Posted by: nauticalchronicles | December 20, 2013



A Dock for All Ages

The General and Deb (and Bella) got a Christmas letter last week from, of all people, Peter and Mary. Deb had written them a note last month asking how they were doing, what they were doing and what they were planning on doing. Deb also brought them up to date with the goings-on at Cove Marina and with the boating peeps. Rather than paraphrase P&M’s response, I have chosen to give it to you in its entirety…it went like this:

“Dear Deb,

It was great to hear from you. I hope the General is doing well and is still loving his job with Pepsi (he needs that job!). Also, though we don’t care much for Bella, we hope she is doing well, as well. The Christmas season is not finding us in too good of shape this year; we are up to our eyeballs in debt due to a terrible rental season this past summer. We moved our Chris Craft  from Weehawken to Hoboken, and made many improvements in hopes of getting more money from rentals, but when our first tenants of the season set the galley on fire, it put us back a few weeks; we needed to cancel three of our rental weeks. We neglected to add “business interruption” insurance to our policy at the beginning of the season, but have since made that change.

In addition to our business problems, Peter has been suffering ill health for the past several months. The difficulties began in August with an automobile accident. Another motorist lost control of her car on a wet, slick highway outside of Hoboken, crossed left of center and caused a head-on collision with our motor home (I was not with Peter when this occurred). Peter was transported to the hospital emergency room for treatment of abrasions and contusions to the scalp, forearm and sternum. Then, in September, he was again admitted to the hospital where he underwent four days of tests, medication and minor surgery for urological problems. We anticipate that he may require further procedures; either medical or surgical…he has not yet fully recovered. We have also noticed a minor swelling of his lower extremities; we are not certain if this is a related issue.

While in the hospital, Peter met an elderly, single man who shared some of the same ailments as Peter. The man originally hailed from Ohio, and was a high school math teacher and a ”gentleman farmer” who tended sheep, chickens and goats; his name was Wilbur; he promised to visit P&M at their motor home (now slightly damaged) at the Flamingo Motor Home Court in Weehawken.”

Now you see how it would be impossible to “paraphrase” this letter! The letter continues:

“I understand from your note that you had an enjoyable season of boating at Cove…we really do miss you guys and all the others. We especially miss hanging out at the docks (since that is mostly what we did!) It sounds like there have been lots of changes since we were there. We were especially surprised about that elderly policeman on “D” dock selling his boat “Off Duty”! And that Bob and Louise have listed their boat “HalfMine” for sale; we didn’t think they would ever part with it. What ever will happen to that woman, Martha, who used to sit on their boat  and drink white wine for days on end?

We really enjoyed the story about Kevin (the middle-aged attorney from the old “Mudslide”) and Bob going out on a test run on Bob’s new center-console outboard. It sounds like those two women and their five kids on their anchored 25-footer could really have been in serious trouble if Kevin and Bob hadn’t come along and rescued them. How in the world could they have anchored their boat and gone swimming without tether lines and life jackets in the Merrimack River on a swift incoming tide…I wonder what they were thinking as they tried to swim back to their boat and couldn’t fight the tide?? It was a nice touch though; Bob and Kevin naming the little vessel “Rescue One”.

You mentioned that The General even took your boat out with a large crew to “run the gas out of it” and change the oil. It sure is funny how quickly time goes by. How could it possibly have been five years since The General last filled up “Prime Time” or changed her oil? At least it sounded like a good time and the boat ran well (unlike several of our vessels).

And finally, this bit about “The Hoars”; what’s that about? A couple of young kids are hanging around with you old farts? Who names a boat “Hoar’n Around”? They must run into problems with the Coast Guard when they are on the radio! And I didn’t understand that part about them having a parrot that keeps saying “Eric…Eric Mathew; Eric Mathew; EEEErrrrriiik”. It is nice to know that there is still fun to be had on the docks!

Say “Hi” to all our old friends: Steve & Jenn (is he still with my old pest control business?), Jim (“just the accountant”) & Carol, Captain Bob & Louise, Paul & Deb from “Absolutly Two”, Dick & Pam, Perry & Jeannie, Peter & Victoria (we still remember him being stuck in the hatch!), Artie & Denise, Brian & Debbie (is Brian allowed to bring red wine onto “HalfMine” yet?), Brian from “Together Again” (how is his broken foot?), Whit & Rosemary (does he still have the Donzi?), Dottie (do you ever see her?), Kevin & Connie (the middle-aged attorney), John & Louise (did they ever restock the Jack Daniels?), Dave & Susan, Tim/Tom & Gloria (heard they got a new boat), Doug & Trish (is she still taking pictures?), Richard & Tracy, Dave & Pam, Eric & Kathy, Lars & Kristyn, Kevin & Judy, Eric & Victoria, Frank & Chris, Mike & Sandy, Randy, Keith & June, Bill & Paula, Dale & Debbie, Dick from “Shamrock”, Dave & Tracy, Mike & Sharon, Sean & Debbie, Michael & Holly, Eddie & Jennifer, June, Julie & Karl, Betsy Lee, Kathy & Fred, Terry & Kristy, Wesley, Stephen & Katie, Adam & Hannah, Jim & Becky (guess they had quite a trip down the ICW), and do you ever hear from Tom & Patti of “True Love”? We wonder where they are these days. I wish we could remember all those teacher-friends of Bob & Louise…they were quite a good partying crowd as we remember!

Peter and I wish each and every one of our old friends a very merry Christmas and an exceptionally good New Year; maybe we will catch up with you at the docks during 2014!!! Maybe we will try to bring “Our Getaway” for a visit. Don’t hold your breath, but beware; we might just be returning ( or maybe we’ll just go to California!). We are looking forward to meeting all those wacky new friends you have met since we left, especially “The Hoars”; you say that you hardly go anywhere without them these days…how sweet.

Bye for now; your BFF with love,

Mary (Peter is recuperating from last night but sends his love as well!)”

As always, we were sorry to hear about their trials and tribulations, but recognize that their positive spirits and love for family and friends will carry them through. We called them last night to wish them Happy Holidays but…their phone had been disconnected.

the little man

Captain Robert Brown

First Mate Louise

PS:     And don’t forget to sing “Hallelujah” by the Canadian Tenors at least one time this holiday season…AT THE TOP OF YOUR LUNGS!



  1. Hallelujah we made it in nautical chronicles !! L❤ve this story ! Xoxo

  2. Captain,

    Are you *sure* you didn’t write that yourself?

    xoxo k

  3. ANOTHER EXCELLENT READ!!! Enjoying a glass of white vino as I settled down to read it! I saved the story til after babysitting duty was completed and vino poured!! LOVED IT…. As always!!! Keep em coming!

    Sent from my iPhone

  4. Another one for the books good job Bob. Merry Xmas to you and Louise

  5. Love it, Bob and Louise! Glad Peter and Mary couldn’t remember the name of all Louise and Bob’s teacher-friends!!

  6. Thanks Bob for a very nice story and update on former Cove marina dockers.
    Merry Christmas to ALL.
    See you all in May………
    and btw,,,,,,

    “yes the lobster boat WILL be backed in “ass backwards” in slip D14 this coming season” 🙂

    Bill D

  7. Ahhhhh, Wilbur, the gentleman farmer. What a rich piece of family history 🙂

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