…

I kept what I could and dumpstered the rest.

These projects (among others!) have given me a significant boost in feeling part of the neighborhood. With James working for the marina and me working on the boat, we’re becoming established faster than ever before.

But down belowdecks Dena was turning our little whale into a winter belly we could thrive in every morning. She draped our shitty cushions with the textiles we brought back from India, turning brown into autumn with a single wonderful idea.

She starts every day freshening our home by touching, cleaning and interacting with each part of our living environment.

And from my (James’) admiring perspective, it seems only after these duties to her Cetacea can she let loose and get lost on the prodj.



  1. James and Dena!

    It’s comforting to know that your ensconced once again in getting settled! I last saw you James at West Marine in Middle River. The story of Cutter Marine is interesting if you haven’t heard it….Gary Rosenberger lost everything. Kept the C-Dory for almost 11 years and pretty much explored every gunk hole in the Bay above the Potomac. Paid $74k for the boat new in 2006 and sold it 11 years later for $50k. C-Dory has become a fetish obsession for some. How long have you owned Cetacea? Boston for the winter? Brrr! Which marina? We have sold our house and our daughter and son in law (and two grandsons) sold theirs. Then we bought an intelligently expanded place together on 8 acres up in Harford County. Multi generational living has proven perfect for current circumstances, even if there are too many Trump signs up in this part of Maryland. We do have a wake boarding boat, and Justin (a Royal Yachting Certified Ocean Master) and I are getting serious about owning a sailboat as the boys grow.

    I wish you well. If the evil, pitiful creature President doesn’t lose, we are moving. I have Brazilian citizenship that confers immigration advantages in Portugal.

  2. J.W.!!!
    It’s so good to hear from you!
    Every time I see a C-Dory out on the water I think about you! It’s a rare occasion but it always brings a smile to my face.
    I worked at Bacon Sailes in Annapolis for two years and the tragedy of Cutter Marine was relayed time and again by quite a few of my old customers from WM…wow…
    Anyway, we’ve been back to the Chesapeake quite a few times since 2012 but I have to admit, I have yet to step foot back in that store…and I’m okay with that!
    Your living situation sounds like the best of all worlds, I’m so glad you and your family were set up for the Covid- Crisis prior to our international melt down!
    I’m really pulling for you getting back on the water in a little sailboat. I recommend a Norwegian Folkboat…the greatest boat ever made!
    Oh yeah, we’ve sailed from R.I. to the Chesapeake, back up to Maine and down to Boston this year and the sad truth is…
    There are too many damn Trump signs EVERYWHERE!
    Thanks for stopping by again!
    We’ll be at The Charlestown Marina at Pier-8 through the winter and you are always welcome aboard

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