Ramblings from a Seaport Town

It felt like January in the Southwest corner.

It was the beginning of August, August 6th to be correct, and it felt like January, at least some days in January out here. i was wishing i had worn my trousers instead of shorts and brought a light rain jacket or a wind shirt instead of the short-sleeved golf shirt.

Oh, it wasn’t that bad. But it was cool with a stiff breeze off the Pacific. There was some occasional mist, very, very light mist. And the FMG — Have i written those initials long enough for most of you to recognize they stand for Friday Morning Golf? — bunch, including me, are curmudgeons, true curmudgeons like those two old guys, Statler and Waldorf, in the balcony in the Sesame Street Muppets. And we are proud of it. Brag about it. We even use the term (close your eyes if you are politically correct sensitive) “asshole” as a compliment.

So i’m claiming it was cold.

After all, San Diego is a seaport town. Usually, the Southwest corner is tourist bliss: perfectly warm with a gentle breeze and sun, lots of sun. But these past few days, she has been a seaport town. The mist…er, marine layer moved in. The entire ridge of Point Loma was ensnared by fog. The gentle breeze was a two-club wind.

i love it.

And it brings to mind the other seaport towns i’ve loved. Newport, Rhode Island. Athens, Greece. Esquimalt, British Columbia. Sasebo, Japan. Fremantle, Australia. Rota, Spain. i’m sure there are others. Oh, there are a lot of seaports, many with incredible ambience, like Key West and Mayport, Florida;  Monte Carlo; Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; St. Thomas,  Virgin Islands; Nha Trang, Vietnam, and many more. But they don’t have that feel of a seaport town where there is a grit, the sea blowing onto land with a taste of actually being out there on a ship.

Yeh. i love seaport towns.

Then, on the thirteenth green, the par three  green that is backed by the Pacific, out on the horizon looms a ghost ship silhouetted in the light gray mist. It was like the past coming back to greet me. The Anchorage seemed to have risen from her watery grave off of Hawaii, where Navy aircraft squadrons sunk her decommissioned soul in a training exercise in 2010 and was coming for me to board her. Alas, it was not my Anchorage. It could have been the new one, USS Anchorage (LPD 23), or one of those new landing ship docks like my Anchorage, only bigger and mightier and computerized.

Standing on that green in the cool wind of a seaport town in August, the specter of that old, steam propelled beautiful ship of the past came to me.

i knew this one one of the reasons the Southwest corner will remain my home: a seaport town that can take me back to another world, another time that was mine.

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