As soon as we set anchor the boat settles as if the keel was set firmly in bedrock. The sun warms the decks and all manner of clouds dissipate. To the northwest the whipped sea is merely a dark ribbon of contrast below the gray sky.
The dinghy, which for the past two days hung flaccidly from the stern, suddenly becomes an object of serious attention. It is wrestled to the deck by the Coffeebean Brothers, Margarete the engineer and Elenore. The older Bean brother, Michael, is marking a milestone birthday and a trip ashore will ensure a proper celebration. As they lay the craft on deck the younger of the Beans glances over his shoulder as if he expects the coast to disappear. Four mates toil, the men stripping off fleece a layer at a time. Taking turns on a foot pump they work feverishly to revive the boat. Although the resuscitation attempt is intense, the launch refuses the inflation. Soon the entire crew has circled the craft with hands hanging slack at their sides. The little boat is a goner. There’s nothing anyone can do but stand silent and regard its passing. Finally someone asks, “Is there a water taxi? A shoreboat?”
You see, our voyage is dry.