Monday, November 19, 2012
My last moment in the cockpit of the dear Scapegrace. If you're thinking the heeling angle is rather extreme, you're right: she's lying pathetically on her side, high and relatively dry, having been hauled up yesterday after almost three weeks underwater since Sandy sank her.
Or rather, Sandy and I sank her. Of course I blame myself. If only I had doubled up on the mooring lines, or picked a different slip to put her in.
There's a very sad photo gallery.
The cabin is full of Bronx muck. I picked up my snazzy inflatable life jacket and no kidding, a live crab fell out of it. Everything is tossed this way and that. We were able to retrieve a few sentimental objects. Sunt lacrimae rerum, as the poet says. But it was clear that even before she sank, the Scapegrace was practically turned upside down.
This is, was, a boat that saved me many times from my own incompetence. My last attempt at competence -- taking her to Eastchester rather than leaving her in the Hudson -- doomed her, as it turned out. I don't exactly feel guilty about that, anyway -- I did what everybody thought was right -- but I feel very unlucky; and in the unjust arbitrary pagan world sailors inhabit, that's a very bad thing.
As another poet says, there are so many we shall have to mourn -- and so many we already have to mourn, come to think of it. So maybe it seems very shallow and selfish to mourn a boat.
I don't deny it. And yet I do mourn. I loved that boat. I claim the sailor's superstitious privilege: I believe boats have minds and souls, and I ask the dear Scapegrace's pardon. I will never forget her.