Commentary on WHQR

Yesterday, my voice was transmitted over the airwaves of our local NPR station, WHQR 91.3 FM. As a guest commentator in the station's Communique department, I read a short essay about standing a night watch on the Schooner Anne and seeing myself in perspective with the world around me (readers of Going Aloft might recognize … Continue reading Commentary on WHQR

Going Aloft, Chapter 26

The End. Such a permanent little sentence, isn't it? One often imagines it as the closing of a book, a final moment of quiet pause before it returns to the dusty dry shelf. But books, while they may imitate life, aren't life. Stories end, but life keeps on going along (or aloft, if you'd like). … Continue reading Going Aloft, Chapter 26

Going Aloft, Chapter 25

Here it is, ya'll: the penultimate chapter. Hard to believe I've been doing this every two weeks all year long. I'll save the waxing poetic for the final installment, but I'd like to preemptively thank you all for joining me on this ride, and I hope you'll stick around for the next one, too. In … Continue reading Going Aloft, Chapter 25

Going Aloft, Chapter 24

There are times in life when, no matter how hard you try, you just can't seem to make it work. You are reminded, forcibly and sometimes painfully, of your true position relative to the eddies and whirlpools of larger life, of the interconnectedness of everything. How delicate the balance of forces on both sides. How … Continue reading Going Aloft, Chapter 24

Going Aloft, Chapter 23

In this chapter we are whisked away into the wildness of the Lucayan night by our new friend, Josh, a Canadian fellow schooner sailor we met at the boatyard in Freeport. There is drinking and merriment on this page, to be sure, but there is also something darker: the faint echo of prejudice, a leftover remnant of … Continue reading Going Aloft, Chapter 23

Going Aloft, Chapter 22

Boatyard, as defined in the yellowing pages of my Webster's New World dictionary, is a noun which means "a place where boats are built and repaired." This is mostly true, but of course a real boatyard serves a larger purpose than that. It's a gathering place for people and vessels from all over the world, … Continue reading Going Aloft, Chapter 22

Going Aloft, Chapter 21

To see a sailing boat out of the water is like seeing a bird on the ground- it happens, sometimes, but it's not the place where it's supposed to be. It's also like looking at an iceberg, in that much of the volume of the vessel is hidden, submerged beneath the waves. Our schooner had a deep … Continue reading Going Aloft, Chapter 21

Going Aloft, Chapter 17

In this chapter, more than in any other, I make a choice. A choice between staying out in the wilderness with the Captain, or giving up, returning to the life of comfort and luxury I had grown up in. Our little trio was tempted by the fruits of creature comforts (clean sheets, air conditioning, variety … Continue reading Going Aloft, Chapter 17

Going Aloft, Chapter 16

John Canoe, or Junkanoo, is the subject of this chapter. Once practiced as a festival here in coastal North Carolina, it is essentially a two-day-long party sandwiched between Christmas and New Years, involving traditional and modern dancing, ornate costumes, and plenty of music. According to one historian, Professor Stephen Nissenbaum of the University of Massachusetts … Continue reading Going Aloft, Chapter 16