October 29, 2017
I felt a cold breeze on my right cheek. As I turned my face to determine its direction, the wind seemed to grow into intensity. "Damn," I swore. Out of the mist a howling gale sprang up and aboard Persistence, I was caught again, this time close to a lee shore. The savage winds and racing waters could carry me into the waiting rocks. I threw the tiller over but the screaming wind tried to lever the mast down into the water. The northeaster had returned. Sails were down, just as they should be in heavy weather handling in a centerboard boat without a ballast keel. The two-cycle engine roared into life and we righted ourselves, flying through the racing breakers, which continually threatened to slew us broadside. Spurts of water gushed into the cockpit. The outboard's prop was dipping in and out of the water, snarling nastily. We were in great danger and the mist was thickening with another storm brewing as I made it back to the harbor. Shakily, I tied up again at an old barge. I had been out there again, finding out about the waters the Fitzgerald had sailed in --- and almost didn't come back.