from A Grandpa's Notebook, Meyer Moldeven

Today was Roger's turn, sailing into Snug Harbor.

Roger spread a map of the island to help follow the stories.

After the dolphins leave, we go forward to Snow White's bow. We watch the shoreline slip by as we near the harbor entrance.

We're sailing east around Singalong Point. The sea is choppy as the breeze picks up.

We go aft to the stern. We're helping Dad and Mother do all the things that are important when a sailboat enters a harbor.

Dad gives Suzanne and me important jobs: the port and starboard watch. Suzanne has the port side and I have starboard. In sailing talk the 'port' side is on the left when you're facing the bow or forward, and 'starboard,' is on the right, also when you're facing forward.

We're in the channel that leads into the harbor, and we'll soon need a place to drop the boat's anchor. 'Dropping anchor' are more sailing words. They mean about the same as setting a car's brakes when the car stops in the driveway and the motor turned off.

Suzanne is watching to port, looking for drifting debris and logs, and to make sure the boat doesn't cut too close to the island. I'm taking care of starboard, watching for the same things, and for traffic heading our way from the open sea.

Mother is standing by to lower the sail when Dad gets Snow White to the mooring. Mooring, used this way is like a parking space. Dad is steering the boat and trying to watch everything.

I see a speck on the horizon. It gets larger fast, coming in our direction.

'Dad,' I shout, 'motor boat. Big.'

'Where away?' Dad shouts back.

'Off the starboard bow,' I yell back and point. Dad and Mother look. Suzanne looks, too, but for only half a second, then she goes right back to her job, which is very important.

'Looks like she's really coming fast,' Mother warns.

'You're right,' Dad says, raising his binoculars to examine the motor boat.

'It' s a tour boat from the other islands,' Dad says, 'She'll tie up at Snug Harbor pier. With all those extra people on board this place may get crowded. We'd better get in as quickly as we can and find a good place to pitch our tents.'

Dad tells Mother to keep the sail spread and the lines taut to take as much wind as possible. Soon we're passing the Snug Harbor pier and wave to a man who is fishing. He waves back.

After our boat passes the pier we're in the sheltered part of the harbor. Mother lowers the sail, and we drop anchor near the shore next to the flagpole. The tourist boat pulls in close behind us and ties up to the pier.

We load our camping supplies into our dinghy and row to the beach. As soon as Suzanne and I step ashore we dash along the trail to the campsites and pick a good site for our tents.

Mother and Dad follow us with the gear. Working together, we pitch the tents, and get our food stored so it will be out of the way of animals. Soon, we're settled for the first night of our vacation.

'Well,' I said when Roger finished. 'That sounds like an exciting start. What happened afterward?'

'Let's meet here tomorrow,' Suzanne said, 'and we'll talk about it.'

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