Tag Archives: Little Prince

A Very Simple Secret

The Little Prince

Every time I read The Little Prince I get more out of it. If you’ve never read it, or it’s been thirty to forty years since you did, I recommend you find a copy and spend a couple of hours with it.

I first read it in high school, I think, and then when I was looking for a name for the boat. Once again I read it when writing the chapter on buying and naming Little Prince and this latest time on editing that chapter. This time I learned something I should have paid attention to a long time ago.

Some lessons take a lifetime to learn. No matter how many times we are told a thing, sometimes it takes an experience to finally understand. The school of hard knocks provides a fine education. I’ve always wanted to be a writer. That hackneyed phrase “I’m going to write the great American novel” has been with me as long as I can remember. Besides the fact of having little time to myself when I wore many hats, mom, wife, graphic designer, school board representative, cook, and keeper of a half a dozen animals, the word novel was firmly implanted in my brain.

Once upon a time I worked as a correspondent for The Peterborough Transcript, which is no longer. The two newspapers in Peterborough merged. That was longer ago than I care to admit. I stayed in publishing for many years but moved over to the design side. That in turn led me to visual arts– photography and painting. Still that idea of writing a novel lingered.

The Great Reveal

Now, deep into writing my memoir, I love working on it. I get up early, sometimes 5:30 a.m. That is a shocking revelation to anyone who endured seeing me early in the morning, in my past life. Along this path I realized writing a novel is not in the cards for me, or at least a complete fiction. I enjoy reading historical fiction. Add that to my writing pleasure and you get Creative Non-Fiction. It’s the non-fiction part that grabs me.

Years ago, I sat on the beach reading alongside my sister-in-law Debbie.

“Do you ever read anything fun?” she asked.

Huh, I thought what I read was fun. That conversation should have yanked that novel idea right out of my head. I am more interested in non-fiction, that’s what I need to write, when my memoir is finished.

Now back to The Little Prince. He traveled from planet to planet learning all he could without losing himself in the process. When he completed his journey he understood the importance of the creatures he cared for and their uniqueness. My favorite quote from the book goes like this:

“And now, here is my secret,

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

On another note

I’m up to Chapter 24 and counting….getting close. Soon I’ll need Beta readers.

Cruzin Down the NJ Coast

We finally feel like we are making some progress. Along the way we’ve been hit with some pretty rough water. Buzzards Bay, on the other side of the Cape Cod Canal on the way from Sandwich, Massachusetts was fine for a while but as we went further along the waves started getting larger. Our plan was to go to Mystic, Connecticut. We didn’t make it. Instead we headed up the Sakonnet River in Rhode Island to escape what was becoming a very uncomfortable ride. Entering the river, the waves were pushing us along. It’s not quite as fun in a boat as it is on a boogie board.

We spent three days in Tiverton, RI. It was a rather rustic marina but the owner was very nice. We were docked near the fuel dock so there was a steady flow of activity. Most interesting was when the owner fell into the water when handling the lines for an incoming boat. Tim happened to be nearby and managed to push the boat off the dock so Ken could get up the ladder. Even though it was a very chilly day, Ken continued with his work fueling the boat, soaking wet. Just another one of those hearty New Englanders.

When we finally got a day that didn’t have gale force wind warnings, we set off for Mystic. Again, it was just a window of decent weather. We hugged the shore to ward off the larger waves but it was a bumpy ride. More bad weather was predicted. Mystic was a good place to be stuck so we were determined to get there. Also some dear friends live near there and it would be great fun to see them. Other friends were passing through the area at the time and we got top visit with them as well. Mystic was a great stay.

When the weather cleared we started making our way. Once again we were walloped by waves. The NOAA forecast had called for 1-2 foot waves. No such luck. It was more like 4-5 foot waves and not a lot of fun. We didn’t make it to our destination. We had thought once we entered Long Island Sound things would calm down a bit. We were wrong, at least on this leg. Regardless, we had a pleasant stay in Branford, CT.

Hurray! Good weather with calm seas, finally! We crossed over Long Island Sound and stayed close to shore until we arrived in Manhasset Bay, Port Washington, NY. It was such a treat to have a nice boat ride and not clinging on to grab bars for hours on end. We were now well positioned to hit Hell Gate in the morning. The wind started kicking up in the morning so we decided to wait another day before moving on. We were no longer in New England, that was a milestone. Hell Gate, where Long Island Sound meets the East River, was to be our next challenge.

When we left the marina it was about 11:00. A good time as far as the tides were concerned. It was going to be a little breezy, but not bad enough to cause another delay. Our first landmark was the Throgs Neck bridge. There weren’t a lot of boats going through when we did which helped. Wakes from other boats along with the currents makes for a bumpy ride. Going passed Rikers Island was interesting. It looked to be it’s own little city. We passed the United Nations building and then headed towards the battery. We went under several bridges along the way. The best part of the trip was passing by the Statue of Liberty.

Going back out into the ocean and down the New Jersey coast could be difficult. We wanted to be going in the morning when we were fresh so we needed to find a place to stay. Atlantic Highlands has a town marina and it’s close to where we wanted to leave from. The other wonderful side benefit was seeing two old friends. One friend was from grammar school and one from college. Renewing old friendships is such a heartwarming event. The perfect ending to a great day.

Today, we made it down to Point Pleasant, NJ, and into the Manasquan River. We have all our lines securely tied. Sometime around midnight a nor’easter is going to hit us. Never a dull moment on this adventure.

Restart the Clock

“SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 2 AM TO 4 PM EDT FRIDAY…

The National Weather Service in Gray has issued a Small Craft

Advisory, which is in effect from 2 AM to 4 PM EDT Friday.

* WINDS…North 10 to 20 kt with gusts up to 30 kt.

* SEAS…3 to 6 feet.”

Whenever asked how long our journey will take, I say about 5 weeks, depending on the weather. We are now heading towards being a week behind schedule and we haven’t even left home. Hurricane Leslie is sitting out in the Atlantic making trouble. High winds and high seas and we’re going no where. All we can do now is wait, and continue with more preparations.

No matter what, we never seem to get everything done and are always in a rush. I’m sure organized people don’t have the same problem but it’s a constant with us. This extra week foisted upon us is giving us more time to truly be ready. Gradually we’ve been bringing our provisions onto the boat. Today we’ll bring some more on board. Mostly it will be non-perishable food items and clothes.

If there is good news the plumber stood us up earlier this week. He called Monday and said they wouldn’t be able to make it here on schedule but needed to reschedule for next Monday. That was the first assault on our plans. We were looking for a plan “B” when the Small Craft Warnings started popping up. Plan “A” was having the pipes drained in the house for the winter on Monday, then spending the night on the boat. We would then leave first thing Tuesday morning. The delay could have been much worse if we were without plumbing in the house.

I’ve been worried about how we can get all this onto the boat. Tim’s been worried about where it will fit on the boat. With the delay we’ve been able to make several trips out to load items onboard. Now that the larger items are already on Little Prince (LP) I’m less concerned. Where the rest of it will go, I have a good handle on, so I’ve been named the quartermaster. I always wondered what a quartermaster was, now I know. “The cave” as it is known, is a small berth a step down on the port side of the boat. If kids were on board, I’m sure they’d think it was a fun place to sleep. I don’t know of any adults who would feel the same. That’s where the bulk of our storage lies.

Today’s plan is to bring LP out to get fuel and up to the dock for the last provisions besides the perishables and ourselves. I’m not considering us to be perishable. The extra time will also allow us to get things more organized at home and onboard. We have no excuses now.