“Adventure at Sea” a Poem by Kristel Adair

As you prepare to read this poem you may find it interesting that after I read it I asked Kristel if this was a made up story.  Her reply was:

"Oh no, this was an actual event! I don't recall what year it was, but
Stoners and Margaret Hueske (past BMSA member and Tell Tale editor) were
with us for a week in Cape May. We had our old Sweet Pea then, a 19'
Bristol Corinthian sloop. We kept it at a marina in the harbor for the
week and planned the circumnavigation of Cape May--out the harbor to the
ocean, along the beach, up into the Delaware and into the canal back to
the harbor. Every word of this is absolutely true. We saw bare butts on
Higbee Beach, and when we had turned into the Delaware Bay, the outgoing
tide was equaled by the southerly wind and waves so we felt and sounded
like we were going gangbusters but in fact were going nowhere at all!"

A Circumnavigation of Cape May

(Overdramatized for Effect)

While on vacation in Cape May,

We waited for a special day,

To set upon an adventurous sail,

And thereby share this spirited tale.

Twas Hueske, Stoners and Adairs,

Yes, two and a half intrepid pairs,

Made ready the vessel named "Sweet Pea,"

To venture upon the sterling sea.

We slipped from the harbor into the channel,

Clad in jackets lined with flannel,

Survived the wakes of passing fleets,

And reached the point where the ocean meets.

Our sails took breaths, soft and light,

And edged us forward, slow and  slight.

We gently rode the three foot swells

But who turned green, no one tells!

The ocean sparkled on that sunny day,

That we floated by Old Cape May,

Victorian homes and sandy beach

Were well within our Sweet Pea's reach.

As we approached the Point where the lighthouse stands

Upon the sunwarmed, drifting sands,

The winds picked up and the waves made rolls,

And heartened our poor mariners' souls.

We rounded the Point and dodged the shoals

As well as lines from fishing poles,

And ran smack dab into pitching seas

Where Delaware Bay met ocean breeze.

Though wind and waves were on our side,

We fought against outgoing tide.

Tom shook and cursed his GPS

For saying we made no progress.

"Tis true, tis true!" his wife decried,

"That rock over there that I have spied,

Stays on our beam. It's so perverse

That we are moving in reverse!"

For half an hour we battled the tide,

With following seas it was quite a ride!

We finally resorted to the iron maiden,

And resumed our course that we had laid in.

Higbee's Beach was but a short half mile

And we could spy the vertical smile

On every butt that walked the sand –

The one body part that wasn't tanned!

We approached the canal, keen-eyed and wary,

We didn't want to dance with the Cape May ferry!

We dropped the jib and then the main

And sighed a sated sailor's refrain:

Spending time with cherished friends,

Making memories that never end,

Sailing near or far, east or west,

Sailing home is always the best.

Kristel Adair


One thought on ““Adventure at Sea” a Poem by Kristel Adair

  1. Tom

    This in fact did happen. It was a great weekend. Let’s make Cape May a destination next year. Time for another circumnavigation. Thanks, Kristel, for the memories! Tom


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