It’s a 5 am run day. Outside it is pitch dark, blustery and rainy as I roll along toward the mouth of the Merrimac. I cut through the gravel pathway of the boat yard and my footsteps are keeping time with something that sounds like a spoon banging on the side of a tea cup…clink, clink, clink. It is the sound of clinking halyards against sailboat masts, dozens of them. The sound is constant and plays like a symphony, traveling throughout the downtown area. I often wonder if the townies get to sleep at all on windy nights like this. I love the sound myself, but then again I don’t have to live next to it. I imagine it’s similar to life alongside a railroad track where you just get used to it.
The skippers could remedy the clanging in a heartbeat. A boat captain worth his/her salt would know to swing the halyards outboard around the spreader before making them fast again to prevent the incessant slap of the halyard to the mast. But I’m not the captain here, I’m a road runner who thinks the clinking halyards play a romantic sound of life in a harbor town. With the wind and rain come the glossy black of the street which reflect hazy street lights on my way along the coast. This is my time, my town and my symphony…. So depending on how close you live to the boat yard, you can take this sound as a glass half empty or a glass half full situation… one thing we know about sailors is, they take their glasses with two shots of rum and some …Clink, Clink Clink….some ice. Toast: May your halyards never be bound and your boatyard filled with sound…. Cheers