The bottom, bow on.

Starboard bow and bottom.

Be gentle with my baby!

Launch Press Release

Dateline: Annapolis, Md.

The good ship Kala Nag has been launched! On a bright and sunny Wednesday afternoon in July, after three years of rehab-turned-rebuild work, the intrepid sailing vessel Kala Nag was tenderly lifted from the jackstands at the edge of a tick-infested field, carried to a creek, and gently set free into the warm waters of Chesapeake Bay. As in the line from her name’s keepsake poem by Rudyard Kipling, she was let out “to the wind’s untainted kiss, and the water’s clean caress.”

Crowds gathered*, local TV news stations converged to cover the event*, and several celebrity guest speakers from both the international sailing community and Hollywood* (and a few random, shabbily-dressed, probably half-drunken boat bums from the nearby Do-It-Yourself boatyard**) marked the event with wonderfully affectionate and humorous speeches about the boat, the work that went into her, and the man who made it all possible.

As the impeccably refurbished yacht was lowered into the waiting water, the owner and skipper (disarmingly handsome, charming, witty, wise, and yet ever so humble – a stunning stud by all accounts) quietly stood by with a bottle to christen her. The bottle chosen was not champagne but beer, the better to honor all of the hard, sweaty, and seemingly endless toil under three summers’ punishing sun that brought the boat to this point of perfection.

When asked what he was going to do with this fine and enviable piece of maritime majesty, meaning where in the wide world he was going to sail her, he tapped her bow with the beer bottle, twisted off the top, and said, “I’m going to sit on her and have a beer.” No long, drawn-out, rambling, run-on speech, just a concise statement of true sailor-like action: how profound! And he did just exactly what he said he would do: he sat there on his boat, ignored the clamoring crowds of fans and well-wishers and dreamy-eyed wanton women and paparazzi***, and leisurely drank his beer!

Looking into his eyes, one could see that he was reveling in the glory of his work, enjoying the fact that his fine, fine vessel was once again alive in the water! Apparently he had no urge to get her under way; he must have spent at least a half-hour just looking at his boat doing nothing more than simply float! No doubt his mind was filled with images of good times in the sailing seasons ahead . . .

*not really
**ya, really
***see “*”

I had a dream . . . and she is free, free at last!