Friday, September 16, 2011

Requiem for a Boat

Lady, our favorite resident derelict, is gone. When we first arrived at OHM last year, she was our ghostly slip neighbor (Steve and Lynn on Celebration were on the other side of us). Lady’s story was vague but full of the sadness and loss of broken love. Cameron immediately wanted to rescue her despite the defunct teak rails, the tongue of rust that had been her anchor, her dull, oxidized topsides and coach roof along with her threadbare navy canvas and lines jumbled in disarray on her foredeck.



Capt. Ross, our Harbormaster, did what he could, did what her owners refused to do. With approaching storms, he secured her with more lines. When she began to sink, he sat stoically in the cockpit for hours pumping the water out, pumping life back in.

Lady is a Morgan 38. According to Rick, a boatbuilder friend of ours who had three in his Virgin Islands charter fleet, she would have been fast, able to outrun even forty to fifty-foot boats with longer waterlines. She was well built. Rick recounts the story about one of his being rammed onto a reef, goring the hull, but not sinking (the hull sprang back to mostly close the hole until she would be sailed back to her marina for repair).

Although she had long since lost all the paint from her mast and her halyards hung tattered in the wind, Lady never lost her style. It is sad to watch a good boat ignored to death. It can also be obnoxious. Lady was one of two derelicts who rode Hurricane Irene on A Dock (all the boats that could left for more protected options). After the hurricane had finally ripped her genoa into flags of sailcloth, she popped and snapped and cracked like a pistol in high winds. People who knew her asked if she was keeping us awake at night and driving us crazy during the day.

With the noise and shredded sail attracting the attention of weary slip owners, someone must have told Lady’s owners (for the umpteenth time, I hear) that it was past time to find another home. No one at the marina wanted it to end this way. But, when all around a boat care and do more than the boat’s owners, a change is due.

The owners called Towboat US to remove her. We do not know where she has gone but hope it is a place where her life can be renewed and where new owners will restore her beauty and dignity. In many ways we miss her. She did not deserve her fate.

1 comment:

  1. Well written. So many beautiful boats just left to rot, it always makes me sad.

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