Sunday 13 March 2011

Two and a Half Jims

      "Uptown got its hustlers, Bowery got its bums..."

     Dock Six may be lacking potable water, shore power, and lights, but, in spite of, or maybe because of, the absence of extras,  we have a plethora of  guys named Jim.

     Jim W., or "Carpe Diem Jim"  is the elder statesman of the Dock.  Retired from a bigger S2 cruiser, 2010 was the first season for Jim and his lovely wife Jill on Dock Six with their new to them Bluenose daysailer, "Carpe Diem."  She is a pretty, pretty boat that has benefited from the able attention lavished on her by Jim and Jill.

     When not sailing or attending to Carpe Diem, Jim is always willing and able to lend a helping hand to others in need.  Need a tool?  Jim's probably got it.  Need a shackle or a pad eye?  he's probably got three different sizes.  Need help getting your mainsail bent on?  The seventy-something fireplug is right there, even if he is already five minutes late to take his wife out for dinner.  Thanks Jim, for all of the above... and I'm still red-faced about losing your screwdriver overboard.

    "Cranky Jim,"  alias Jim I., was a sailing virgin until August 2010.  Hell, if the fishing had been any good last year, he might never have been bitten by the sailing bug!  Here's the deal: Jim and his fun-loving wife Mary Anne (Mariann? Mary Ann?  Marianne?  Hey, we're big on friendship on Dock Six, not so big on details. Mrs. I., please fire me a comment with the correct spelling of your name, so I don't look stupid in the future!) spent a lot of time on their serious Campion fishing machine, "2 Can't Anchor Us," seen behind "Carpe Diem in the picture above.  Frustrated at the lacklustre angling, and seeing the fun their daughter, son-in law and grandson were having with their sailboats, they  decided they needed a boat with sticks and big flappy things..    Not long after this epiphany a new Siren 17 named "Cranky" shows up on the dock- Jim and Marianne(?) are now sailors!  Now they just had to figure out how to sail the damn thing!  As Jim relates the tale, "Just after we launched Cranky, I asked Jack if he would join us for a sail, and maybe give us a few pointers, along the way.....nothing technical or fancy.  Jack, in his ever-calm demeanor stated, "You don't need me.  Just turn off the motor and start pulling ropes."  
     So, they did just that.

      It seems to have worked out for them because this year the Campion is gone and "Cranky" has gotten a facelift.  More on that in a later post.
      Cranky Jim and Mary Ann(?)  are a real asset to the Dock- they are always there to catch a line, fend off an over-enthusiastic docking attempt, offer valuable advice and share laughs and drinks as the sun goes down.   Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Cranky, for helping to make Dock Six, Dock Six.

       This brings us to the "...and a Half Jim"-  our resident go-fast wildman, James.  Not Jim.  James.  Which is good, because it cuts down on confusion.  James has a SeaRay big-water fishing boat with a pair of three- digit HP outboards hung on the transom.  Basically, it is a  fiberglass bathtub with two tornadoes strapped to the rear.

     James and his boat have essentially two speeds:  "FAST"  and "FIX".  It is entirely possible the two are related.  Another guy always willing to pull more than his weight, James is the mechanical go-to guru on the dock.  He can diagnose and repair a recalcitrant engine while most of us are still swearing and trying to open a thinking  beer.  Add to that the fact that the man can run a boat like nobody's business.  Need docking lessons?  James, always even-tempered and competent, could become a millionaire if he opened a school- he is THAT good.  Luckily his skills extend beyond wrenches and throttles- James also has good taste in vodka, and a respectable capacity.  He and his brainy significant other Brooke and loyal companion George are usually at the center of dockside shenanigans.

     Next, The Troubadours of Dock Six.

     Hey, wait!  What post is this?  Time for a contest!!!  Check the next post for details.