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Thursday, September 28, 2006


She was beautiful. It was love at first sight but, sadly, not to last. Sam and I wandered up to her to strike up a conversation but I was struck dumb, grinning stupidly from ear to ear. She stood there all alone, in the afternoon sunshine, swaying gently, a priceless pearl among the aseptic vessels that dotted the Boston Harbor. She was The Liberty Clipper and I was just waiting to board her for a short jaunt in the harbor.

As we boarded her, I walked around on her deck while Sam went below, ostensibly to check out the facilities. I couldn't keep my hands off the ropes, the seats and her woodwork. Thick hawsers held her fast to the jetty but we were soon to be off.

A quick blast on the horn and a motor started up to take us out. We put about and all passengers helped launch her, of course, I pretended to, since I was desperately hauling away at the ropes which were being fed back to me by six others in front of me. As the last man, I was trying to coil them and making a bigger mess of it.

A quick snap told us the sail had caught the wind and was pulling the clipper away, not as fast as we would have her go but fast enough. The skipper kept asking for more wind and asking us to wish for more wind and I couldn't resist telling him to feed everyone bean burritos. I guess he thought I was some kind of a smart aleck. Come to think of it, I might have been a pain.

Then along came this very pretty young woman. Deborah Samson, one of the few women to fight alongside men against the British in the American war for independence. I won't tell you her real name but those who know her will definitely know who she is. It was her last trip aboard the Liberty Clipper and she enthralled us with her narrative of her role in the war.

As we circled the harbor, just staying inside the mouth and catching glimpses of other sail boats (The Roseway was making her stately way across the harbor), Deborah launched into the Boston Tea Party exhorting volunteers to help cast the "British Tea" overboard. Of course, no one was dressed for the part since hostile Indian costumes were in short supply, but she did get two volunteers one of whom obligingly threw the crate overboard.

In case you're concerned that the water has been permanently polluted by the tea, the crate had been carefully tied to the rail of the clipper to keep it coming along until it was pulled up. Talk about oversized tea bags.

What was most enjoyable about it all was the relative calm of the clipper, the light, cool breeze that sprang up as soon as we were off and kept us company till we finally stuttered into port.

That was one of her last trips in Boston for this summer. If you want the Liberty Clipper, she's off at Key West, Florida where she'll join her sister ship, the 80-foot all wood schooner that I would have loved to have sailed on.

Sigh! Triple sigh. But, then, as someone once said, all good things must come to an end.

PS: Pictures will be posted. But I'll take some time to upload the images.


travel plaza said...

Sounds like you had a great time. Looking forward to your pictures:))

Dusty said...

Hi, thanks for dropping by. It would be an honour to have my blog linked.

couch potato said...

Thank you Dusty. I've linked you on my blog.

Dusty said...

Discontinue your blog? Never ever. Please....Post less frequently if time does not permit.