DN NA Report #5

Hello All- Have to tell you about yesterday- The group moved to a sheet of ice further up the river. It was an upwind delivery in 20-plus kts in a balmy 5 degrees F. And there was snow blowing around. And there was a BIG ridge to cross.

The three of us delayed sailing north in order to make a run to the store for face masks and mittens. All we found was the lousiest sub shop on Earth. This put us behind the main group that sailed up. Bad idea, we should have gone with the gang. Safety in numbers. And I’m supposed to be a professional boat captain for crying out loud. We had to laugh when we made it back to the pits and ours were the only three boats left! That’s us, Moe, Larry, and Curly….

And yes, I did sail over the ridge but in my defense I never even saw the goddamn thing- goggles fogged up, snow blowing, very distracted by the rapidly crystallizing parts of my body. I was also trying to keep an eye out for Chad and Oliver. I was taking point then- another bad idea- why the hell wasn’t I behind Oliver? He’s young and therefore a fast healer. Chad is a father of two- wouldn’t be right to put him in the lead…. He has little iceboaters to raise plus he does most of the driving when we travel.

Good news is I wasn’t going fast enough to do too much damage- I was only tip-toe-ing along. That said when I bumped over the ridge I stopped and lifted my goggles. Turns out I missed a 3 foot tall vertical block of ice by about 2 feet. I NEVER EVEN SAW IT. In fact I went over just about the only passable part for about 50 yards either way. Just beyond that was a big stone jetty right in my path- I’d have plowed right into that. Blind luck, literally.

THAT is when I ruined my undergarments- my sexiest leopard-print thermals are toast. I did take a moment to thank the cosmos or whatever higher power for steering me around the hazards; I actually removed my mitts and rubbed my St. Christopher that I wear around my neck at all times. I’m not a religious man per se but a good luck charm is a good luck charm. I reckon the same cosmic power that steered me around the hazards might be the same one that steered me into a hay loft in Maryland in 1998 that just happened to have an old DN gathering dust in the corner…. That’s where it all started for me….

ANYWAY- we got away with it, learned (or should I say re-learned) a few lessons, and will proceed humbly and with caution in the future.

Thanks for reading- this missive brought to you by the incredibly strong coffee they stock this place with!

Think Ice and stay tuned- Ten-below-zero here so we will see if we sail- personally I hope not- it’s not human out there…..

James “T” Thieler
12 Channing St.
Newport, RI 02840


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