Posted in Old Hand's northern voyage, Uncategorized

Voyage on the Salish Sea

The 30 mile passage from Port Madison to Port Townsend is marked by the doleful names of voyages that came to grief on the Salish Sea. It is the saga of sunken tin-pot steamers who plied the vertiginous depths of Admiralty Inlet and now lie some fathoms deep among the fouled chain of time and memory.  The place names along the first leg of Old Hand’s forth-coming voyage to the San Juan Islands bear testament to historic, tortured founderings: Point no Point, Skunk Bay and Foulweather Bluff.

Perhaps the names are meant as caution to jaded yatchies who, besotted by the mirror calm of the convergence zone and assured by their virtual, abstract trajectories, sail blithely on over the sun-dappled main while toasting a lowering Margarita sky.  What are these names but vague appellations foor that stubborn tyranny of tide and rock that mark this bewitchingly placid and, by turns, malevolent stretch of sea?  And what are all our errant eastings, leewardings and embarkations but the the soul’s recurrent flight into the dream time–the Homeric drive by which all voyages are undertaken–and part of the eternal, unquenchable drive toward the further, mythic shore.

My plan is to sail with the new September moon toward a not-too-adventurous landfall in the San Juan Islands and there to blithely hang amid the encantadas of the north; to seek, to groove, to go where no green lubber has gone before, that my soul might find solace, inspiration and release.

Who knows? Maybe even that old Miphisto of the sea, that horn-fisted coot with the line-squall scowl might loom again in the night, his gaunt profile etched against the thundering flash of doomsday.  For none but Saturnius McWhirr can skipper Old Hand proper. None but he can set the serpentine track of this labored narrative on a course that is steady and true.

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Wandering in Place

A great post. He writes eloquently about the inability to write. Something I’m sure my blogger friends can relate to.


There once was a boy named Dan. He sat down in front of his computer and thought real hard. But on this day, he had nothing really to say. Dan thought, and he frowned, and he even tapped out a word or two, but nothing much came to mind. The big bad delete button ate all his work. Dan pouted and said; “foo on you, bad button.” But the bad delete button just laughed and told Dan it was his own fault.

Silly Dan. Only a Dummy-Butt sits at a computer with nothing to say.

The blank page mocked Mr. Dammit as he sat in silence contemplating this new quandary. Where had the words made off to? China-town? The casino down by the back alley? Perhaps they were sitting right now with a hot dame having a laugh on Dan’s behalf? There may have been a million stale stories to…

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