Beatitude Point … ( # 6 ) …

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Wednesday , 9-20-1972 , Chris’ journal

 

Once again that verbally abused box woke us at 5:30 . I was up first at 6 a.m. The alarm went off , but Buzz continued to sleep . Dale screamed , “Buzzy” and I leaned over and prodded him simultaneously . Buzz jumped , hit his head on the cabin wall and finally said something about getting up , but fell back to sleep when I produced some lame excuse about it being too rough outside . Finally things began to happen . I threw the cushions out into the cockpit , opened the blower port , pumped out the bilge , took photos of the boat from the dingy and took down the cockpit flyer ; all before a breakfast nobody liked . It was instant oatmeal , instant coffee and a ration of bacon this morning . After breakfast Dale and I washed the dishes and then I accompanied Buzz and Dave to a Standard station rest room . On our return we found the genie sheets out and Dale working on the gear shifter . He found the adjustment device , but lacked the necessary tools to complete the repair . While the other two busied themselves within the cabin , Dave and I stowed the small genie and rigged the jib . We weighed anchor at 8 o’clock and sailed out of the harbor called Sleeping Bear  . We had another traumatic experience with overloaded sails before we left Sleeping Bear . We seem to have found the solution in letting the sails out , spilling the wind . For this contribution to our collective knowledge we thank Dale . I freely admit my fear of the knockdown situation and find myself unable to relax ; something to overcome . We are making great time ; probably around 6 knots . We should make Charlevoix by 4:30 p.m , then showers and supper shortly thereafter . And what a supper ! We decided to splurge since we would be here awhile ( till Saturday ). We were in high spirits so we hit the Between Decks Bar , consuming 4 or 5 pitchers of draft beer and having a high old time ! Wow !

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It’s too late to turn back for Buzz too . Hoping to make it to Charlevoix by nightfall , he will party with his mates but feels like they need ” watching over “, often thinking they are immature in their risk taking behavior . He understands history , his major after his first year of college . The lake is calm and opens wide as he takes the helm navigating northwest with a sound knowledge about sailing unlike his crew .

His mind drifts like the white clouds shadow , a shadow of false tranquility  , a shadow smoking the clearness of the earths day as he worries about Dave’s possibility of being drafted with his low draft number of 36 . With his mind now crossing a continent under this shadow of history to the war that makes the earth a swelling and uncertain ocean causing seasickness for his generation , he is thoughtful . Somewhere , a captain tosses in bed , his comrades wet and waiting in the slime of the hot jungle terrain for the enemy to appear under the musky rain of Vietnam … surrounded by buried hearts in the piles of mud near the slow flowing river tributaries . He prays Dave never hears from the draft board .

” Buzz ? Are we on course “?

Buzz is brought back from his spell and the annoying moth that has been flying in a circle around him , invading his sleep last night while it searches for the moons light in order to fly straight , now invades the cabin . ” Get the fishing net ! … that moth won’t leave me alone “!  He knows this will make everyone laugh , being aware they think him a stern skipper !

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He must remain cautious of the Ventures direction . The lack of trust in his crew mates sailing knowledge haunts him like a dripping faucet at the back of his mind where a vision of ” The Poseidon Adventure ” , being pushed to her limits , is hit by a tidal wave and sinks , sinks to the deep , sinking into oblivion on the screen of Buzz’s mind .

Feeling almost love for Chris , Dale and Dave , he is thankful for his escape to the sea from his mothers dominance in her house of only males . . . his dad silent , silent like the bored students his dad teaches .. .his younger and older brothers , rebellious of a females control in their male majority existence . He controls this ship now , but knows he had better be less bossy – it is not the time for that . His memory turns back to his older brothers radio in the garage back home where he first heard the sound of rock music and the rhythm of the Byrds singing the hit , ” Turn , Turn , Turn ” . . .  Dave , Chris and Dale , his brothers now . . .

” To everything , turn , turn ,turn

There is a season , turn ,turn , turn

And a time to every purpose under heaven “.

He sites the lighthouse of Charlevoix , his reading of the charts perfect , the grey skeletal tower like the far away tower across Gods earth looming like that moth over Danang Port in Nam Djnh Province of Vietnam .

” Land mates , perhaps a bar “!

The seagulls , the flying insects , the jumping fish – all into the sky – the eye of the underwater squid awaits them in the yet distant reef off Florida where a world of hallucination exists – too late to turn back now …

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