The Id and The Odyssey; Episode 104

Meeting Salty

Rich talked to fishermen, yachtsmen, and sailors of all sorts. He collected advise like a vacationer collects seashells washed on the shore. He would pick up some advice and polish it, if it didn’t seem so good it was cast aside. Some things he wrote in detail in a journal.
The manager of the marina told him about an old timer named Salty who lived on Mohegan Island. He was said to know more about the sea and boats than anyone around. He had taken a number of solo sailing trips in his lifetime and it was said he sailed around the world.
On a sunny Sunday morning in mid April Rich set sail for Mohegan Island and to find Salty.
The northwest breeze funneled into Owls Head Bay and provided smooth sailing, sharp and quick. He passed through the various island’s some knows as ledges. Innto more open waters as he skipped past Yellow Ridge Island. The seas were a bit more choppy and the breeze settled, but was more than ample to fill the sails.
The trip would have been much quicker if he would have driven to Port Clyde and taken the ferry to the island. Rich wanted every opportunity to sail and experience open waters to hone his skills.
He had heard that Salty liked rum and so two half gallon bottles were stowed away in the cabin as a gift for the old sailor; a small price for the nuggets of golden information that he might pass on.
Mohegan island was said to have been visited by a number of pirates in the golden age of high seas piracy. Samuel Bellamy (aka. Black Sam or the Prince of Pirates) was a visitor of the island. It was rumored some of his booty still lay there undiscovered. Of, course the island had been searched, poked, and prodded for decades upon decades with nothing to show.
It is a quiet place until the summer when bird watchers, tourist, and artist appear like dandelions on a lawn. And as Rich and The Odyssey peeked into the small harbor of Mohegan Island the sun cast a bright mid morning glow on a sleepy island village. A few houses dotted the shore and there were no humans treading the small lanes winding through the seaside village. Two dogs barked a warning.
Rich docked without the use of the engine. A feat for which he was proud.
Having no idea where Salty lived Rich came to the first house and knocked on the door. A barrel-chested man in bib overhauls came to the door and looked almost angrily at Rich.
“What do you want,” he said with a snort like bull about to charge.
“I’m looking for Salty,” Rich said and held out the two bottles of rum. “I have a gift for him.”
He lifted his head and sneered. “Follow this road till it dead ends and go right. Take that until it dead ends and go right again. Keep walkin’ till you find a two room cabin. That’s it, Salty’s.”
“Thank you, sir,” Rich said.
The man nodded and shut the door.
It was a breezy walk through the village. Most of the houses were locked up for the winter. It was eerily quiet. It was as if something terrible could happen and nobody would notice or care, least of which the man who gave directions.
Rich arrived at the cabin described by the man. Although it was the oldest structure in view it was by far the neatest and most intriguing. It was small, painted red, with a shake roof.
Rich knocked and the door immediately opened. An old man with a flannel shirt and grey pants squinted at the sun in his eyes. He held his hands over his eyes to shield the sun from his wrinkled weather-beaten face. He was short and thin, however, appeared spry.
“What can I do for ya,” he said.
“Are you the man they call Salty?” Rich said.
“Yes,” he said.
“My name is Rich Larsen.” Rich held out the two bottles of rum. “A gift.”
“I haven’t got a gift since Christmas of 09,” Salty said. “and there was a catch to it; I had to work on my dad’s lobster boat. It was a pair of boots. Not so much a gift as it was work gear.”
“I assure you all I want is some time and advice,” Rich said.
“Step in and I’ll pour us both a shot or two,” Salty said. “I know it’s Sunday, but a good shot makes the day of rest much more pleasant.”
Salty showed him in. “Have a seat at my table.” A small wooden table sat under a window that faced the sea.
“Truth of the matter is it’s too early for rum,” Salty said. “How ‘bout I brew some coffee and we strengthen it with a tip of rum and some heavy cream? They have it that way in Jamaica.”
Salty prepared the drinks and as he did Rich told him about the trip from Rockland. Salty was interested in every detail of the trip and how Rich handled the seas, wind, and boat. Salty sat the drink in front of Rich. “Easy, you’re just a lad.”
Rich sipped. “This makes me want to sail to Jamaica.”

Salty laughed. “You seem like a fine lad. What is it that brings you here with two good bottles of rum?”