Monday, May 1, 2017

1980 (24) - Admiral Lucille

Red Sky At Night.  Hand-painted silk.  Art Quilt by Jean Baardsen

To go to the beginning of this book, Tropic Moon: Memories, click HERE.

One Sunday in late September, we sailed from Road Town, Tortola, to Cooper Island, across the Sir Francis Drake Channel.  We enjoyed the clean water, and did some snorkeling.  I saw two beautiful pink jellyfish.  Ed scraped Tropic Moon’s bottom, diving with a snorkel.  I rowed ashore so I could clean the marine growth off the dinghy’s bottom.  Both were in bad shape after several weeks in Road Town.

We met Ted and Lucille while we were at Cooper Island.  We visited back and forth.  We had them over for lunch one day, and they had us for drinks another night.  Lucille was an interesting young woman.  After listening to her stories, I told Ed he really ought to appreciate me.  Lucille refused to do any boat work; she wouldn’t handle the wheel when they sailed.  They had been in the Bahamas for six months, and then sailed back to Florida to restock provisions.  Ted then did a 9-1/2 day passage from Florida to Puerto Rico – by himself.  Lucille was afraid of the passages.  She flew home to Ontario, and then flew to Puerto Rico to join Ted.

Ted and Lucille had a marvelously large, inflatable dinghy that seemed half the size of their sailboat, Capricious.  Lucille, in her tiny bikini, long, blond hair flying out behind her, would take me speeding around the anchorage.  She'd get the dinghy on a plane, skimming over the surface of the water.  When she and I were alone – no guys – she explained her method for avoiding the varnishing work.  The first time Ted had asked for her assistance, Lucille sanded across the grain, instead of with it.  That was the last time Ted asked.  Hmm…  

Red Sky At Night.  Detail.

Lucille told me she had no interest in being the captain on Capricious.  She said she preferred to be the Admiral – she sat around and admired.  Admittedly, I’d never met anyone like her.  One result of our encounter was that I wrote another poem….


I am the mate
Of the Tropic Moon,
But the captain I’ll never be.
It’s a job I would shun,
It wouldn’t be fun,
Such responsibility.

But I found the position
For which I’ve a yen
The day we met Ted and Lucille.
With open jaw
I listened with awe.
Surely this lady’s not real!

She’ll not do the sanding,
She’ll not do the varnish,
A paintbrush she will not touch.
Oh, it seemed to me
As I listened to her,
That she didn’t do very much.

“My Ted is the captain,
Of that there’s no question.
It’s a position I wouldn’t desire.
For I have it best,
I’m the Admiral, you see.
I sit around and admire!”

I was filled with envy
For Admiral Lucille,
And I’m very sorry to say,
I’d trade my Ed
For Captain Ted,
Any old sunny day.

Oh, it would be fun,
At least for a while,
To sit around and admire.
But as Ed was quick
To point out to me –
There are plenty of mates for hire.

And so, Lucille,
I’ll serve as mate
And to my duties be true.
But I’m wont to say,
If I had my way,
I’d be an Admiral like you.

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