Your Bowsprit In My Cockpit

I wrote this song after a night anchored up with my friend Aaron and his Baba 30 on Lake Champlain. We had spent two summers as boatyard buddies. His family quickly became surrogates to my own and I stayed with his parents often and did work for them while I was still on Lake Champlain, preparing my boat for the long journey south.

The wind was ripping that day. He had just launched after years on the hard. He and his partner, Sarah, were sailing to Novia Scotia soon and I was going in the opposite direction. I had sailed over to meet him for one final hurrah under double reefed main only. He had moved from his mooring to a more protected spot closer to land which was tranquil as could be.

We drank beers, talked about our future travels and past adventures, worked on our respective projects, tied a rope between the two boats so we could pull ourselves across by dinghy, and of course argued a little like any sister and brother from another mother would.

The following morning after our rendezvous, a small squall came through. Not long after it was dead calm, and I heard a gentle thud. I hopped up out of my bunk and into the cockpit.

“HEY” I called to Aaron. “Your bowsprit is in my cockpit!”

He came on deck bleary eyed and wondered aloud, “Oh, shit. How did that happen?”

I climbed aboard over the bowsprit and we set to re-anchoring his boat and theorizing as to why it happened. Had he not set his anchor after we took the boat to get provisions? Did he drag?

It turns out we both had pretty long anchor rodes out, and without the wind pushing us in a single direction we clonked into each other. The beauty of it is that we both have strong boats that easily survived the collision no worse for wear, and I came up with this marvelous song.