Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Gallant Hours

One of my favorite movies of all time is The Gallant Hours . It stars James Cagney as Fleet Admiral William F. Halsey Jr. during the battle of Guadalcanal.  Save this for a rainy day afternoon.  There is a poignant song that is sung at the beginning and close of the movie. The lyrics can be found below.

  • I knew a lad who went to sea and left the shore behind him. 
  • I knew him well the lad was me and now I cannot find him. 
  • Away, away, away he went, in deep and salty water. 
  • His girl she waited years for him. She was his neighbor's daughter. 
  • Away, away, away he went and left the shore behind him. 
  • I knew him well the lad was me and now I cannot find him. 
  • Away, away, away he went. Away he went and now I cannot find him. 
  • The rolling sea he would embrace, the rolling sea hath took him. 
  • And passed him on a lonely beach, the roaring sea forsook him.

So, why the poignancy? Friday, was the beginning of Memorial Day Weekend.  My wife, who like me, still works full time, arranged to take a long weekend off to help with our shakedown cruise.  I brought the Constance Marie to the loading dock to dovetail with our supplies.

Captain Denis was there with his boat, the Brazen Article. He was helping me furl the brand new 135 head sail I had recently bought.  We ran the sail up and it make it to about two feet from the top of the mast.  We brought it down and tried to put it up again with the same results.

Denis asked for pair of binoculars and scanned the top of the mast.  Oh no! (see Figure 99 below). Denis gave me the binos and said to focus on the top of the mast.  My stomach dropped.  I felt the gloom of Mordor settle over me.  I realized that Memorial Day fantasy weekend would have to wait. I turned to my wife and told her that the fore-stay was unraveling and the mast could come crashing down at any time, not to mention tearing our new head sail if we were to go sailing. Olivia smiled at me and told me she understood.  I then made a phone call to the boat yard manager.

We are blessed at our yacht club to be within a mile of a great boatyard. It's a well known working marina with most of the essential amenities. What makes this yard stand out is that it is more a community of tradesman who specialize in various aspects of boat maintenance. And the head operator is a first class businessman.

Figure 99 - Anybody know a good rigger?