December 24, 2021: This is a short story but, I assure you, if you like boats, it may turn out to be more interesting than you think, I promise. So, earlier this morning I’m on my iPhone, flipping through Craigslist boat ads; like most people addicted to that thing they call boating.
Just to play it safe, I’m not in the market for another project boat. I’m knee deep on this a latest of project, a West Wight Potter 15 pocket cruiser.
As I pen these words and continue to vegetate on anything boating, a thunderstorm with gale force winds makes it’s way across our sunroom windows. It easily distracts me.
After all, what good is a healthy body without also having an engaged brain? I now make a very profound assumption. It must requires way more thought to give a boat a good name, than it does a child. Yachtsmen the world over have always pondered and struggled with giving their boats a great name.
The story continues: So, I run across a Craigslist boat ad for a Fuji32 sailboat built on the same hull mold as the Far
East Yachts Mariner 31. That’s how this message in a bottle all started. I come across this amazing Voyage (www.figure8voyage.com) blog from that one ad. Craigslist provided the boats journey before the rebuild via a blog; a 2-year solo pacific cruise – murreandthepacific.com
That’s how I came across the message in the bottle story. It seems that while on that solo pacific cruise this sailor made it a habit of, once a month, dispensing a message in a wine bottle overboard. He also made it a point to record his contact info and the exact position that he drops the bottle.
Meanwhile a long distance away and sometime later, on a Bahamian beach cove, cruiser Deb aboard the motor vessel RightHand decided to do a little beach cleaning at 25° 38’ 44.26” N, 77° 44’ 50.89” W and discovers a message in a bottle.
In the blog I found the following: “We were anchored near Hoffman’s Cay (in the Bahama’s Berry Island Group) and decided to clean that beach while we were waiting for a weather window. The approximate location of the discovery was 25° 38’ 44.26” N, 77° 44’ 50.89” W.
“Our friends, Eddie and Gail on Seaquel were helping us, and they are probably the reason I found the bottle. My original intention was just to clear any items that could entangle turtles, but once we got started they, suggested we clean up everything.
“The beach had a lot of debris (mainly plastic) and there wasn’t really any place for us to dispose of the trash, but once we got all of the lines, nets, and ropes moved high into the vegetation, we went back for the trash.
“The sight of an unbroken bottle was very rare (I had only seen one other bottle all day), but as I was walking to throw it into our trash pile, I noticed the cork.
“That is what made me hold the bottle up to the light. The glass was so dark I didn’t originally see the note. I was so excited when I saw the scroll of paper! I called everyone over and sat on a rock to pry the cork out with my knife. It’s always exciting to find a message in a bottle!
All of the above free entertainment came to me courtesy of reading Craigslist boat ads.
But, sadly there’s also the Craigslist dreamer ads like this one: “For Sale, a 16 ft wooden boat project I started over 10 years ago and am looking to find a new home for it.
I built it from plans bought from Glen L Marine. The name of the boat is the Malahini. I have completed the hull including painting the exterior. All materials and workmanship are top quality. I also have a vintage looking new Steering wheel and brand new throttle mechanism for the boat. The boat does not come with a trailer. Best offer.
Now get going in your own adventure. Merry Christmas and thankfully 2022 is just in sight.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” – K Grahame
Merry Christmas 2021