Sunday, October 18, 2009

Day 15: Solus rex, again

Ishmael and I both awoke early on Day 15, drank our coffee, and took counsel. Ishmael had concluded, during the wise hours of unconsciousness, that he ought to go do his cousinly duty, and though I was sorry to lose his company so soon, it seemed like the right choice to me too.

Day 15 had dawned beautiful and clear and crisp -- a little bracing, with what felt like an anticipatory touch of fall in the air, though it was only mid-August. We got the anchors up and then motored, with a bit of help from the jib(*), through Milk Island Channel and into Rockport Harbor.

(Does anybody know, by the way, why there are two practically identical Cape Ann lighthouses?)

One regrettable thing about the Cape Ann lights is that they are said to have preserved the life of that bloodthirsty monster, President Woodrow Wilson, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, along with Teddy Roosevelt, Henry Kissinger, and the current Bombdropper-In-Chief:

Among the many lives potentially saved by the Cape Ann Light Station on Thacher Island is that of President Woodrow Wilson. After the Versailles Peace Conference that officially ended WWI, President Wilson was cruising home aboard the passenger liner America, when it was caught in blinding fog. Had its crew not heard the blast of Cape Ann’s foghorn and made an emergency course correction, the America would have smashed onto the island’s rocky shore.
Usually I'm quite grateful for navaids but this story kinda makes me wonder.

I will leave the much pleasanter topic of Rockport for another post.


(*) The roller furler was mysteriously working again. I hadn't done anything do it, other than dousing the sail and hoisting it again. Sometimes, of course, that's all it takes -- the jib gods just want a little respect. In this case the story proved to be a little more interesting, but we will get to that in its proper place.

1 comment:

  1. A fellow-sailor better informed than I writes, on the subject of the Cape Ann lights:

    The reason for the two towers of Cape Ann: They were built before there was any way of making lights rotate or otherwise flash. CAL thus had a characteristic of two steady lights. The extra tower has been abandoned for many years, but it was obviously well built.