section is a collection of our thoughts. In here you will find
ramblings and ideas from Charbonneau's crew. Its like our 'editorial
page.' Click on the title for the full document.
Rock Sound, Eleuthera Bahamas
published in Blue Water Sailing)
Sound, tucked into the southwest shore of Eleuthera, has long been
overlooked as a cruising destination in the Bahamas.
In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, Rock Sound was a lively
community catering to crowds of Hollywood jet setters who flew into the
local airport on their way to the very exclusive and trendy resorts
With the collapse of the resorts in the late 1970’s, the town
retreated into a quieter existence, the roar of jet engines no longer
signaling the sound of the town’s prosperity.
And though this simple town with all its love for tourism stands
guard along a well-protected sound, two miles wide and more than four
miles long, cruising boats were rarely seen.
I was moved by the sea today. It
was a powerful emotional experience, one that snuck up on my conscience so
quickly that I was surprised by its effect. In fact, it shook the
foundations of my love for the sea. For today, as I attended the 250th
Seafood Festival and Fisherman's Reunion in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, I
heard my given name - Harry Parks - read aloud as one of the hundreds of
local fisherman lost at sea over the years. It was like being present at
my own wake. I was speechless.
Inspired by Gene Thorne's rhyme
about our website, I thought it time that I shed my masculine, high
testosterone image and share two of my own poems with you. I have
been writing poetry since I was young, but never really shared in large
groups. They were my personal thoughts and something that I
infinitely enjoyed, regardless of what other's may have thought. So
in that vein, I have reprinted two poems related to Charbonneau. The
first was written in 1993 as a part of my courtship with Janet. The
second was completed on an airplane napkin as I flew home from a business
trip in 1997. Janet and I would be closing on our first boat in the
coming weekend and I felt that every boat should have a ship's
poem. So, take your chances to laugh at my work or enjoy my
more sensitive side -- just don't tell anyone that I write poetry!
This Pirate Looks At Forty
June 25th, 2003 marked the
unceremonious passing of my 39th birthday. Today, June 26th is, by all
calculations, the first day of my fortieth year on the planet. Can age 40
really be only 364 days away? Where have all the years gone? And while the
'big four-oh' looms just around the corner, it's not the number that
scares me. No, what scares me is the thought that I'm running out of time
to complete all the items on my "Things I want to do before I
die" list. After my birthday dinner at the Outback restaurant in
Norfolk - an appropriate location at my age since it won't be long before
the world puts me 'out back' to pasture - it was time for some serious
reflection and critical assessment of my list. So with a little Jimmy
Buffett music playing in my head, and with my older eyes now corrected
with contact lenses, I sat down to review where this pirate had
been in his thirty-nine years and what still remained to be pillaged and
-- The Condensed Version
Note: Janet and I are often humbled by the large number of people
who stop by our site and then drop us a kind note thanking us for
maintaining the site. We've made many life-long friends through our
website and hope to continue the writing and photos as our adventures
unfold. One of the latest couples we've met through the site are the
parents of Leo (Thorne) Suplee, Gene and Murele Thorne. Leo and her
husband George cruise aboard their Bayfield 40, Shenandoah, our paths
crossing several times over the last three years. Leo suggested that
Gene take a look at our website. The result has been a new
friendship and one of the most unique emails we've ever received.
Gene has boiled down the essence of our site in this rhyming
tribute. If you don't have time to read the entire site, here's the
condensed version -- in rhyme -- courtesy of the Gene and Murele
You Helped a Powerboat Lately?
I was wide-awake at 3:00 a.m. again.
This time we were anchored in Beaufort, North Carolina.
The rigging was singing its familiar high-pitched howl in the
rising winds. Charbonneau showed her discomfort by yawing wildly, fighting
the ripping waters of the outgoing tide only to be tossed in erratic
directions when the wind and tide collided in stern opposition. Boats were sailing to and fro, over their anchors, and then
being jerked back again when they reached the end of their rode. One boat, a sport-fishing boat, was doing more than just
sailing around their anchor – they were dragging.
on Plan B
The stock market plunged another 295 points yesterday.
The markets most recent decline came after two days of modest
gains, buoyed by hopes that Blue Chip stocks were on the rebound.
Apparently, that’s not the case.
This latest downturn reminded me how perfect our timing was for our
exit from Corporate America in 2000.
When Janet and I retired, the markets were at their highest levels
ever. Like Noah and his ark
we provisioned our boat, gathered up the animals, said our good-byes, and
left town before the rains came.
Noah was a luckier soul, however, since it only rained for forty
days and forty nights. In our
case, the stock market has been raining bad news for more than two years
-- with no end in sight. What
if the rains continue? Do we
need a “Plan B”?
Myths About The Dismal Swamp Canal
“You’re going through the Dismal
Swamp Canal? That’s
dangerous!” That's the typical response from other cruisers when we are
headed between North Carolina and Virginia and we tell them of our
intended route. They then
proceed to tell us all the horror stories they've heard about the canal,
such as how boats have lost their propellers on huge logs and those that
have destroyed their masts as they get tangled in the large branches
hanging over the canal. When
you ask if they have ever gone through the canal, their response is an
overwhelming “No! Too dangerous!”
They have been scared off by the myths, or exaggerated stories,
passed down from year to year and have never tried it themselves.
One of the biggest jokes inside the
cruising community is how often we’re asked, “What do you do all
day?” and “Don’t you get bored?”
Well, we don’t watch much television or spend long hours scouring
the Internet for something to buy on E-Bay.
Most of us have returned to a much simpler pastime – games.
Cruising also offers plenty of opportunities to fix and improve
things aboard a boat. When
you combine these two things – games and improving things – you come
up with the “Games Cruisers Play”.
2002 -- Cinderella
Of The Yard
Feb 2002 -- Mother Nature's Humor
Jan 2002 -- Communal Sailing
Dec 2001 -- The Island Packet Experience
Sep 2001 -- The Shoo Fly Blues
Sep 2001 -- Searching for Humanity in an Inhumane World
Aug 2001 -- Joining The Crew -- Hitching an extended ride on a sailboat
June 2001 -- Quality Time
-- Offshore Sailing With Family
Apr 2001 -- Not Another Day in Paradise
Feb 2001 -- Paradise Found
Apr 2001 -- What a Difference a Year Can Make
Jan 2001 -- The Art of "Dinghy Tacking"
Nov 2000 -- In Search of Warmer Weather
Sep 2000 -- Change of Plans, Honey. We're Aground!
Aug 2000 -- I Can See! I Can See!
May 2000 -- Two Weeks Into Retirement and I'm Exhaused
Mar 2000 -- So Much To Do...So Little Time
Feb 2000 -- We've Got No Plans and We're Sticking To Them
Jan 2000 -- Sell the House? Keep the House? And What About Our
Jan 2000 -- You're Crazy! -- You Can't Retire When You're 35!