This is an interesting true tale of Skpper Studly Smooth on the Love Boat.
Studley would check out one of our sailing club boats, generally one of the old Cal
25's. It was unusual since it occurred on quiet weekdays and he would leave the docks solo.
He never sailed with his wife. Now, this is not totally unusual as quite a few spouses, hubbies as well as wives would not share the same enthusiasm for sailing or boating
However, sometimes when observed from other club members boats, there were reports of two beings onboard Studleys Cal
25. Of course this was dismissed as a ghostly illusion. You know, like the mysterious ladies who haunt light houses and endlessly stroll widows walks.
On a beautiful Wednesday afternoon, I received a phone
call at the Sailing Club from the Newport Beach
Harbies. They had just retrieved one of our Cal 25's from the rocky shore line south of the Newport
Harbor Channel entrance, south of Corona Del Mar.
Aye, lads and lasses, as you know doubt surmised, it was skipper
Studly Smooth. His story to the Harbies was that he was just sailing along, and decided to go below and fix a quick lunch. All of a sudden the boat was picked up by a nasty rogue wave
and driven into the shallows and between the mean old rocks.
Then the nice Harbor Dept. rescue
boat arrived and pulled and towed the thumped and bumped Cal boat off the rocks to the safety
of deep water
. To hear him tell it , that boat ran up on the rocks all by itself.
The harbies related a different version.
Two local surfers were resting on their boards waiting for the next set when they alerted to a ghost ship ( well a cal 25) making its way toward them and the lee shore. Although the sails
were up and flogging, and the vessel was making way, narry a soul was on deck
The boat came closer and closer, wallowing on the seas, boom snapping from side to side, and jib
luffing and backwinding.
Was it a ghost ship ?
The surfers paddled up and peered over the cockpit
combing, and into the cabin
. Down below two bodies were heavily involved. That mysterious ghostly creature was young and attractive and had real skin and dark hair.
A moment later the situation became extremely interesting. A wave surfed the Cal boat, rolling, broaching and out of control toward the rocky shore.
As the boat pounded around in the surf, the occupants bounced up to see what was happening.
The last time they checked before heading below to fix...hmmmmm, lunch, they were a ways off the coast on the briney.
up on deck
, they see the surfers, the rocks, the shore line, the cliffs, and feel the boat bashing and crashing into the rocks. Oooops !
Back down below they dash. After much rummaging around, Studly and the lady cook appeared back on deck, this time in appropriate sailing togs.
What a day of surpirses ! Studley and his 'cook' were surprised, the surfers were surprised, the harbies were surprised, frankly the sailing club was surprised.
Our owner took Sail Chaser, our maintenance
and rescue power boat
and relieved the harbies of their towing duty. He brought the now rudderless and beat up Cal boat up to our docks, and I took the lines and hauled it into the fairway.
LESSON IN SEAMANSHIP " If you are going to fool around with apparitions, don't fix lunch off a lee shore.
Note : Studley would sail off single
handing and about a mile down the Newport
harbor channel, meet the lady ghost at the gas dock
who would be awaiting his docking
with a six pack. Then, after their day sail, drop her back off at the gas dock
and return to our docks solo.
Harggghhhh, no one, especially Studly's wife would be the wiser.
Well, that ended Studley's member
ship. A few weeks later, I was at the gas docks refueling one our club boats and I see a Cal 25 approaching the gas docks. It was not one of ours. Yes, it was Studly, he had joined a different sailing club. And, yes, that same young crew person/cook was dutifully standing there with the six pack, waving a nautical welcome.
I just grinned at him, as he tied up the Cal.