No Hill for a Stepper: A Novel

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The name on its hull: Ellipsis. What had happened? Gradually over the next couple of days, their story emerged. Calmer than I would have been, she woke up her husband who made the necessary phone calls, gathered the guy in, gave him food and water and, eventually, a shower.


Scott, a Puerto Rican resident, had lost everything but his boat in hurricane Maria. Although Ellipsis — a rugged, fifty-year old Westsail -- needed repairs, there were no parts to be had on the ravaged island so he decided to leave on the boat and join family in the States. Probably not a prudent decision, as it turned out. Food, too, was scarce on the island, and forget about batteries.

Then their navigation equipment died; they were lost at sea. They had been rationing food and water for several days, apparently, when they spotted the beam of the Elbow Cay lighthouse, anchoring after dark, just off the reef. Meanwhile, Scott and the two dogs have been welcomed into the Hope Town community by locals and cruising sailors. He has no passport, however, so getting into the U. Ellipsis is a total loss. Volunteers have helped Scott strip her of everything of value and eventually, when the tide is high enough, she will be towed out beyond the reef where she will be sunk in several thousand feet of water.

Reinvented, reimagined and somehow dislocated

They tried today, but wind and tide did not cooperate. Ellipsis was no match for the fury of the sea. Sometime overnight, it broke in two, mast and rigging down, all interior items washed away. Posted by Marcia Talley Permalink Comments 8. Meanwhile, I've been avoiding television and concentrating on the copy edits for the next Hannah Ives mystery, Mile High Murder , which are due tomorrow! Instead of pandas, here are some of the highlights. Hope Town, our little village, as seen from the top of the lighthouse. The ferry is just leaving the lower public dock, a two minute walk from SeaLeggs, our cottage.

Iolanthe in Hope Town harbour, fourth boat from the left. Stopping on the way to visit tiny, uninhabited islands in the Abaco chain. Cruising sailors like to leave their mark and provide amusement for sailors who come after them. With no television and no internet and no telephone service, some cruisers have a lot of time on their hands! This one cracked me up, in a Chucky sort of way! Flotsam and jetsam hung in trees keeps evil spirits and hopefully hurricanes!

Nothing better than a cup of coffee on deck as the sun rises. This is me, somewhere in the middle of the Gulf Stream. And even in the middle of the ocean, we are never alone. This pod of dolphins rode our bow wave for more than half an hour. My version today of cute panda cubs! Thanks to Colin Chandler, our intrepid Gulf Stream navigator, for the photos! Posted by Marcia Talley Permalink Comments 3. Not only are we fellow Annapolitans, but we're sailing buddies and writing pals who hang out in Hope Town on Elbow Cay for most of the winter. In this space, I've often mused about life on a small island.

And you use it to communicate with other boaters. Lots of the cottagers are former boaters and have VHF radios as well.

Pin on Christian discipleship/studies

Here in Abaco, every day promptly at a. Weather is always the first act, presenting detailed information about stationary fronts from 28N 60W to 28N 70W to near 26N 76W, and low pressure near 26N 65W drifting W to NW and moving NE before exiting, with a cold front building S across our waters. Community announcements alert us to public service information vital to our stay here, such as Derby Day, the Christmas play, an art exhibit and when the library is open.

We are advised that the Post Office did not open as planned — although the Post Office might be open tomorrow from And we discover that bags and bags of inbound mail has accumulated during the recent closings. We learn that a Council meeting to review planned infrastructure improvements has been cancelled. We are admonished to deposit our trash next to the freight dock but only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and only between and a.

And to limit our speed to 3 mph and not dump our poop in the harbor. We are encouraged to help flip Abaco dinghies, watch boat races and enjoy Sunday softball in the park. Call in to say you are arriving; you are leaving; you have guests; your guests are leaving; you need parts for a water pump because your boat is temporarily headless without a toilet ; the internet is out; are there moorings available?

Birthdays are special — celebrated with mike clicks.

See a Problem?

Nancy Schiffer and her husband Goldwin Smith live in Annapolis, Maryland, when not in Hopetown or visiting their new grandson in California. She retired after 40 years as a labor lawyer in Detroit and Washington, D. For many, Memorial Day marks the beginning of the boating season. As my husband and I made our way back up the Intracoastal Waterway last week -- dodging speeding motorboats, maniac jet ski drivers and, yes, even parasailors -- in the narrow channel, I was reminded of this blog post from several years ago.

You change the name, of course, while being careful to placate the mighty gods of the sea — Poseidon, Neptune, even The Little Mermaid -- by destroying all traces of the previous name, then sacrificing a bottle of fine bubbly over the bow. Purists would insist on sailing the vessel backwards over the equator, then tossing the old name plates overboard, but Barry and I settled for the bubbly, both to christen the bow and lubricate the crew.

Naming a boat can be harder than naming a child. Humor is appreciated — especially by the Coast Guard — if done tastefully. Do you really want to spell out Esprit de Famille every time you pick up the radio to request a bridge opening?

Post navigation

Or Ptarmigan? And pity the marina and harbor masters, too, who respond to your calls to request docking. If you're not careful you could get caught up in a classic "Who's on First" routine:.

Know How to Learn

There are boat name generators, too, and Hilarious Boat Names has its own Facebook page. They are less likely to change:. Sometimes leading to Outrageous Puns. Permission to groan granted :. Own a fishing boat? How about:.

Although one boat we saw skippered by a woman! And sloop :.

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Perhaps my next boat will be named, The Final Draft.