Sunday, December 20, 2015

Twas The Night Before Cruise-mas


Twas the the night before Cruise-mas, when all 'bout the hull
Not a creature was stirring, not even a gull.
The stockings were hung in the galley with care,
In hopes that Capt. Nicholas soon would be there;

The shipmates were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of sangria danced in their heads;
And the admiral in her pjs, and me in my shorts,
Had just snuggled in for some romance of sorts,

When up on the fly bridge arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a drunken old looper stinking of beer.

My first instinct, of course, was to yell, “What the heck.”
Get off of my boat!” and then he barfed on the deck.
Wo, wo, wo,” the drunk said with a grin.
You got any beer, or if not I'll take gin.”

I squinted to my eyes to get a good look at the dude,
And I knew in an instant I was thoroughly screwed.
I'm Capt, Nicholas,” he then said rather proudly.
Don't raise your voice with me,“ he said very loudly.

It's that jolly time of year,” he said to me then,
It's Cruise-mas! The holiday for boaters once again.”
So, Nick,” I then asked, “why are you really here?”
I was hoping,” he said, “ to pilfer some beer.”

But in the true Cruise-mas spirit, I'll set that aside,
and give you some gifts on this boating yuletide.”
He reached into his duffle and pulled out lots of stuff,
It's all a bit much,” I said. “This is really enough.”

I've got Racor filters, and joker valves, pfds and such,
I protested, “But, Nick, it's really too much.”
There's a new genset, a chartplotter, an anchor and more
and all kinds of crap from the West Marine store.”

Wow!” I yelled, “hey honey, come here and see this.”
Capt, Nick is here. This is something you can't miss.”
My admiral then made her way up on the deck.
And suspiciously checked out the old drunken wreck.

I'm Capt. Nick, and you must be the admiral here.”
I've got a gift for you too!” He said with a leer.
Why don't you come a little closer for some Cruise-mas cheer.”
My wife said, “Eh, no. I think I'm fine here.”

Then the jolly old elf who smelled like cheap wine,
Arose to his feet, looked at his watch and said, “Well, look at the time.”
I have only a moment, two minutes tops.
'cause I got to vamoos to stay ahead of the cops.”

He stumbled to the rail of the maindeck and then,
fell to the dock with a huge crack on his chin.
But he bounced to his feet and laughed with a scoff,
That'll leave a mark, well I've got to be off.”

I've got to be going. The time gets away.”
It's a long night ahead, so I mustn't delay.”
A twinkle in his eyes bright as the stars did appear,
Now where in hell did I park those eight tiny reindeer.”

But before I go, there's more things I must say,
before the end of this Cruise-mas day.”
Hold fast to your friends and to your shipmates be true,
and always love your admiral as your admiral should love you.

In all your journeys be safe, always be at your best,
So safely and securely you pass every test.
To be extra safe, it doesn't take much,
Err on the side of caution with weather, conditions, and such.

Always take the time and see all of nature,
Revel in God's creation, and don't be a stranger, the beauty that only we boaters will be,
a witness of the majesty of an azure blue sea.

And remember that we boaters are to be better than most,
as stewards of our realm, from the deepest depths to the coast.
And it's a responsibility that we all share,
To show the land lubbers, of this, how to care.

But most of all, cherish your time, and don't give it away,
To naysayers and critics that want to lead you astray,
To the kinds of empty lives that they lead,
Because they don't know how to dream anymore.

Well, captain,” he said, “you have a mighty fine ship,
The two of you take care of yourselves and have a nice trip.
Wherever you go and whatever you do,
Take care of your boat, and she'll take care of you.”

We watched him walk away while he bellowed “HO HO HO,”
Like he was hailing the heavens on a radio.
But there was one small thing that he just couldn't hide,
Captain Nicholas couldn't walk straight if he tried.

We turned towards the door to get back to our bed.
When we heard Capt. Nick yelling instead.
We ran down the dock to see what was the stink.
Capt. Nick walked off the dock and into the drink.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

It's the PEOPLE! Nessa

Just because you are out on your boat, that doesn't mean your mundane housekeeping duties that you are used to doing at home have somehow magically disappeared. That is the case with doing laundry, and when out cruising it means you're doing laundry at a marina's laundromat or at a local laundry. Such is the case here in Jacksonville.

The marina we're at, Huckins Yacht Company, does not have much in the way of shoreside facilities. But we do have a rent-a-car. So off to a local laundromat we go.

The laundromat we chose, a short distance from the marina, has the very nondescript name of 'Laundry'. It is owned by the sandwich store next door to it. Its name is 'The Goal Post Sandwich Shop'. So far so good.

The owners of the restaurant and laundry are middle-eastern, There is an African-American woman there, as well as a very youngish looking Asian young lady. She was the waitress.

Her name was Nessa and she was not a direct immigrant. In fact she was a typical young American girl in the finest traditions: chirpy, smiling, happy and a bundle of cuteness. When she brought our food to us I asked her about herself.

"Let me guess," I said, "you're a college student, right?"

She perked up. Apparently, she liked talking about herself a little bit. And she had a good story to tell. She said that she was attending a local smaller nearby college (Back where I'm from we'd likely say it was a junior college.) and that next year she was transferring to the University of North Florida, also located in Jacksonville. I asked her what her major was. Her response was both funny and amazing at the same time.

"Well, I'll have a degree in biology. I love biology." Good for her. She then went on. "And I'll also have a degree in astrodynamics just in case I get into NASA."

Just in case? She gets into NASA? Getting into NASA is her backup plan?

By the way ... she's only 17. When I was 17 I was still trying to figure girls out. (Still working on that.) She's prepping for pre-med and wanting to get shot into space.

There's hope for the future. We're in good hands, folks.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

JAX -- part three of the series

Jacksonville is a great city, and it's a great place to stay for several more weeks than we planned. At least that's the story I'm going with.