February 4, 2014

What a fool the man is

The Disease Called Cruising

8.  Anything to Keep the Peace

THIS FOOL thinks I’m interested in buying his boat. I can tell by the smirk on his face that he thinks I’m hooked. What a jackass.

Well, it’s true that I did have to call him three times before he’d take me out. But still. That doesn’t mean anything.  Just wanted to try her for the hell of it. I wasn’t born yesterday, you know.

“Very handy to weather,” he says.

Well, yes. Obviously. She’s a C&C 28, one of their finest. She darn well ought to be good to weather. But that doesn’t mean I want her.

Entirely the wrong kind of boat, actually. We’ve agreed on a cruiser, June and I. Something nice and safe and sedate. Lots of space below. Room to swing a cat or two. Comfortable double bed.

If he thinks I’m going to buy this low-slung, lightweight racing machine, he’s got another thought coming.

“Try her on a reach,” he says. “Pull off, and I’ll ease the sails.  See how nicely she tracks?”

Yes, okay. She fairly flies across the long, lazy swells from the east. Hardly needs a finger on the tiller. She has that thoroughbred feel. Not that it matters. No matter how much he grins, this boat is not for me.

“Pretty sheerline,” he points out.

Well, duh. Everybody at the club has mentioned that at one time or another. A delicate sheerline. Goes perfectly with that reverse transom. She is one of the last really pretty IOR racers. Now they’ve all gone fat and funny. Ugly. Not like this little darling.

We run home. He raises the spinnaker and I trim the sheet from the helm.  She holds up her head and sends spray flying, millions of tiny drops glittering in the afternoon sun.

“Like her?” God, it’s almost a leer, that silly grin of his.

“She’s okay,” I say carefully. “Not what I’m looking for, though, I’m sorry to say.”  He’s not going to catch me like that.

June is waiting at the slip when we get in.

She takes one look at me and pulls me aside. “You’re going to buy her, aren’t you?”

“What do you mean?”

“You’ve got that silly look again.”


“You’re in love. It’s written all over your face.”

“Am not.” I don’t know what she’s talking about. Sometimes she’s very obtuse.

The owner invites June below.  Good luck. No room to swing even half a cat down there.

June sticks her head up. “She’s got the sweetest little galley. Sure you don’t want to buy her?”

Maybe I was a bit harsh when I called her obtuse. Maybe I should make it up to her. “Buy her?” I say. “Well . . . if that’s what you want.”

“No, it’s your decision.”

“I guess so, if the galley makes you happy.”

Strange creatures, women.  We agree to buy a decent, solid cruiser and now suddenly she’s urging me, begging me on her knees practically, to buy this beguiling little courtesan, this seductive, curvaceous little beauty that sails like a witch.”

Well, okay, okay. I’ll go along with her. Anything to keep the peace.

I just wish that fool of an owner would stop grinning, though.

Today’s Thought
Business is like sex. When it’s good, it’s very, very good; when it’s not so good, it’s still good.
George Katona, Wall Street Journal, 9 Apr 69

If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem.

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