Ode to the Channel Islands

(With apologies to anyone with any literary sensibility.)

Kayaking Little Scorpion off Santa Cruz Island, Channel Islands, California

Kayaking Little Scorpion off Santa Cruz Island, Channel Islands, California

They were well underway
On a bright August day
With a bearing set for Santa Cruz.
Their craft was nigh full
From the mast to the hull
With provisions for two or three crews.

At the Sun Soleil’s wheel,
On an uneven keel,
Stood their captain, of skill set unknown.
Quick to temper was he,
As they sailed the calm sea,
If they so much as cut off his drone.

But the insouciant crew —

Pelican at Little Scorpion, Santa Cruz Island, Channel Islands, California

Pelican at Little Scorpion, Santa Cruz Island, Channel Islands, California

Of each sex, there were two —
Would not let him rankle their mood.
After all, it was true:
What else could they do?
Piss him off and they’d surely be screwed.

So they hoisted the main
And cleared the head’s drain
And prepped for the weekend ahead.
On their first trip ashore
“Holy shit!” they all swore
When they found a huge carcass quite dead.

After snaring a tooth
And playing the sleuth
They returned to the boat Sun Soleil.
What a tirade they got
From the doddy old sot:
“You left me alone here all day!”

“Grab the halyard, yank the sheet!

A 20+-foot basking shark corpse washed ashore on the Channel Islands, entangled in a fishing net.

A 20+-foot basking shark corpse washed ashore on the Channel Islands, entangled in a fishing net.

Tie the line to that cleat!”
Came the orders from morning to night.
Had they known had to sail
They’d all now be in jail
For lobbing the perv in the bight.

But their sails did not luff
For their nerves remained tough
When misfortune hit them full speed.
They bore flies by the reams,
An old skipper sans jeans,
And survived a sea lion stampede.

They had chocolate a plenty,
And bananas ten or twenty,
And they came to malign the poor fruit
For the hardships endured
Once they’d set foot aboard
The boat with a nasty old coot.

On the bow late at night
They observed quite a sight,
A gift from the heavens on high —
Quick flashes of light
Quite brilliant and bright
Like a vestige of Fourth of July.

“Anacapa, ahoy!”
Cried the four crew with joy,
As the lighthouse soon came into view.
They hopped into their dinghy —
A flimsy old thingy —
And skedaddled from old you-know-who.

But no shore trip for they,
Only “anchors aweigh!”
Due to Cap’n’s pleas for more help.
For their trip was cut short —
They but made it to port —
By a harmless ol’ bed of sea kelp.

Soon stolid park rangers
Became more than strangers
As they rolled back to the Sun Soleil.
Then for shore they set sail
With the wind at their tail
For the cap’n’d again had his say.

No more spinnakers for they,
As they cruised through the spray,
For a self-furling sail they had naught.
Wing and wing brought them forth
Amid salty air froth
As their dread soon begin to allay.

With the chocolate now gone,
Just how could they sail on?
But Oxnard soon loomed up ahead.
As they jumped on the pier
Disappeared all their fear
As they kissed the ground on which they tread.

They knew why they’d received
Such a little reprieve
And a trip of such great bargain rate.
Now once more ashore
They would say never more,
“This damn boat just will not macerate!”

Related Posts

1 Comment

  1. Heather

    1. Um, genius?
    2. You make me realize that I totally have no life whatsoever. (Here I am on a Saturday night drafting cover letters while “Wooster and Jeeves” plays on the telly. You are probably spelunking or flamenco dancing.)

Leave a Comment