Thursday, December 06, 2007


Last night was cold diamonds on black velvet. There was Orion in his warrior pose, sword hung rakishly from his famous belt. Ursa Major is shy this time of year and doesn't appear until well after midnight. By the way, Ursa much prefers his hipper moniker, "The Big Dipper".
What makes this constellation so very useful is the fact that the outside wall of the Big Dipper's pan always points to Polaris, the North Star.... the only star that doesn't move as the night slides by. Reassuringly on the job, the North Star was where it always is -- due north, pointing the way for sailors and other sojourners.
The water beyond the pilings where "Sails Call" is moored is dark, shivering in a north breeze. As I lie in the cockpit star gazing with binoculars, I can't help but wonder what it would be like to strike out, get outside the sight of land and sail under that twinkling canopy to Bermuda. Never happen.
Too cold, I open the companionway and step down into the warmth of the salon. Three stations to choose from on television. Outside, the current of the Intracoastal Waterway drifts slowly toward Beaufort Inlet on a falling tide and the universe is spinning as it should. We are the one's who are spinning, really, but you know what I mean.

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