27 November 2010

An yll wynde...

There's an old English proverb that says "An yll wynde blowth no man to good".

Apparently, this was a bit gloomy for Sir Walter Scott, who completely reversed the proverb's meaning (and spelling) with his own version: "It's an ill wind that blaws naebody gude".

Illustration from "Waverly", by Sir Walter Scott
image wikimedia commons
Stranded on an isolated river in southern New Jersey in early November by a very 'yll' wind indeed, I wondered which version of the proverb would prove true.

I had originally intended to anchor in the Cohansey River, just above two marina's that lie in a crook of the river's northern shore. However, the cruising guides warned of strong currents and advised mariners to set two anchors before retiring below for cocktails.

My respect for cruising guides had been thoroughly restored, but after being knocked around by the Delaware, setting two anchors sounded like too much work. And my supply of grub was getting seriously low. So I cruised past the two marinas slowly, checking them out.

The first was crowded. Every inch of dock space was full, even the fuel dock. Not very encouraging. The second, in contrast, seemed deserted. An empty 'T' dock, with a  easy approach, seemed to beckon to me. Sure, the dock looked a bit rickety, like the planks had been laid down in the 60s; sure I knew the old saying about empty restaurants; but was that Frank Sinatra's voice floating tinnily over the water, like a ghostly echo out of the past? How could I resist that?

I headed into The Marina That Time Forgot...

photo jalmberg
Well, it was Frank's voice I heard across the water. By the time I'd tied up, I'd also heard Tony's, Ella's, and Dean's voices. This marina had a soundtrack! A jazz soundtrack. How cool was that, I thought.

Still clad in high-performance long undies, foulies, and sea boots, I tromped up to the office to register with the old salt who kept the marina humming, so to speak. A man of few words, like many who've spent their lives around boats, but friendly and welcoming. He also charged me the cheapest dock fee that I'd found in 1500 miles. That alone made me warm to the TMTTF, since it looked like I might be here for a few days.

Outside, I had a few words with some dockyard guys who were assembling a kind of floating crane (center of photo, above), out of rusty steel beams, bolts, and blocks. Like playing with a full-sized Erector Set. It looked dangerous to me, but they seemed to know what they were doing.

We chatted for a bit, then one of the crew offered me the use of his own car, to run into town for supplies. Actually, I didn't realize it was his own car at the time. I thought it was a marina courtesy car. By the time the marina owner set me straight, it was too late to thank the guy, he was gone for the weekend.

This generous soul didn't look like the kind of guy who reads blogs, but if he ever does, thanks!

Meanwhile, it was time to go shopping. I needed some hot grub to keep my engine running during the cold days ahead...

>>> Next Episode: Tea Party


  1. Keep the blog going!


  2. No fears about that. I've got LOTS of thing to build this winter, including re-working all the running rigging on the BM.


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