I first saw the boat on the beach when we anchored for the fourth of July fireworks. Gulfport puts on a great show. A boat on the beach after a blow isn't an unusual sight around here but it was the first one I've seen on the swimming beach.
I didn't think much about it after that until I read the newspaper story. I've been debating since then as to whether or not to get involved.
Well, today, after reading this thread at the shop. I stopped by on my way home from work and waded out to the boat. I got the hem of my shorts wet, but was able to walk up to the side and knock.
As soon as I rapped on the topsides, voices from shore started yelling "he's not aboard". A moment later a head
popped up in the companionway
I said. "you're not Jay". He said he was Dave. Or maybe Dan. I can't remember now. Jay was off on an errand and I had just missed him it seems.
Anyway. I introduced myself and told Dave that I wanted to ascertain what the make of boat the 'Promise' is. He didn't know. So I asked for permission to come aboard to check a few things out. Dave said that was fine. I still don't know what make that boat is. But I'm pretty sure it's a full keel
, cutaway forefoot boat. I'm still a little skeptical about the seven foot draft
but who knows.
There wasn't anything on the transom that id'ed the boat.
Has it been mentioned anywhere? I haven't seen it if so.
When I first stepped aboard, carefully avoiding the piles of dog poop, I noticed that the cockpit
. Which is quite large was filled with stuff. There was indeed a washing
machine and two generators on deck
. One was running. The deck
is fairly covered with dog **** and the boat is terribly neglected.
is suspect, but heavy. The mast
seems solid but takes a sharp bend port above the spreaders. I believe this could be corrected with a little tuning.
There were two anchors deployed. Both rodes were slack. The boat was standing as vertical as if she were floating.
The dog was below. Barking.
I told Dave, as I handed him my business card, to please tell "Capt'n Jay" That he wasn't doing himself any favors. I told him to say that sailors will come to the aid of other sailors willingly. But are a little less enthusiastic about helping a lubber with no sense of seamanship.
I told him to tell Jay that it was inexcusable to have a cockpit
full of garbage, dogs
and generators and crap all over a boat that should be lightened and laying on it's side with as many lines and anchors as he could beg borrow or steal kedging with all their might.
I told Dave to tell Jay that if he wanted my help, I would get his boat off. According to Dave, the deadline is August 8.
I told him that the only way I would help him is if he would listen to me and let me do things my way.
I doubt that Jay is going to call me. But if he does, I'll help him. I have a lot of tackle myself and I have some contacts in the area. I think it's very doable. It's too bad that the effort hasn't been underway since the grounding. But that's what a real sailor would have done. Jay isn't a sailor. I don't give a damn if he has a piece of paper saying he is. One look at his boat will tell you all you need to know.
I'm a little torn, but the way I look at it is this. Jay has to live somewhere. Is it serving society to chop up his boat and put him on the street? Or is it better to get his boat off the beach and let him get on with his life with a roof over his head
. Gulfport will have to foot the bill for the demolition and hauling. They would probably be money
ahead to lend some equipment
and hands to help get the boat off.
I don't fool myself that I'm helping a fellow sailor. Just seems to be "the lesser of two evils kind of thing".
The boat is nearly a derelict. Perhaps Jay is too. Not for me to judge. But if you get Jay and his boat off the water
, there will be another around the corner.
The way the economy is these days, I keep thinking "There but for the grace of God go I".
If he does call, I'll be counting on you guys that can to lend a hand.
And Cup, pm me here or on the other site about your visit to Tampa if you haven't lined up a sail yet.