Twas the Night Before Christmas, and All Through the Boat

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the boat

Not a spot in the bilge was oily, all freshly painted with bilge-kote;

The sails were bagged cleanly in the lazarette with care

In hopes they’d soon be hoisted and filled with fresh air;

The halyards were nestled all snug in their bags

With visions of zizzing fast ‘round a winch without any lags;

For the boat and crew, 2020 had proven quite a challenging year

Bringing months of fear, growth, change, but also cheer;

Plaintiff’s Rest had been bruised and battered in Sally’s unrelenting wrath

But she held fast and was mercifully reunited with her beloved owners in the aftermath;

Now, as she sat patiently on jacks, awaiting her rudder and other repairs to begin

She dreamed of the day she would finally be back out in the water and wind;

After a list of amazing places she would one day sail in her mind had been tapped,

Plaintiff’s Rest was all settled in, silent and humble, ready for a soothing night nap;

But just as her eyes closed, up on her deck, she heard an unfamiliar clatter

She swore she could hear someone clambering up her swim ladder;

But whatever was tiptoeing above her was nimble and fast

For everywhere she looked prints and traces of its movement didn’t last;

Out her portlights, Plaintiff’s Rest thought she saw a person jump and scamper

Then a noise trickled in through the dorade and she thought she heard banter;

Shh … ” a muffled voice said, “we’re not supposed to be here at night.” 

Then through the lee boards, shoes and pant legs caught her sight.

Worried Plaintiff’s Rest was, the clatterers had come aboard to steal like a vixen

She was about to ring her old ship’s bell in the vberth in hopes it would blitz them;

But, there on her marvelous teak, where it had once hung so proud

Now sat a bare wall so Plaintiff’s Rest could not make a sound loud;

How it had been removed without her knowing did make her wonder

But she had been quite occupied with all of the tinkering and repairs she’d been under;

Before she could process it, she heard once again the clink-clink of her ladder

So she flew to the lee boards to look in the cockpit and see what was the matter;

And, there, sitting cheerily near her binnacle in a basket of ribbons red and green

Sat a shiny new ship bell, so bright she knew she had never seen anything quite so keen;

It was a gift so lovely and so perfect for her Christmas this year that she let out a whistle

And there beside it, sat a note with bold letters nestled next to a sprig of toe, mistle;

Plaintiff’s Rest read the scrawly letters she knew to be her owner Phillip’s, alright

It said “Merry Christmas to you girl, you put up one helluva fight!”

4 thoughts on “Twas the Night Before Christmas, and All Through the Boat

  • I am concerned that there is no safe marina on the gulf coast of the US. Pensacola could have easily been hit twice last hurricane season. I have a lake sailer that is on a trailer. No problem there. I live in Dallas. I am looking for an ocean boat and do not know where to put it. What are your thoughts on this serious issue?

    • Hi Paul. I totally hear you. We could have easily been hit more than the (surprising) once. Hurricane season on the Gulf Coast is just a dicey game, no matter what you do. Phillip and I have toyed with the idea of just hauling her when the first storm points our way and keeping her hauled for the remainder of the season. Of course, you need to be on a haul-out plan to have that guaranteed option (which can take years to get on at some shipyards). It seems hauling may be the only way to be sure she’s as safe as she can be (which jack stands are no guarantee, other than she won’t sink) for the entire season. Otherwise, you can try to play the run to the left, run to the right game, but with an unpredictable track (which happens), you can get trapped. Other than those options, try to keep her out of the box for the season if you can commuter cruise and leave her places. Seems to me those are the best options, but nothing is ever a guarantee when it comes to hurricanes. Best of luck to you.

Leave a Reply