Friday, February 22, 2008
And now for something completely different: A Mariner's Tale!
Remember my friend and one time roommate N? N left Asheville and returned to Baltimore last spring, where he ended up buying a boat. Various and sundry other adventures befell him as well, some good, some not so good but by the late fall, his boat was up in drydock and N was living near Fells Point and working occasionally for his stepfather, my friend A. Then, sometime around January, he fell in with another guy who had a boat.
I know nothing about this other guy except that I imagine him to be a grizzled sea captain with, possibly, a peg leg and, definitely, a bottle of grog in one hand at all times. That part, I think by all accounts is accurate. Anyway, this guy had a boat and a desire to take this boat to Key West, which is eminently understandable in January in Baltimore. N signed on as crew and they set off to sail to Key West.
The Coast Guard stopped them around Annapolis because, apparently, they were lacking a few of those modern day frivolities like a working radio, engine, life jackets and gods only know what else. I mean, for all we know - I'll update this if I hear from N himself; so far this is all second hand via his mom, my friend D - their provisions may have consisted of a bag of salt n' vinegar potato chips and six bottles of vodka. Anyway, we all assumed that the Coast Guard would put N on a bus back to Fells Point tout suite and he would be home none the worse for wear with a story to tell. Well, instead, the Coast Guard seems to have given up and let them continue on their merry way. I suppose it's not really illegal to be a complete blithering idiot.
They made it down the coast as far as North Carolina where they ran into a storm, as many a mariner has before them. The storm sort of finished off their boat - well, it could still float, but that was apparently all it could do - no way to direct it and they started drifting out to sea. They drifted
and drifted further
and drifted further yet.
Eleven days went by. . .
and N consigned his soul to the deep and figured this was it
when a Royal Caribbean cruise ship appeared out of the fog, nearly ran them over and rescued them. So N is now aboard a cruise vessel headed for some sunny Caribbean port and I am totally sure that he is having the time of his life, playing romantic castaway to the hilt, sipping frozen drinks and laying back. Which just goes to prove that N has some very special gods watching over him and more adventures yet in his future. Because, honestly, this kind of thing only happens to N!
Hey, UPDATE! The Baltimore Sun did an article and here it is.