My favorite skipper and I eloped when it came time to get married.
He'd been through a big wedding already and I wanted neither the pouffy dress nor to stand at the center of that kind of social attention.
The legalizing deed was performed at the Wee Chapel of Love, which used to lurk on Gandy Boulevard in Tampa.
On the way to the Wee Chapel, we did a quick pre-nup. "I'm going to buy boats and forget to tell you," Mr. Linton said.
We both found these demands reasonable. And so it has gone.
This fall, between Flying Scotting, Sunfishing, and warming up Spawn (and then repairing the damage), himself started sailing a 2.4 Meter.
As a boat design, the 2.4 Meter looks very much like the old school America's Cup boats: a classic pointy bow and sweetly curved belly. Those yachty yachts of Newport Rhode Island fame. Dennis Conner and that gang.
Only, 2.4 meters comes out to a diminutive 13 or so feet long. So it's an America's Cup boat considered from the wrong end of the telescope.
As if Paul Bunyan had taken to the high seas, or as if a person had inexplicably shrunk down into a shoe.
The boat has been used in the Paralympics, as well as for the able-bodied; it's difficult to sink or flip.
It's got a mass of spaghetti line controls in the cockpit and Jeff will be using his feet to steer.
Of course he's excited for the new adventure. The man does love a new sailing challenge.
He went halvsies on a 2.4 Meter owned by a friend and began working on it, as he does.
Gelcoat, fiberglass, carbon fiber, epoxy, refiguring hardware, rejigging lines...it's all good.
A bigger project maybe than he expected, but intellectually stimulating.
In December, he got invited to a regatta in Port Charlotte, Florida.
One of the 2.4 Meter guys had a nearly brand-new boat that he'd lend Jeff for the race.
A nice shiny new boat.
Mr. Linton came home with an particular, peculiar expression on his face (or maybe it's the way he holds his neck).
An expression I have come to identify.
I said, "Did you buy that boat?"
Yes. Yes he did.
Happy New Year!