Thursday, November 17, 2011


During college, I occasionally sailed out of Boston with one of the school deans.  On one heavy-weathered autumn day, we were joined by Plum.  The seas were battering us soundly somewhere near Calf Island while I was at the helm, Plum at the main sheet, and the dean fussing around on deck and below.  I remember the two of us casually eating sandwiches (despite the weather) and generally joking around while the wind and seas tossed the 30-footer (the dean having just donned his yellow foulies while below).  When the dean went to the leeward rail to ease the jib sheet, Plum and I were still too self-absorbed with our own humor to ease the main and bear away, and the entire rail went awash, dean and all.  He held fast to the sheet, but he was thoroughly baptized with green sea, and the goofing off suddenly stopped.  Like my younger brother, Plum was always an excellent and steady helmsman, but when we got wrapped up in our own dumb antics, all bets were off.

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