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Sunday, July 23, 2017

(6 ) SALLY HUNG ON WITH A LOOK REMINISCENT OF HORSES IN BURNING BARNS.

      Had a drink on the Yacht Club terrace with Thaxters, decided it would be fun to invite Alden and Florence to nest with us in Falmouth tomorrow.  I talked to Flo, who said she’d relay the message to Alden.
     Early cocktails, early supper, 9:30 bed.  Unbelievable.
Friday, August 2, 1957, Nantucket
     Had our regular a.m. plunge at 8:30.  Jayne and Ed had a stimulating argument about the temperature of the water.  Jayne: “I think the water’s colder today.”  Ed: “No, it isn’t.”  Jayne: “Yes it is.”  Ed: “No, no, no, no, no!”
     Blake settled the impasse with one of his more profound pronouncements: “The reason the water feels colder today is because the temperature is lower.”
     Then Blake dove in.  With a shocked roar, he rose out of the water so high I thought he was standing on a reef.  “It’s cold!” he bellowed indignantly.
     Jayne took movies of Blake doing some of the water stunts he learned in Europe.  The stunt from Germany is to raise one foot out of the water.  The stunt from France is exactly the same, only you raise the foot a little higher. In France, he explained, they do everything to extremes.
     Played tennis.  Left for Falmouth at 12:30.  Beautiful trip across, weather perfect.  Arrived 4:15, picked up a mooring opposite Falmouth Marina Railways (Matthews distributor for N.E.).  Roy Whisnand cruised into the harbor five minutes later.  Told us he was going to Hadley’s Harbor for the night.  
     “Stay here and play with us and the Remicks.” 
     “Isn’t Ray going to be in Hadley’s Harbor?” asked Roy. We heard this question with a sinking feeling.  Could we have misunderstood Ray?  No, we had all heard him say Falmouth on Friday, Hadley’s Harbor Saturday.
     “If that blockhead has fouled this up. . . .” Ed said fondly.
     Roy went on his way.  AT 5:15 Ray steamed in.
     Had cocktails aboard the Witch-Way with Remicks, Tosis, Pattysons.  Rowed back to the Happy Days around 7:30 to dress for dinner.  Once we were all ashore, Ray called a couple of cabs and we drove to the New Coonamessett Inn.  Everyone autographed Ed’s new Captain’s cap, then stamped on it and rubbed dirt into it to make it look properly weathered. 
NEW CAP, AUTOGRAPHED AND STAMPED ON

      Returned to the Witch-Way for cordials.  Blake piloted the skiff  “home,” maneuvering so slowly and cautiously that it took us twenty minutes to go a hundred yards.  Several boat lengths from the Happy Days he cut the motors so we could “drift down on her.” This cost us another twenty minutes, especially since Jayne playfully pushed us away whenever we got near the boat.  Our captain was irked.
Saturday, August 3, 1957, Nantucket to Falmouth
     Slept late this morning, breakfasted on scraps remaining in icebox, had to split eight ounces of milk three ways.  (Blake nobly abstained.)  It was obvious that a trip to the market was in order.  We chugged over to the Witch-Way.  Dottie and Ray decided to come ashore with us for the exercise.  We asked a man how to get to the village and he kindly offered to drive us there.  Our bundles were so heavy, we took a cab back to the harbor.  Our exercise for the day was mainly climbing in and out of cars.
      Sat around on Witch-Way waiting for electrician to finish working on Ray’s wiring.  We had hoped to meet Roy Whisnand in Hadley’s Harbor for lunch, but at noon the electrician disappeared—for lunch, we presumed—and it appeared Ray might be tied up for hours.  Thaxters and Malleys returned to the Happy Days and had sandwiches.
     Ray was set to go shortly after 2:30.  We played tag with each other across Buzzard’s Bay, arrived Marion two hours later. While Ed and Blake were attempting to drop anchor, I did a fair share of backseat piloting.  After hauling the anchor up and changing location three times, they finally settled on a spot that suited me.  Ed is now looking for a wife to suit him.  The Witch-Way pulled alongside and nested but was a little too amorous—she squeezed the stuffing out of our bumpers.  The sawdust-like insides were blown all over both boats, a pretty mess!  Blake and Ed washed down the sides with buckets of water, but we were still well stuccoed inside and out.
     We had invited the Witch-Way crowd over for cocktails.  After we all had a swim, they piled over, bearing melting trays of ice (Ray’s generator wasn’t working) and hors d’oeuvres were supplied by Gerry Tosi.  Ray started up his charcoal grill after an hour or so and Ed started his.  There was a mild bit of rivalry between them to see who could build the most efficient fire.  Ed won, but it was a Pyrrhic victory—by the the time our guests departed to eat their steak, our coals were so low that our steak wouldn’t give a sizzle.  Meanwhile Ray’s guests decided they’d like to be able to see what they were eating (no lights because of the generator trouble), and one by one they filtered back to the Happy Days.  As a matter of fact, there wasn’t much of anything working on Ray’s boat except (said Dottie) Dottie.  Ray was so jealous he kept claiming the “glaring lights” on our boat were blinding him.  He also had a lot of snide comments about our “thin, paper-thin minute steaks” as compared to their thick, juicy, tender, delicious sirloin. Ray’s sense of humor evoked roars of laughter from Ray.
     Jayne was telling the Tosis and Pattysons that her mother had married Blake’s father.
     “This is one case where the children aren’t crazy even though Jayne and Blake are `sister and `brother,’” Dottie pointed out.
     “No, in this case, it’s the parents who are crazy,” I said.  No one heard me except Ray, and he laughed so heartily I vowed I would hereafter laugh at his jokes even if I choked.
     Our guests departed after dinner, and Jayne and I did the dishes. It was only around 9:30, and we congratulated ourselves that things had broken up so early.  We were leaving Marion at 7:30 a.m. and thank goodness we would get a good night’s sleep.
    We were peacefully enjoying a nightcap when the invasion started.  One by one Ray’s guests—who were also having a nightcap and wanted to see what they were drinking— drifted over to join us and our glaring lights.  In no time at all the party was going strong again.
     At last they decided they’d better leave because we kept telling them to.  We un-nested and the Witch-Way anchored within shouting distance.
     “We’re still in pretty good shape,” I said.  “It’s only 10:30.” We were finishing our drinks when we heard a splash outside the boat. It was Gerry Tosi, out for a stroll in his skiff. He was followed by Bruce Pattyson.  Retired at 11:30.
Sunday, August 4, 1957, Marion to Cohasset
     Blake and Ed were up at 7:30 and it was anchors aweigh for Cohasset.  It poured rain off and on, ran into heavy fog as we entered the Canal.  
     "Ed should have called his dad and told him we’d be delayed another week or so because of fog,” I said to the fellows, but the thought didn’t fill them with enthusiasm.  I had a feeling that rain, fog, or hurricane, we would push through to Cohasset today.
     At the east end of the canal we stopped at a little harbor where we had arranged for the senior Thaxters to bring granddaughter Debbie and her cousin Diane.  The idea was to pick the girls up, saving Jayne the drive to Centerville in the morning.  As we were over an hour late, Jayne was concerned that the folks might have assumed we were weather-bound.  They might wait a while and then drive back to Centerville with the girls. 
     The only dock space in this harbor belonged to the government, so after looking the situation over, Ed decided to tie up beside a sailboat which in turn was tied up next to a trawler.  The people aboard the sailboat were very cooperative and friendly.  As they seemed interested in our boat, we invited them aboard while Ed and Blake went to look for the little girls.  There was no sign of the grandparents, as far as they could see.
     The boat was extremely messy and dirty.  Our hassock had been left out in the rain a week ago and had sprung a leak.  Bits of straw from last night’s busted bumper were all over the carpet.  Was that only last night?  It seems like a year ago.  If we’d known we were going to have company, we might have been inspired to do some housecleaning.  Our guests were keen about the boat in spite of her disreputable condition.  One of the fellows looked very familiar to me.  It turned out that he used to live in Newton and knew my sister.  His name was Bill Harris.  Further note comparing revealed that he was active in tennis and knew several people in common with Jayne.  The final coincidence was that their sailboat had been chartered from Tom Wiles, a Cohasset client of Blake’s.
     Ed and Blake returned, having found the family waiting over near the Government dock.  As we were casting off from the sailboat, I suddenly realized why Bill Harris looked so familiar.  He was the image of Donald O’Connor.
     We edged over to the Government dock and quickly and efficiently picked up the two little girls.  Ed was anxious to get going; small craft warnings were up, but he figured we could make it to Cohasset before the winds got too strong.  He and Debbie didn’t see eye to eye on this matter.  She jumped up and down and clapped her hands when she heard we might run into fog or rough weather.  She ran around the deckhouse crying, “I’m seasick, I’m seasick!”  Jayne distributed Dramamine, just in case.
    We did run into intermittent fog, but the Dramamine worked so well on Debbie and her cousin that they slept through the trip home.  Around noon, while Jayne was napping, I got busy gathering up laundry into pillow slips and cleaning out the ice-box.  I threw out remnants of food I thought no one would want.  I hesitated over the lettuce—honest I did, Jayne—because we were out of ice and it seemed dry and wilted.  When Jayne awoke there was just one thing in the world she wanted: a tuna fish sandwich--with lettuce.
     Arrived Cohasset shortly before 2:00. Ed said he was glad he didn’t have to rush up to the club to play a match.  “I think you do, old boy!” Blake told him.  That possibility had not occurred to Ed, and he was not happy about it.  Then it began to rain--he loved every drop.    
Saturday, July 5, 1958  Onset
     Our observer in the Predicted Log Race is Martin Lindenberg.
     Not knowing Seabird’s cruising speed, Alden estimated it at eleven knots and submitted his Predicted Log on that basis. As our usual cruising speed is 9.84 knots, we had a problem. Perhaps, though, if we got rid of as much weight as possible and then really hiked along, we could maintain an average speed of eleven knots and have a chance to make a creditable showing. Our clock and speedometer were covered with tape, as required, and at 10:30 we left the starting point. If we finished the race near 12:30, we could expect that our calculations were accurate.
     Florence and I stayed below and chatted with Mrs. Lindenberg (“Berry”). She told us she and her husband had been observers twice before, and both times the Captains had taken first place.
     Up on the flying bridge, Alden was becoming antsy as we passed boat after boat.  Were we going faster than the eleven knots estimated? By the time the skippers were convinced  we had indeed misjudged our speed, it was too late to slow down. The final results are judged by your accuracy on each leg of the trip, not on the trip as a whole. We passed the finishing point at 12:27, seven minutes early.
     Ed and I went ashore to buy groceries. On the way back, Ed stopped at the Yacht Club and mingled with other skippers and their observers long enough to decide that most of them knew even less about this Predicted Log business than he and Alden. He relayed this news, saying, “Honestly, Alden, those guys don’t know what they’re doing, I wouldn’t be surprised if we made out darn well.”
     After a brief nap and a shower, Ed and I joined the Pinkhams aboard Seabird for a couple of drinks before the clambake, which was to start at 4:30. I'd rather arrive early at my own funeral than late for a clambake, but at 4:30, Florence and I were having typical wifely difficulties in prodding our husbands in the direction of food. Alden blew for the launch, which showed up so promptly (the Pinkhams had been bribing young Dave with gifts of chocolate cake and money) that the boys said, “Pick us up on the next trip.”
     Then the Swansons arrived in their sailboat, having just finished the race, so there was more confusion and further delay. When we finally got ashore, all the benches were filled, but we could see the caterers setting up another table. Ed and Alden excused themselves, promising to be right with us. Florence and I hurried over to save places for them. This wasn’t easy, as there were a few other stragglers who kept asking if these seats were taken, and as time went by with no sign of our men, I said, “Florence, you’d better see if you can find them. Look in the bar first.”
     Florence was gone quite a while. But then she appeared and said, “They’re just coming in on the launch, they must have gone back to the boat for something.”
     The Something was Ed’s clambake tickets.
     The clams and the lobster were wonderful. Even the hot dogs, the sausages, the corn, and the boiled onions were wonderful. Even the boiled potatoes and the watermelon. Then we had clams and more clams and I wished we had room for more clams. Ken and Grace Swanson had arrived in time to help us with our tummy-stretching exercises, and it was unanimously agreed that Ken was the champion. You couldn’t see who it was behind his heap of shells.
     After the feast came the long-awaited announcement of the winners of the Predicted Log Race. Having inspected the splendid prizes, Ed wished he’d taken more time with Alden in preparing for the race. There seemed to be more prizes than there were contestants, but naturally the top winners would make off with fabulous items like a fathometer, compasses, binoculars, barometers, etc.
     The Captain who took first place had a percentage error of 1.3. Ours was 6 point something, so we took fiftieth place. Ed has never been fiftieth in any competition in his life, and it was clear from the determined glint in his eye that he never would be again.
     However, we cheered and clapped when Alden and Florence went over to pick out a prize. The forty-nine ahead of us had snapped up everything of value, so Florence selected a boat cushion and looked as pleased as if it was a complete set of nautical furniture.
Sunday, July 6, 1958, Onset to Cohasset
     Overcast, cool this morning. Left for Cohasset about 10:30. Ed asked me to take over for a while when we were going through the Canal. As we overtook other boats going in the same direction he kept saying, “Keep over, keep over, give them plenty of room!”
     “Suppose I meet a boat coming the other way?” I asked, pulling over to the middle of the canal, as ordered.
     “You can worry about that when the time comes.”
     There was a big boat ahead of us and we began to overtake it rapidly. Ed was up front getting the steady sail ready in case the weather was chunky in Cape Cod Bay. Suddenly he began waving his arms wildly in a kind of demented Morse Code, the message being, “Get the hell over to the right, idiot-girl!” The boat in front of us was coming towards us; what I thought was its wake was a bow-wave, caused by the big tanker’s heavy cargo. Ed rushed to the topside controls, while down below I relinquished the wheel, slunk to my chair, and covered my face with a magazine. People were staring at me from the other boat.
     About an hour after we left the Canal, Ed noticed one of the engines was skipping and went below to investigate. I was topside, reading my magazine, when I became aware of the acrid odor of something burning. “What’s burning?” I yelled. No answer. I peered over the side and saw smoke pouring from the deckhouse window.
     Scrambling down the ladder I found the deckhouse full of smoke and the captain groping his way around. He said he was all right, but something was wrong with the port engine, he didn’t know what. “Go on up and follow Alden,” he said. After I went up I remembered the camera and came down again with the idea of taking a few movies.
     “What’s wrong?” Ed demanded.
     “I want to take some movies. Where’s the camera?”
     “To hell with the Goddamn camera!”  But then he spotted it on the bulkhead, thrust it at me, and I hastily took a few feet of the smoke billowing through the doorway. After that I got the boat back on course but had a hard time keeping it there because the sea was pushing and hauling us in every direction except the one we wanted to go.
     Ed eventually joined me, disgusted and discouraged. “A thousand dollars worth of damage,” he said. “That’s the end of the damn boating!”
     I didn’t believe that for a minute.
     As we approached Minot’s, Ed turned the wheel over to me and went forward to fold up the steady sail. Packing it neatly into its canvas bag, he started back and dropped it overboard.
     “Shall we turn around and pick it up?” I called.
     “Yes, yes!” he snapped. “This isn’t my day!”
     To top it off, there was a skiff on our mooring. “To hell with it,” said Ed. “I’ll leave it at the dock.”
     Tied up at dock at 3:00 p.m. Vonnie was there to greet us, having seen us passing Minot’s Light from the house.
August 8, 1958, Cohasset to Gloucester
     Beautiful evening for sailing to Gloucester with the Brewers--or so it appeared. Land-lover Sally had been listening apprehensively to the weather reports. The prediction: winds up to 45-50 mph, severe thunderstorms, and hail. We left at ten minutes of six, enjoying the warm evening breeze and resolutely ignoring the lowering sky in the northwest. Except Sally, who kept peeking and shuddering. An hour later we were in the thick of a nasty squall that assaulted us with everything except hail.
     The rain pelted down, the wind howled and whipped the water into angry boiling peaks. The boat plunged and lurched through the churning gray sea and Sally, nervous even on a clear flat day within dog-paddle distance of land, hung on with a look reminiscent of horses in burning barns. Whitey was planted next to her on the couch. He irritably asked her to stop flailing her elbows and poking him but otherwise betrayed no sign of undue strain. As for me, I’ll have to admit I was scared, chiefly because the captain--when I asked him what would happen if lightning hit the boat--said briefly: “We’d all be dead.”
     Sally staggered below to get her sleeping pills, announcing she’d swallow the lot if drowning was in store. While down there, she discovered that Whitey’s tobacco pouch had spilled its contents over the lower bunk. But that was nothing compared to what happened later. Whitey had been clutching his bottle of “Impy” between his knees, waiting for the boat to steady itself long enough for him to create one of his famous Old Fashioneds. Finally he said, “To hell with it, I’ll have it on the rocks.” He had poured out one snort when this terrible thing happened. He went below for a minute, setting the Impy on the bulkhead. The boat swayed violently to one side, and crash, gurgle: Impy on the Linoleum! That was probably the most shattering thing that ever happened to Whitey.
     The storm was moving across us, and we were through the worst of it in twenty minutes, Ed claims. It seemed as if we had been wallowing around much longer than that, but like childbirth, uncomfortable experiences have a way of seeming more protracted than they really are.  The Brewers were wonderfully plucky. Of course, I was confident Whitey would keep a stiff upper lip and be a proper Bostonian right up to the end--I could see him, just before sinking for the third time, nodding graciously and saying, “Thank you for the nice cruise, too bad the weather was so iffy.” Sal didn’t complicate matters by getting hysterical, and once or twice even managed to crack a joke. 
     Arrived Gloucester 8:20, had cocktails, started charcoal fire for tenderloins. Jane Brown rowed out to greet us, unfortunately had dined earlier and couldn’t be persuaded to share the steak. Later, she had to go check on her children, but Bill arrived to take her place. Then I got so sleepy I couldn’t stay awake, so I went below for a nap. Then Jane returned to take my place.
     I revived before long and joined the party. When the Browns departed at 12:00, Sal said, “Let’s play bridge.” The game was hardly under way when Sal began nodding and trying to keep her eyes open. When she started snoring, we figured she’d lost interest and went to bed.
August 9, 1958, Gloucester to Manchester
     None of us stirred this morning until 9:30. Sal had given me two sleeping pills because I had complained at the end of the evening that I was sure Ed would keep me awake with his snoring. She had intended me to take just one pill, but I misunderstood, downed both of them, and consequently was too groggy to help Sal get breakfast.
     Had a super buffet lunch at the Club, courtesy of the Browns. Young Judy had taken the beach wagon and left the Nash (two-seater), and it was plain that six of us were not going to squeeze in.
     “Go ahead, we’ll walk,” we told the Browns. Before we got very far Bill was back with the beach wagon and we rode in style to the Brown mansion. We were provided with tennis racquets and off we went to the court next door where we had a thrilling girls-against-the-boys match. Sal and I feel we won a moral victory because we got two games. The next set we switched to husbands and wives against husbands and wives, Whitey saying in his chivalrous way: “This was fun up until now.”
     We had just finished the first game when the Browns appeared, ready for their scheduled match with a neighborhood couple. Brewers and Malleys stretched out under a tree and watched the match, which was very close and very exciting. Whitey would have dropped off to sleep if Ed hadn’t kept prodding him, claiming it wasn’t polite to sleep while your hosts were knocking themselves out on the tennis court. After a while Ed stopped prodding, and cradled his head sideways on his forearms with a drowsy “Do not disturb” look on his face. I reminded him of his lecture on politeness to Whitey (What would he do without me to remind him of these things?), and then the match ended, the Browns the losers. Jane had played only once before this summer but she must have played plenty before that--you don’t acquire form like hers just playing Parchesi. What a backhand! What a serve! What legs!
     It was now 4:30, and since Jane was expecting 25 guests at 5:00 for a cocktail party , we hurried back to the Happy Days to dress. Jane must have done some hurrying herself, but she looked serene and collected when she greeted us half an hour later, every inch the perfect hostess, platters of yummy hors d’oeuvres awaiting us on the porch. She’s either the world’s best organizer or she has a twin sister.
     The Browns’ guests were old friends of the Brewers, and since this was the third year we had met the group, they were beginning to seem like old friends of ours, too. The Lords we knew from the Badminton and Tennis Club in Boston. Also present were Alice Palmer and Bill Markel, Nancy and Reggie Smith (he of the banjo eyes when Connie wore her sexy dress with its neckline plunge to her waistline), Fay and Tom Sommers, Betty and Harold Bell.  Betty told me she and her husband had struck up a conversation with a man in San Francisco while dining at Trader Vick’s. The man heard them mention Gloucester, leaned over and asked how everything was at Eastern Point. Then he asked if by any chance they knew the Malleys. The Bells said they believed they had met us once or twice at the Browns.
      “I can’t remember the man’s name,” said Betty, “Do you know who it might be?”
      “Was it Darrell McClure?”  Well hello, small world, that’s who it was.
     We couldn’t linger at the cocktail party because we were due in Manchester at 7:00. At 6:20 we said our farewells, walked through the house to the driveway, found both the Nash and the beach wagon (and my pink sweater and white cap) missing. Jack Loud came to our aid, drove us back to the Yacht Club.
     Arrived at Manchester shortly after seven, just in time for one “shooter,” as Whitey calls it, and a superb dinner. Saw dozens of Cohassetites--the Remicks, Neers, Jordans, Pierces, Littlehales, Pattysons, Hills, Whisnands, Hunts, Thompsons, Hutsons, Walkers, etc. [It’s eerie to think that most of these lively revelers must dead by now, Dottie Remick the most recent loss.  bbm 5-16-13]
     After dinner, two or three captains thought it would be fun to cruise over to Marblehead and see the fireworks display at 9:00. Ray was bringing a mob of people on the Witch-Way and wanted us to come, but Sal and I were leery. We both had visions of being stuck on the Remicks’ boat for hours, with the party and our husbands getting out of hand.  We thought a quiet rubber or two of bridge would be just as much fun and twice as safe.
     Ed was afraid Ray would think he was chicken if he didn’t go, but he was more afraid of Sal and me. Bridge it was, and the fellows were trouncing us when suddenly we under-dogs got our first good hand of the evening and were joyfully raking in tricks. Then hark! There were voices outside, getting closer and closer. . . .
     “That’s the Malleys’ boat,” said a man’s voice.
     “Let’s ignore them, maybe they’ll go away,” said Sal.
     “Hey, Malleys!”
     “Hurry up, quick, let’s get this hand finished at least!”
     We made five hearts in the nick of time.  Bob Littlehale, Bob Jordan, and Frank Neer, all in pajamas, clambered aboard, soon to be followed by Alan Pierce. Alan had been tootling from boat to boat in style.  Having placed a lawn chair in the middle of his skiff, there he sat like a king on a throne, idly paddling here and there.
     Sally wasn't pleased about the invasion until she stopped to consider that there were six guys aboard and only two of us gals. She was so tickled that she kept nudging me and happily indicating all of these men, men, men. They were easy to talk to, being at the stage where they roared with laughter even if you said nothing funnier than, “What time is it?”
     After I said, “What time is it?” two or three more times, they stopped laughing and looked at the clock and took the hint. First the trio in pajamas departed, then Alan, carefully stepping into his gondola and arranging himself on his throne. He was full of hilarious plans for a practical joke on Ray, involving the Witch-Way’s ship-to-shore phone and ours. But as soon as he cast off we turned out the lights, locked all the doors and windows, and went to bed.
August 10, 1958, Manchester to Cohasset
     Spent most of the day nesting with Witch-Way. Dottie told us Alan had been given a nick-name, due to his nocturnal activities: “The Purple Porthole People Peeper.” Bruce Pattyson told a number of dialect stories and all of a sudden it was 2:30. Cast off from Witch-Way, headed for Cohasset. Rain had stopped, skies cleared, pleasant trip home. Arrived 4:35.
Saturday, August 23, 1958, Cohasset
     Good grief, the condition this boat gets into when the mate isn’t around to clean up. Dishes and glasses in the sink, stale food lying here and there, fishing rods strewn over the deck house. The big slob didn’t even keep up the Log.  Ed (the big slob) and Ted, Jimmy, and Richard (the little slobs) went to Provincetown without me last weekend. The reason they went without me was because I had to stay home to play in the finals of the CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP LADIES DOUBLES! Partner, Elsa Palmiter, opponents, Jayne Thaxter and Carolyn Jenks). The runners-up prizes were lovely. [I recall comforting 13-year-old Vonnie, who began to cry when Mommy lost the match, assuring her we were happy to have reached the finals. 5-16-13]
     The fellows had four tuna on the line at various times last Saturday, but they all got away. Sunday they harpooned “the world’s biggest shark,” watched it zip the line off the barrel, watched the barrel go under, never to reappear.
     Last Thursday afternoon, Ed took customer Bill Rebone for a spin, with Ray Remick along for the ride. They returned to Cohasset at 7:00, didn’t get home until after eight. Ed said he never saw anyone do such a thorough job of washing off a boat as Ray. Too bad he wasn’t that meticulous about the state of the galley. Then, of course, Bill had to see the Witch-Way, which accounts for more of the length of time I spent at home listening to my insides rumble.
     This afternoon Ed and I went out for a couple of hours. Called Jayne to wish her a happy 20th anniversary and to tell her we were off for the weekend with the children. Little does she know that the children are actually with their grandparents in Orleans, and tonight we are staging a surprise party for the Thaxters. Sally is convinced Jayne will be so surprised that she will faint.
Sunday, August 24, 1958, Cohasset
     Either the surprise party was a surprise or the Thaxters ought to be on Broadway. Almost everyone departed by 1:00, a phenomenon that left the hostess in a state bordering on shock. The comportment of our guests was so sedate that the Lowrys exclaimed: “What has happened to this town!”
     In the old days half of this crowd would have been falling through the windows by midnight. But there were old-days remnants. The Brewers and Barnards lingered until 2:30, and the guests of honor finally unglued themselves from their bar-stools at 3:00. The Secret Phrase was, “Young at Heart.” 
     Eddie, baby, how come you couldn’t remember three simple words like that?  No, it was not bewitched, bothered, and bewildered, that was two years ago.
LOUIS EATON READING THE LOG
     Met Blairs, Dusossoits, and Eatons at Yacht Club at 11:00 a.m. No sign of the Happy Days and her Skipper, but eventually he steamed around the bend, having gassed and iced up, and off we went. Our friends claim that tuna were sighted late in the afternoon, but these landlubbers wouldn’t know a seagull from a beer can unless one was handed to them. Louis read the Log and advised Betty to accidentally fall overboard so I would have something to write about. She considered the suggestion gravely, then announced no, she wouldn’t do it, the water looked too cold.                    
Arrived Cohasset 5:20.
Friday, August 29, Cohasset to Gloucester 
     Hurricane Daisy did her contrary female best to deter our Labor Day cruise with the Marshes. According to the forecast she was going to be violent, so Thursday night the Yacht Club swarmed with boat owners battening down their property. She would peak at noon, but Ed said before he left for work that he doubted the seas would calm down much before Monday.
     Daisy came and went on schedule but didn’t amount to much--Timmy was furious; and Vonnie, who had practically spent the night at the Yacht Club in order to be at the scene of the havoc, came home sputtering insults at the weather man.
     Called Ed around two, told him it didn’t look very rough to me. Well, Ed allowed, maybe we could start tomorrow around eleven. Called Marion, relayed message. At four o’clock called Ed again, told him it looked flat out there, couldn’t we at least go to Scituate? He was game, so I called Marion and she said they’d be down in an hour and a half.
     We left the harbor at 6:50. It was such a lovely evening that Ed decided to run on over to Gloucester.  Arrived Gloucester at 9:20, two and a half hours later. Warmed up the baked ham, browned the frozen potato patties, heated corn on the cob left from children’s dinner. If we’d gone to bed right after dinner it would have been the end of a perfect day--but dull.
     Ed and I had a lively little--well not argument exactly, it was more like a fight--about drinking. I Carrie-Nationed loudly, and if I’d had an axe handy, this would have been a dry weekend. Ed said he was going to divorce me, but would put off action until next Tuesday in order not to spoil the Marshes’ trip.
     Forgot to say we called the house to let the family know we’d arrived safely. Timmy came on the phone, and I went into an involved explanation about saying “over” whenever you were through speaking. “I’m through now,” I said, “and when I say `over,’ it will be your turn to talk. Over.” 
     “All right,” said Tim. There was a brief silence. “Over,” he said.
Saturday, August 30, 1958, Gloucester
     Up at nine, Marion prepared a hearty breakfast of bacon, eggs, and coffeecake. Ed was in a forgiving mood and said I could breathe easy about the divorce, he was going to give me one more chance.
     We couldn’t make up our minds whether to go ashore and then fish or fish and then go ashore. It was a case of “I want to do what everyone else wants to do,” or “You decide, you’re the Skipper,” or “You decide, you’re the guests.” Finally Ed mumbled something about going ashore, so Marion and I went below to change into our going ashore clothes. No sooner had we presented ourselves than Ed said, “Guess we’ll go fishing, this good weather might not hold.”
     Went out to the Stellwagon Ledge and found it bustling with dozens of sport fishermen. During the several hours we trolled, only one boat hauled in a fish. Listening to the ship-to-shore radio, the fellows learned that tuna had appeared in droves just outside Gloucester Harbor. So we raced back along with several other boats who had also heard the news. We spotted a school of the elusive creatures--or at least Ed and Wes did; Marion and I were busy reading. Surprising as it may seem, we didn’t hook a single one.
     Charcoal-broiled a roast-beef sized porterhouse steak, retired at 9:00.
August 31, 1958, Gloucester
     After our good night’s sleep we were up at the crack of 8:30, lured from our bunks by the aroma of frying sausages. Marion was on the job as always, preparing another sumptuous breakfast. The tolling bell which had interrupted our slumbers for several hours was not calling the faithful to church, as we thought, but clanging a monotonous warning: fog. This gave Ed the excuse he needed to postpone the fishing and read the Sunday papers.
     In addition to picking up the papers, Marion was bound we should have lobster for lunch. Wes ferried her ashore, then came back for Ed and me. As we approached the dock, I could hear the bus droning toward its final stop at Rocky Neck and urged Ed to make it snappy. I leaped ashore, raced along over a painted sign that said “Do not run,” up the gangway and out to the street. There was the bus, but where was Marion? It seemed she was standing directly across the street but I couldn’t see her because the bus was in the way, and by the time the bus started up again, Wes, Ed, and I were walking toward Gloucester. We figured Marion might have ambled along to see Mr. Wilkins’s rose garden. When we didn’t find her there, we walked back to the dock and there she was, patiently waiting for us.
     Were able to buy papers and provisions in corner store instead of waiting for next bus to Gloucester. As for the lobster, Wes had noticed a wholesale place not far from where the boat was anchored. He dropped us off and returned half an hour later with a steaming bag of hot boiled lobsters and a quart of fresh clams.           I dumped the lobsters into the sink and gasped at Wes’s extravagance--eight of them.
     “We’ll put four in the ice box and have them cold tomorrow,” I announced. 
     Marion gave me a look but said nothing. She washed the clams and dropped them into boiling water.             We gathered in the cockpit to tackle the lobsters and after sampling the first few succulent morsels, dripping with butter, I said, “Maybe we can eat two apiece at that.”
     Marion chortled. “I was thinking the very same thing but I didn’t know how to express it tactfully. I started to say, `That cheapskate, Barbara’ . . . but that didn’t sound very polite.”
     We polished off all but half of Ed’s second lobster and all the clams.
     At 2:00, headed out to sea. It was rough, small craft warnings were up, so Ed decided we’d be a lot more comfortable back in the harbor, reading our books.
     Had ham sandwiches for supper, watched TV until 9:30. Called the house, Kathie was worn out but didn’t have any serious complaints. Ted, although he fails to confide where he is going, comes in at a reasonable hour every night, she said.  
     I wish I knew what the right attitude is with a sixteen-year-old boy. Should a parent insist on knowing these things, thus indicating a lack of trust--or what the teenager regards as plain nosiness? Or do we cross our fingers and hope--hope we don’t wake up some morning to read in the paper about the scandalous orgies taking place, our son a participant. Maybe by the time Tim reaches his teens, we’ll have a better take on the matter, having seen how Ted survived.
     Marion says if she had it all to do over again, she wouldn’t knock herself out worrying. I guess the majority of young people turn out all right in spite of their parents.
Monday, September 1, 1958, Gloucester to Cohasset
     The wind had gone down but the fog rolled in as we were having breakfast. It was clear again by 9:30, and Captain Malley decided we’d better head for home port while the weather was cooperative.
     10:30--correction: I thought we were heading for Cohasset but instead, we’re on our way to the Stellwagon Ledge. A bit of roll out here, but not too much.
     Marion and I picked the meat out of our remaining lobster (note that Ed’s lobster has become ours) and then settled down in the deckhouse with our books, since it was too cold to go above. A little before noon Marion and I began to hanker for that salad we had in mind for the two of us. Ed insisted he didn’t want any lunch, not one bite, but when I handed up a hamburger and a half, telling him the half was for him, he didn’t argue. In fact, he hollered down, “Where are the onions?”
     Marion prepared two huge salads: escarole, chicory, celery, and Bermuda onion, crowned with a sizeable mound of lobster meat. We were just digging in when Marion said, “Oh-oh, here comes Ed!” and covered her plate with her napkin.
     “Just as I thought!” Ed said. “Look at you! Doesn’t your conscience bother you a little bit?”
     “Not a bit,” I said, as he helped himself to some of my salad but had the good sense to stay clear of the lobster. “You said you weren’t going to have one bite of lunch.”
     Instead of saying “Touché,” he said, “Is there any more hamburg?”
     At that moment there were strangled yells from Wes up on the flying bridge. The line was zipping out from one of the reels and there was no further talk of hamburg. It was a timely interruption as we were out of hamburg and I had been girding myself to defend my lobster with my life.
     After putting the salad in a safe place (me), I helped Ed lower the dinghy to get it out of the way. The rod, which was in one of the topside sockets, was gingerly transferred to the swiveling rod-holder in the fishing chair below. Wes sat down and began reeling.
     An hour later he was still battling his tuna. The Browns cruised by and congratulated us with a hands-clenched-overhead gesture.
     “That’s one thing about Eddie” Marion said, “he’s always generous about sharing his luck with his friends. Isn’t he wonderful to let Wes be the one to catch our tuna?”     
     “Yes,” I said with a look at Wes, who was stripped to the waist and groaning and sweating profusely over his labors. He didn't look a bit lucky to me.         
     Suddenly we saw a spectacular sight in the distance: several tremendous fish leaping out of the water, then slamming down with a cascading splash of such dimensions, it was like a Fourth- of-July performance. Time after time they surged into the air, poised for a moment on their tails, then crashed into the sea again. At first we thought they were huge tuna, but Ed said they were whales. Other skippers, unencumbered by a tuna on the line off their sterns, rushed over to view the sight at closer quarters, and judging by their exchanges over the radio, the big dancing fish were indeed whales. Ed chatted with Alden, who had recently joined the fleet, told him we had a tuna on the line.
     After more than two hours of playing tug-of-war with his catch, Wes began to tire of: the tuna (obstinate beast); the way the Skipper was maneuvering the boat (all wrong); his wife (she suggested Ed take over for a while "Stay in the cabin and be quiet."); and even poor little me. All I did was keep asking him questions in order to have a complete and authentic account of this historic occasion in the Log.
     “Don’t back up!” Wes would roar at Ed. “You ruin me every time you back up!” Then, “Don’t go ahead so fast!” “Hard right rudder!” “Get the gaff!” (It sounded like “Gurbligab!”) Then, “Never mind, the &!%&#.took off again!” Zip, zip, zip, out spun inch after inch of hard-won line.
      I’ll  mention here that we used up the last of the movie film yesterday.  On something asinine, too, like the platter of boiled lobsters.
     Three hours after Wes first commenced his fight, catastrophe! A foot and a half broke off from the end of the rod, making it impossible to play the fish. Wes was too bushed to struggle with the mutilated equipment, so he passed the rod to Ed and stood for a moment, shaking with exhaustion. But he wasn’t allowed to rest for long. “Quick, Wes, hard right rudder!” and we were off again.
     The fish had developed a zig-zagging technique that required a real master at the wheel to keep the line as much as possible directly in back of our stern. Wes didn’t have the experience of handling the controls under these special circumstances, but there was someone aboard who did. I was topside (it was warm out now) reading my book and keeping my mouth shut. Both men had the same inspiration at the same time, and shouted, “Come on down and take over!”
     Since I was assigned to the job I figured I might as well try to do well at it, so first off I made one thing clear: None of this “starboard” and “port” business, it only got me mixed up. If they wanted me to turn right, just say so.
     The only time I seriously goofed was when Ed yelled, “Turn hard to the left.” I pushed up the throttle, and nothing happened except a roaring of the engines. Couldn’t figure out what was wrong until Ed yelled, “You’ve got it in neutral!”
     After a while, more bad luck. The remaining guide tore off from what was left of the rod, and Ed found himself with nothing to work with except line and reel. At the end he was reduced to pulling the fish in by hand (wearing gloves) while Wes reeled. If our quarry had made one last major effort he could have broken the line at this point; but fortunately--in our eyes, at least--he was too tuckered out to do much besides zig-zag back and forth on the gradually shortening line.
     At last the leader came into sight. Wes grabbed the gaff as Ed reached out for the wire leader.
     “Are you ready, Wes?” Ed asked tensely.
     Wes was ready all right, and the noble tuna was doomed. The men hauled the thrashing chunky creature aboard and we all set up a cheer, although I was privately feeling sorry for the fish, as I always do, even when it’s only a mackerel. Reading my mind, Ed said it wasn’t too late to let it go, if it wasn’t too badly gaffed, so we hung it in the water with a line tied around its tail. If it revived, we would free it. The poor thing was done for, though.  Alden came alongside, and Warren took pictures of Wes and Ed with their catch. Then Ed gave the fish to Alden to give to the Scituate Coastguard rather than waste it, and Alden called that he would slice off a couple of steaks for our freezer before relinquishing it to the Coastguard.
     “Never mind the steaks!” called Marion, “just see that we get copies of those snapshots!”
     On the way home we passed two schools of tuna. “I wouldn’t give you a nickel for either one,” said  Wes.
"JUST SEE THAT WE GET COPIES OF THOSE SNAPSHOTS!"

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