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The Eclectic Pen - A burial at sea

By: ROBERT J.   + 7 more  
Date Submitted: 3/8/2007
Last Updated: 9/1/2015
Genre: Biographies & Memoirs » Memoirs
Words: 374

  A Burial at Sea

Final log entry: 21st September 1997, 2:45 GMT
30 37 22.47 N, 89 27 28.92 W

Sadly, I had to scuttle my beloved catamaran Doppelgänger this past weekend, sending her to a watery grave. She had borne me so well and for so long; but on every passage out she was a little more patched up, and on every passage home a little more waterlogged; and before she foundered under me somewhere over the horizon, I wanted to send her to some more fitting end. After all, I had conceived and created her, and loved her well, as I fancy she did me; and that left me with some obligation as to how she might end her days.

I had thought first of immolation, as out of some Norse saga; but that seemed a bit overwrought for what had been, after all, a very straightforward and unpretentious little ship, and one who, furthermore, had passed her days on our balmy third coast. And besides, more practically, fiberglass and sodden plywood won’t burn, and epoxy makes a stinking, molten, toxic mess. So I removed her rigging and spars and her beautiful blue sails, leaving only the bare masts; and we towed her out into Mississippi Sound, her old cruising ground. She still cut smartly through the chop, blithely unaware, it would seem, even with sandbags lashed into her bilges, that this was to be her final passage. Having somewhere crossed the point where the inshore green turns to the offshore blue, we hove to. And then, with a soft pressure of tears welling up in my eyes, I took a hammer and opened a crack between the bottom planks and the keelsons; and she slipped away gently, quietly, to a bottom we could not see.

There she will await the Resurrection, whence I am certain that she will rise again, all trim and freshly painted, and with a crisp set of new sails more cleanly cut than by any merely mortal hand. Those wings of the morning will fill with the light and the first breath of dawn as she sails off to find me, wherever I have ended up in that final shakedown; and we’ll be outward bound again, taking our horizon with us.

The Eclectic Pen » All Stories by ROBERT J.

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Comments 1 to 7 of 7
Jessi H. (willpowered) - 3/9/2007 8:42 AM ET
Um. I seem to be such the woman. I feel pressure of tears reading this. Certainly that is not the pirate in me. Thanks for sharing.
IONE L. (zaneygraylady) - 3/9/2007 3:28 PM ET
beautiful ending
Jim H. (Pecos45) - 3/9/2007 11:08 PM ET
I'm glad I'm not the only one in the world who thinks of life with such sentimentality. I have built and sail RC sailboats and thus feel a minature version of your pain.
Susan S. (mema29) - 3/12/2007 3:59 PM ET
How sad...I wanted to cry along with you!
Adrienne S. - 3/15/2007 3:45 PM ET
this is a most creatively written peice of work! Well done! I can just about see the whole scene from your description and more than that, feel the emotion that clings to your words like the memory to your heart. In the final "shakedown" I do hope you see your friend again! Wow
Marta J. (booksnob) - 3/17/2007 10:01 PM ET
Beautifully written.
Lena S. (SquirrelNutkin) - 6/1/2007 7:59 AM ET
I love this one very have a wonderful way of describing your thoughts and feelings that makes the reader really "get" what you are talking about...even if one has never enjoyed the feeling of sailing or building something and enjoying it.....being connected to it......they would understand it through your are really good.....thanks so much for sharing your work with us......
Comments 1 to 7 of 7