The Continental South

Okay so we did it, we made it to the one deadline we had to make this year. The southernmost town of the continental U.S. of (WTAF) A. We pulled it off, said goodbye to the fam and…what? What now? No, now we get to get back to the job at hand. We’re going to sell an infernal-combustion engine or two, a RIB dinghy and write a whole bunch of sell-able fiction. That’s the plan anyway. We (James and Dena) are truly inspired by the experience of our last year at sea. We’ve sailed over 2000 nautical miles this year, anchored about three hundred times and written as much inspired fiction as we believe we could have. Now all we have to do is perfect each piece. First, we gotta finish that Fatty Knees! Tursiops was far from perfect when we got her. As a matter of fact, she was a broke-dick-god after leaning against the side of a house for a few years in West Palm Beach, Florida. No, we got to completely transform this once-diminished dog into a tiny ship to be worshiped and admired! I’ve always believed that 90% of all construction is in the cleaning of the the project. The only way to truly understand a project is to clean it to perfection…then clean it again and again and again. And she was a very dirty girl. But after my mother’s Celebration of Life, we got seriously motivated to finish what we’d started on Tursiops. Our new rowing/sailing dinghy, S/V S.N. Sojourner Tursiops is almost ready for christening. There will be revels. We grinded, we fiberglassed, we sanded, we coated, we primed, and we painted until the cracks were gone and surfaces were fair to our liking. Now we get to unload the old one, the[…]

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A celebration of a life

From 1967 until 1969, my (James’) bio-fam lived in Key West Florida on the Navy base, you know, always the worst place in paradise. But the most amazing thing about my memories of Key West is how happy my mother seemed in all of those memories. Incredibly, my older sister and brother agreed with me on these now very distant memories and we (Dena, Beluga Greyfinger and I) sailed to Key West for the sole purpose of meeting them to celebrate the long life of my mother. Because Larry (my slightly older brother) is a working professor in postmodern literature, his time frame for the party was limited to spring break. Lea Anne (my slightly older sister) just retired from the last wage-slave gig she’ll ever have, so she was ready to party any time. My freaking birthday was right smack in the middle of the proposed week (which was kind of weird in a way but not too bad) and it always comes exactly one day before St. (fucking) Patrick’s Day. …kind of a big deal in Key West. So we, the Cetacea crew, and they, my sibs, made it to Key West all at the same time. If you know us you know we usually run screaming from an itinerary. But this was most definitely a special case and we made it, we all actually made it there! The first day was a travel day for them so we met up after they checked in, ate some food, did some shots at Tattoos and Scars then called it an early evening. It was light and fun and exactly what we all needed. …Larry told us he slept deeply for the first time since November 7th, 2022. The next day, my birthday, the wind was way too fresh from[…]

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What might be a night heron, perched on the bow line of the Schooner Jolly Rover

Free and Easy

We are at loose ends for the first time since the beginning of November, when James’ mom died and we started planning how to get him to her celebration of life. The trip to this moment has been a combination of harrowing and boring, quiet enjoyment of birds and fish and sadness over wildlife wounded by people. We couldn’t make it to Isla Mujeres on the Yucatan Peninsula in Quintana Roo, Mexico, to meet my dad, which was disappointing, but that gave us a lot of leisure along the way to Key West, where Larry Allen and Lea Anne were meeting us. When we last left you, dear reader, we had sailed off the anchor at Old Rhodes Key and sailed incredibly slowly to Rodriguez Key. Once there, in completely dead air, we couldn’t bring ourselves to force a motoring day when we still had more than two weeks before we needed to be in Key West. Instead, we swam (crystal clear water and maybe a blue-striped grunt [we’re still refining our fish ID skills]), cleaned the boat hull by hand (which attracted a smallish grouper that adopted us for shade!), took acid for the first time in ages (brilliant!), and enjoyed time for writing and editing. We do have something like “my side and his side” due to my preference for writing on my lap and James’ for having his computer on the table. On the fourth day, after several other boats had come and gone, we sailed off the anchor again. It’s a real joy to keep a day peaceful like that. We did nearly constant fiddling with the sails because the wind rose and fell so often. When you only have about 8 knots of wind to begin with, a lull or gust doesn’t have to be[…]

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