Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sailing partners.

One of the things I liked about having a sailboat was taking people out that simply liked sailing.

I'd take out a lot of fishermen because they made their living on powerboats and were curious about it. They were pretty good people to take because they brought their fish boat manners along with them and would help you put everything away afterwards.

Then there were a couple of guys that were more trouble than they were worth because they would hop off as soon as the boat hit the pier and leave me with a bunch of stuff to put away. While I could do all of it alone, it was easier to furl a sail with two guys.

While quite often I would go it alone, the octopus trips I made to keep the boat on a commercial fishing status (and hence a lower slip rental rate) were generally a crewed deal and it was a lot of fun that way.

I actually paid crew shares, and I was considered one of the more generous skippers because I paid 1/3 off the top. Actually it was a joke because I think the most I ever wound up paying was a tad under $10. I would cash the check I got from the cannery and meet my deckhand in the bar and pay him there publicly just for the yuks.

Most of the other fishermen in the bar would hoot and whistle at the exceptional generosity I would show payig 1/3 of the catch to my crew and chuckle at seeing my deckhand for a day get something like $6.32 for a day's work of sorts.

I would actually take 1/3 of the catch up to this old Native woman and she would pickle the octopus and split it with me so I actually simply split the payment I got from the cannery down the middle.

I never wanted for crew on these trips because they were really about having a little fun on a nice day and the cannery I sold to was pretty good to me simply because they would do the paperwork and all and actually pay me for such a small amount. I generally times my delivery with another bigger boat delivery so to make it easier for them seeing they would have a crew standing by for the big boat's delivery.

Sometimes I'd take a date out for a few hours or a moonlight sail. That was a lot of fun. There were also a couple of fisherman's wives that had a sailing background and asked me to take them out for a day sail. I can think of three and I was reluctant with two of them because I was looking out for two things, their reputations and I didn't want their husbands to get the wrong idea.

The third one was in a very solid relationship and was pretty much teflon as far as her reputation went. She was very much married but was one of those few women that really enjoyed being around men so that was no problem. Rumors were afraid of her.

The other two I wound up taking after I was approached by their husbands and they both expressed a desire to take their wives out for a day sail because there were few sailboats in town and they had sailed when they were younger. All three of these women were great company. I attributed this to two things. They were good sailors and enthusiastic and because they were married there was really no sexual tension to deal with.

One of the wives asked me if she could bring her friend along, another woman and that was a great evening sail. It was a bit blustery and we smoked up and down the Kalsin Bay as fast as that little boat would go. It was a pretty wet, wild ride. As sailors, both women helped clean the boat up when we tied up and furl the sails. Because of that they were welcome any time and from time to time the three of us would go for evening sails.

I remember two things about her. One was that she was a pretty looking blond haired lady that looked like a stereotyped Dutch girl and the other thing is that here husband, a burly fisherman saw me one day and said, "Thanks for taking my wife sailing! She hasn't been able to do it here and she grew up with her own little sailboat."

Genreally when I took her and her friend out, her husband would sit at the bar. He said he spent enough time on a boat. Being a fisherman, I could take his point.

The worst ones were the little chickees that seemed to gravitate toward sailboats because they expected to be passengers and have everything taken care of. They were a pain in the ass and seldom did I take any of them twice, although one little bimbo came aboard and told me she knew all about sailboats and instantly started taking her clothes off. We wound up sailing for hours and the boat never left the dock that afternoon but later that evening we went out and she surprised me by being damned competent at the helm.

She was pretty good, both at sea and ashore and she was always welcome whether we left the dock or not.

Just about the time Zero tolorance started, I decided that nobody could bring pot aboard no matter what because if they found one small joint they would impound the whole boat. Of course, one guy did bring some smoke with him. I didn't know it until we were underway. When I started to protest, I got a bunch of the usual 'be cool' crap.

We were going by a tied up Coast Guard boat, really close and I saw several Coasties on deck and when we were about ten feet away, I gave the jerk a shove over the side and shouted "Man overboard" and sailed off without him. The Coasties fished him out.

There was later a stand-up row in the bar over this and I stood my ground and told him it was my boat and I made the rules and I wasn't going to let any pothead have the Feds take my boat from me just so he could smoke a joint.

It was just about to come to serious blows when his skipper got in between us. He asked me politely to sit down somewhere and told the bartender to give me a beer on his tab and said to me, "Dope, huh?"

Then he turned to the deckhand and said, "We're going down to the boat and taking your gear off right now. If you can't keep the weed off of his boat for an afternoon sail, I know for sure you can't keep it off of my boat. Adios."

With that, he marched the guy on down to his boat and offloaded all his gear.

The following day I ran into one of the Petty Officers that fished the guy out and he started to lecture me. I told him he got the boot for bringing drugs aboard. "Nobody said nothin' about THAT crap. You coulda lost your whole boat over that!" he said, and the lecture ended there.

I had a lot of fun taking people out when I had my sailboat and it was also a pretty nice place to live.

Maybe I'll post what it was like to be a liveaboard sometime.

my other blog is:

No comments:

Post a Comment