Sunday, December 19, 2010
An Already Forgotten Harbor Statistic...
It was a bright, early, sunny morning some six or seven weeks ago when a motor vessel could suddenly be heard rumbling slowly on past my boat and thereby causing me to instinctively poke my head out of the companionway to see what might be going on.
And I suppose that I must have resembled a prairie-dog impetuously poking his head out of his burrowed hole for that's how quickly I reacted upon hearing that boat as it approached mine.
Aboard that motor vessel were two uniformed personnel. I'd tell you of what government agency they belonged to but I simply wasn't paying too close of attention at that hour of the morning for I'd yet to have my first cup of coffee.
But what made the whole situation somewhat unique was that a mastless sailing vessel was being towed not to a mooring mind you, but rather to a pylon at the edge of a nearby mangrove which seemed rather odd to me.
All I could surmise at the time was that somebody had either had a mishap while out at sea or had gotten busted for drug trafficking thereby resulting in their boat being confiscated.
Shortly thereafter the uniformed officials could then be seen slowly motoring on back out of the harbor after unceremoniously tie-ing off that mastless sailboat to a pylon.
I didn't give that sailboat another thought until weeks later when it casually came up in conversation while seated at the marina Tiki-Hut one evening.
Well it turns out that boat did not incur a mishap while out at sea nor had the boat been confiscated for drug trafficking. Its owner, a single sailor said to be in his mid-fifties, with nobody other than three cats to keep him company, had simply died while aboard his boat.
Word has it that the fellow simply drank himself to death and that it wasn't until a week or so later that anybody thought that perhaps they ought to go check in on him.
It later was noted that the fellow's corpse had evidence of having been gnawed on in several places by his hungry cats which were later put up for adoption. And I of course certainly won't be holding it against the cats that their survival instincts kicked in after not having had a meal for a good while.
I suppose that there isn't much to say about the preceding other than that cruising aboard a sailboat isn't always glamorous or even adventurous.
I can also well remember the comment of a this one elderly female single sailor who was attempting to sell a boat on behalf of another sailor... "Living aboard a sailboat can either bring out the best in a person or it can bring out the worst." That comment has since stuck in my mind for whatever reason.
It occurs to me that there is a distinct possibility that this fellow has already been long forgotten... which I suppose is another compelling reason not to suspend my personal moratorium on drinking.
That fellow's fate certainly wasn't one that I would want to share. The fellow's boat also shared a somewhat similar fate for it was subsequently transported elsewhere and crushed as mandated by city policy.