Christmas Dash - Dizzy Dolphin


Somewhere, between shopping, decorating, wrapping and eggnog.....I wrote a short holiday story.  Someone was kind enough to send some feedback awhile back and they asked how Lee came to own Vanora, that is covered in the following story.  I hope you enjoy Harry and Lee’s bit of adventure.  I blame any errors or oversights totally on The Kracken, great rum with quite a wallop. And a big thank you to Carol for pointing out where I needed to make things a little clearer! (I'm still blaming the rum, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.)




Whenever possible Admiral Nelson and Commander Lee Crane spent Christmas together, usually at the Admiral's mountain cabin but this year the Admiral had been called away to meetings in Washington and had regretfully informed Lee that he wouldn't be in Santa Barbara for the holiday. While Lee had been disappointed, he understood that sometimes things just didn't work out.  He was, himself, occasionally 'occupied' and unable to be where he'd like to be. 'Occupied' being a sore point between the two men as it was invariably ONI missions that took Lee away, and Nelson spent the entire time fretting over his safety and well-being, with good reason more often than not.

It was, therefore, a pleasant surprise that the Admiral found that he was able to conclude the meetings early and fly back the morning of the 24th.  He looked forward to surprising Lee. Instead he was the one that got the surprise...



The plane bounced a bit on landing, not quite the type of landing the Admiral was accustomed to experiencing.  I’ve gotten spoiled using FS1, not used to commercial airlines. Well at least I'm back, and in time to spend the holidays with Lee, that's what's important.

The baggage carousel seemed to be having a bit of a holiday itself, jamming frequently and dumping luggage here and there. Nelson finally saw his bag appear, one of the last to do so. He grabbed it and started to dash off to the taxi stand. He'd given his assistant at NIMR two weeks holiday, not anticipating needing anything from her so he was on his own as far as arranging transportation went.


The airport and taxi stand were jammed with travelers trying to get home for the holidays; this turned his ‘dash’ into a frustrating crawl.  He ended up sharing a cab with another traveler who was going in more or less the same direction. By the time the cab fought its way through the traffic to the first stop, an hour had passed. After another 45 minutes had passed in traffic, Nelson finally arrived at his house in Santa Barbara

Well doesn't matter that much that the trip from the airport took so long, Lee will be sitting around on Vanora, probably well into his rum by now. I can hardly wait to see his face when I board her.

Nelson put his suitcase in the corner of his bedroom; he'd unpack later. He took a quick shower and changed into casual clothes, a pair of well broken in dark brown pants, a pale green shirt with a darker green pullover over top. He grabbed a small travel bag and threw in a few necessities; he'd bunk overnight on Vanora with Lee and then talk him into coming back to his house for the rest of the holiday week. Not that he didn't like Lee's boat, but he wanted the space and luxuries his place provided.  Maybe they’d still go up to his cabin for a couple of days.  Satisfied that he had everything he'd need for an overnighter he picked up Lee's gaily wrapped gift from the bed.  He put on his winter jacket, one Lee had given him a couple of Christmases ago from Abercrombie and Fitch, it was Olive Green, 100% cotton and had a super-soft buffalo plaid lining and hood, then he locked his front door and dashed for his car.

One of the hard fought for compromises he’d gotten Lee to agree to regarding Lee’s living arrangement was to moor Vanora at the far end of the private NIMR dock1.  Most of the employees of the Institute were avid boaters of one type or another and one of the perks of working for Nelson was a private dock for their use.  Lee was the only live-aboard.


As Nelson drove along he thought about the first time he’d heard about Lee’s unusual living arrangements, after their first mission together.......




Nelson stalked down the hallway to Chip Morton’s office at NIMR.


Since Lee is away packing up his stuff and arranging to ship it here, I guess I’ll have to talk to Chip about this matter.


“Mr. Morton.”


“Yes Admiral?” Chip rose from his desk chair.


“It seems that Captain Crane hasn’t signed all the papers required to sever him from active service with the Navy; they’ve faxed them to us for his signature.  My assistant informs me that he doesn’t have a mailing address but is using yours.  Is Lee having difficulty finding a place in Santa Barbara?”


“Ah, no Sir.  I don’t believe so. Lee doesn’t exactly plan on having an address.”


Nelson looked confused for a moment.


“He doesn’t plan on having an address?  Is he moving in with you?”


“No Sir, he has his own place here....well, it’s not quite here yet but it will be shortly.”


“Mr. Morton I’m not accustomed to having to drag information out of my officers, spit it out man!”


Chip sighed, Lee hadn’t told him it was a secret and he didn’t see how it could be, but it was something he felt that Lee should be informing the Admiral about, not him.  However, it seemed the task was his now.


“The Navy probably had to fax the papers to the Institute because Lee is on the water sailing Vanora up here.  He lives on a 39 foot sailboat, Sir.”


“Oh” Nelson paused and Chip could hear the wheels turning as the Admiral mulled over this piece of information.  “I think he and I may have to have a discussion about that...”


As soon as Lee arrived at NIMR he had been advised that the Admiral wished to speak with him.  Chip caught up with him as he headed to the Admiral’s office and warned him the Admiral didn’t seem too happy about his living arrangement.  Lee thanked Chip for the heads-up.


Nelson’s assistant smiled at Lee as he entered the office.


“Nice to have you back Commander Crane.  All settled in?” she asked.


Lee smiled and perched on the edge of her desk.


“More or less, I travel pretty light, and get moved around a lot.  I understand that Admiral Nelson wants to see me ASAP.”


“Indeed he does.  You timed it well; he doesn’t have any appointments right now.”  She punched a button on the intercom, “Admiral Nelson, Commander Crane to see you, Sir.”


“Send him in.”


She grinned, raised her eyebrows and inclined her head toward the inner sanctum.


Lee grinned back and rose from her desk, straightened his uniform, squared his cover and walked over to the door of the Admiral’s private office.  He gave three quick, sharp knocks.




With a glance back and wink at the assistant, he opened the door and entered the sanctum sanctorum, a.k.a. the Admiral’s personal office.


“Lee, good to have you back.  Have a seat; there are some documents that the Navy needs you to sign before everything is all neat and official.”


Nelson passed the papers across his desk to Lee, who, after a brief glance through them, proceeded to sign them and pass them back.


“Good, that makes you officially mine and Seaview’s Captain, for the most part.  You and I have to discuss that rider about ONI retaining certain rights to your services but not right now.  At the moment I’d like to hear about your living arrangements.  I understand they are a bit unorthodox.”


“To some I suppose, Sir.  I used to use the BOQ* on whichever base I was assigned to but I rarely used it.  When I was on leave I’d borrow a friend’s boat or rent one and go sailing.  Eventually I scraped together enough money to buy a sailboat of my own, a fixer-upper; after every 6 month assignment I’d spend my leave time working on her.  The result is a custom renovated 39 foot cutter sailboat, that I christened Vanora.”  Nelson could hear the pride in that statement.  “I gave up living in the BOQ’s and took up residence on Vanora.  As you know,” Lee smiled as he continued, “I was stationed in San Diego when the Navy assigned me, not so temporarily as it turned out, to captain the Seaview for a mission.  So moving Vanora to Santa Barbara was easy sailing.  I can’t see any reason to rent an apartment here; I wouldn’t use it any more than I did the BOQ.”


Nelson had listened patiently to Lee’s story.  Lee didn’t realize it at the time but the fact that Nelson had heard him out was an indication of the high regard the older man held him in.  Nelson was not known for exhibiting patience.  Even so a compromise had to be reached.


Lee countered every one of Nelson’s points about having a land-based permanent residence, however in the end Lee had agreed to rent an apartment, at least for the first year.  That was about as long as that living arrangement had lasted….. 



Reviewing the memory  now, Nelson didn’t, now or then, think it was a matter of wasted money that bothered Lee, rather that Lee was a ‘Sea Gypsy’ at heart, any apartment was to him claustrophobic, landlocked.  He smiled inwardly at the thought of Lee as a roving Sea Gypsy.  It brought to mind an old poem by Richard Hovey:


The Sea Gypsy


I am fevered with the sunset,
I am fretful with the bay,
For the wander-thirst is on me
And my soul is in Cathay.

There's a schooner in the offing,
With her topsails shot with fire,
And my heart has gone aboard her
For the Islands of Desire.

I must forth again to-morrow!
With the sunset I must be
Hull down on the trail of rapture
In the wonder of the sea.




Nelson drove through the security gate with a cheery wave and ‘Merry Christmas’ to the guards, who responded merrily back.  Their Christmas bonus was very generous, as usual, not to mention the overtime for working the holiday. 


Nelson drove past his usual parking spot and down a side lane to get to the parking for the private dock.  He could see Vanora’s lights twinkling down at the far end.


Just before leaving for Washington, he and Lee had strung special marine waterproof lights along her gunnels and bowsprit, there was even a 4 foot fibre optic tree on her foredeck.  Lee had vetoed decorating the mast as he planned to sail her while on leave.


Nelson pulled into an empty parking spot, turned off the ignition, released the trunk and got out.  He retrieved his bag and Lee’s gift, closed the trunk and triggered the auto-lock on his vehicle.  As he turned to go down to the dock he swore softly to himself.  Vanora wasn’t docked, she was pulling rapidly away!


Damn and tarnation!  Nelson dashed down to the dock but by the time he arrived Vanora was too far out for Lee to hear him calling.  Sure Lee, now you decide to crank up the stereo.  He could clearly hear ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ and if he wasn’t mistaken, Lee singing along.  He tried to call Lee on his cell phone but he didn’t pick up.  It was probably in the cabin somewhere,  Nelson growled and watched as Vanora tacked to follow the shoreline.  It gave Nelson an idea and he dashed back to his car, thinking  he knew where Lee might be headed.




The blue sedan moved rapidly down the road, well as rapidly as was practical given the broken asphalt and rubble here and there. Still Nelson figured that it was better than the gravel portion he knew he would soon come upon.

Why the blazes does he have to anchor that sailboat of his in the most inconvenient places he can find? Must get some sort of perverse pleasure out of making people crazy trying to get to him.

He'd had this particular conversation with his friend before. The only reply had been a characteristic grin and the remark that it separated out the people who really wanted to see him from those that wanted to sell him something.


Actually Nelson  hoped that Lee was headed for this particular anchorage so he could intercept him along the way.  He sped along the gravel portion of what was supposed to be a road.  He turned off to the right and drove out across a field that ended in a cliff overlooking the sea.  He pulled up right to the edge, opened the car door, and stood up on the frame, looking for any sign that he’d guessed correctly.


He heard her before he saw her, the strains of ‘Rocking around the Christmas Tree’ quite clear as Lee rounded the headland and came into view.  The tide was high and he was sailing close to shore; he would pass quite near the cliff where Nelson perched.


Nelson got back in his car and started honking his horn and flashing his lights in an SOS, a tactic sure to get Lee’s attention.  He continued for a couple of minutes then got out again.  Looking down he saw that Lee had dropped Vanora’s sail.  He waved from the cliff top, he saw Lee hold something up to his face.  Nelson congratulated himself on having purchased a pair of Minox Nautic binoculars for Lee last Christmas.  He waved some more and was relieved when Lee waved back.  Lee disappeared down into the cabin then came back up again.  Nelson heard his cell ring; he didn’t need three guesses.




“Admiral, what are you doing up there?  Are you ok?  I thought you were in Washington!”


“One question at a time lad.  I got back early, I’m fine and I’m up here because by the time I arrived at the dock you had set sail.  I took a chance that you were coming this way.”


“Well I’m delighted you’re back, but I’m down here and you’re up there, any ideas of how to solve that?”


“Other than  us both going back to the dock, no.”  Nelson could hear the wheels turning in Lee’s brain.


“Admiral I may have some, ah, gear here that might help, it’s left over from an ONI mission, haven’t gotten around to returning it yet.”


Nelson cogitated on that bit of news for a moment, before he could voice a suitable response Lee was talking again.


“I’ve got a modified grappling hook rifle and a pneumatic grenade launcher.  I can shoot a line right up to you and embed a line lower down the cliff face. The angle would be too steep for you to just zip line down to me from up there and  I don’t have anything to cushion your landing.  You can rappel down to the zip line and slide across to me.”


Nelson stared open mouthed at his phone, placing it back to his ear he took a deep breath and tried to sound in control of himself.


“Lee, I realize you seem to keep some unusual, to say the least, equipment about you but I don’t happen to have a rappel or zip line harness with me...”


“Not a problem Sir. I happen to have a Special OPS Full Body Harness on board as well.”


Of course he does, why wouldn’t he.  Doesn’t every owner of a sailboat keep those things handy? Obviously Lee thinks I’m every bit a ‘James Bond’ as he is.


As if reading his mind Lee continued.  “Remember when we went rock climbing with Chip at Seven Falls Canyon?  It’s the same thing.” Lee paused.  Well practically the same thing, he didn’t have any trouble climbing or rappelling down any of the rock walls at the Canyon. He’ll be fine and it will be a lot quicker than going back to the dock. “I’ll shoot the harness and line up to you now.  Ahhh, you might want to get behind your car.”


Not wanting to look wimpy in Lee’s eyes, although he wasn’t sure what it would matter, he dutifully knelt behind his car.  You’re an old fool Nelson, Lee wouldn’t think any the less of you if you declined his boarding method.  Testosterone being the wonderful thing that it is, Nelson concluded that anything Lee or his friends could do, so could he. It might take him a little longer but he could and would do it.


It wasn’t long before he heard a loud boom and a swoosh as a cylinder arrived via airmail, attached to a harpoon of sorts.  It landed well clear of his location.  Shortly after, he heard a second boom followed by a loud crunchy thunk then, oddly, a third.


His phone rang.


“That’s it Sir, all the lines are in place and secure in the rock wall.”


“Fine Lee, just give me a minute to secure the line I have up here and get into the harness.”


Nelson retrieved the cylinder, opened it and took out the harness, hardware and line.  There was a sturdy hook on the end of the line, which he proceeded to fasten to the undercarriage of his car.


Donning the body harness he attached his small overnight bag to the D ring high on the back and he’d squeezed Lee’s present into his bag.  Securing the line through the Trango B523 rappel device, he used the locking carabineer to fasten it to his harness, he then walked up to the edge of the cliff and tossed the line over.  Like I said Nelson, you’re an old fool.  He turned and giving a final tug on the line, eased himself out over the edge.  Be a great time to discover I forgot to set the emergency brake on the car.


Just as he was about to start down the cliff he heard the distinctive sound of a helicopter approaching.  Looking up, he saw a DASH (Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter) stop to hover far above him.  His cell phone chirped from his pocket.


Great, just great.  He pulled himself back up, scrambled up over the edge to stand on terra firma again, and then flipped his phone open.


“Yes Lee?”


Didn’t  want you to worry about the DASH, Sir.  Seems someone else also saw your SOS signal and reported it to the Navy base in Point Mugu.  Not having much else to do right now I suppose, they decided to deploy the DASH and take a look.  I’ve already assured them that we don’t require their assistance.”


The Admiral wasn’t so sure of that.  He’d also heard the grin in Lee’s voice and looking up at the DASH came to the same conclusion Lee obviously had.  In the Navy or not, who wouldn’t grab an opportunity to ‘play’ with a remote controlled helicopter, obviously equipped with a cam.  Seems he was going to have an audience for his little adventure.  He imagined there were a few bets being laid back at the base on whether he stayed dry or not.


Once again he tested the line and eased over the edge, this time continuing slowly down.  He found that there were quite a few footholds on the face of the cliff so it presented no great difficulty to reach the second line.  What he wasn’t sure of was how he was going to attach himself onto the zip line.  Turned out Lee had it covered.


Nelson saw that there was a canvas bag attached to a zip line handle trolley that was secured to the line 6 inches from where the metal bolt was imbedded in the rock.  Opening the bag he found a daisy seat, and several steel locking carabineers, everything he needed to hook himself on without unhooking from his current line.  Once he had everything in place he could release himself from the rappel line and then down the zip line he’d go.  As he got himself straightened away he glanced down the line and spotted another line, of sorts, running from a brake block on the zip line, through a closed hook embedded in the rock face, more or less level with him and about 15 feet to the right.  That explains that third thump.  Taking a closer look he could see that the line was actually a bungee cord, its far end fastened to a rope which ran back down to Lee.  He wasn’t sure how Lee had it secured on his end but was confident that whatever Lee had rigged up it would work as his braking system.


Lee sipped on a beer as he watched the Admiral drop over the cliff edge and make his way down to the zip line.  He had been a bit concerned about having enough bungee cord and rope to set up the brake, but that had worked out.  If he’d had to move Vanora closer the angle of descent would have been dangerous, or at least problematic.  He had complete faith in Nelson’s abilities, almost to the point of hero worship but he also wanted things to be as safe as possible.  He had the zip line secured to the mast at a height that should allow Nelson to land safely on the deck.  If it had been him up there he likely would have just zip lined down from the top and dropped into the water before getting to Vanora.  The route he’d set up for Nelson was a ‘walk in the park’ as far as he was concerned.  Easy stuff for a man as fit as the Admiral he thought as he took another swig of beer.


Nelson was about ready to release his clips from the rappel line and start down.  He paused for a moment, Lee, I am flattered that you think so highly of my abilities, but sometimes I wish you’d remember I’m not as young as I used to be.  He noticed that the DASH chopper had descended and was now level with his current position.  He wondered what the betting odds were back at the base.  As if reading his mind his phone went off.  He unzipped the pocket it was stowed in and answered, “Nelson here.”


“It’s Lee, Admiral.  Just thought I’d tell you that the boys back at the base running the chopper say that the odds are 80/20 that you arrive dry.”


“Is that so?  I wonder if that’s a vote of confidence in your rigging abilities or my capabilities.”


“Oh, I’m sure it’s all you, Sir.”


Nelson heard Lee give a soft chuckle, “Well I won’t hold you up any longer,” there was a pause and a barely concealed laugh as Lee realized what he’d said, “see you in a minute, Sir.”


Nelson flipped the phone closed, a broad smile on his face as he released the clips from the first line and ‘zipped’ downward.


Lee grinned as he watched the Admiral speed down the line.  Sort of wish it was me. I love doing that.


In the space of a minute a couple of things happened, first, the Admiral hit the brake block, which began its slide, slowing the Admiral as the bungee cord provided resistance, and second, the Admiral began to sink towards the water.


As he’d come down the line his weight had proved enough to cause Vanora to be pulled closer to the cliff.  This, of course, slacked the zip line a bit, when Nelson had reached the brake block the added pull of the bungee cord had caused Vanora to move in more.  While none of this was dangerous for the Admiral, it did mean that there was now a very real possibility of a wet landing.


Lee scrambled to put on heavy leather gloves and grab the zip line.  Between the slack in the line and the bungee brake Nelson had come almost to a stop.  It would be up to Lee to haul on the line and get the boat under the Admiral.  Of course as he hauled on the line Vanora continued her movement towards the cliff, further slacking the zip and brake lines.


“Almost have you Admiral,” Lee hollered.


Nelson wasn’t sure that ‘almost’ was going to be good enough to keep him dry, the water was getting mighty close.  He couldn’t think of a thing he could do to help Lee so he dangled quietly on his daisy seat, holding onto the bar.


Damn Lee muttered to himself as he heaved on the line to no avail, and watched as the Admiral`s backside sank into the water.  I`m never going to hear the end of this.  He couldn`t help the smile that came and quickly left his face, but not before the Admiral had spotted it.


Nelson had almost made it to the rail when Vanora had moved just enough to drop him a few inches into the water.  He had swung his legs up towards the bar so that he was in a V shape and only his posterior made contact with the very chilly water.  He was close enough now that Lee was able to haul him aboard by grabbing his legs and the back of the harness.


The DASH chopper did a couple of tight circles in the air above the boat and then took off back to base.  Lee`s Navy issue mobile radio went off, he picked it up, made a face about whatever was being said to him, grunted a response then signed off.


Nelson raised his eyebrows at Lee in a silent question as he undid his harness.


“They promised to send flowers to my funeral, Sir.”


Nelson frowned at Lee, giving him his most ‘seriously ticked’ Admiral look, “I do seem to have a rather cold and wet arse, among other body parts, Captain.”


Lee blushed deep red and dropped his eyes to the deck, Nelson grinned;he couldn’t keep the ‘mad’ Admiral charade going, especially with Lee looking like a very embarrassed and unhappy little boy.


Nelson reached out and took hold of Lee’s arms, and pulling him towards him he gave Lee a big, thumping hug, and felt Lee’s arms wrap around him in return. 


“Merry Christmas, Son.  Now while you get things squared away on deck I’m going below to change into something dry and pour us a couple of drinks.”


It wasn’t long before Vanora was under sail again and heading to a secluded bay.


Once they were safely anchored the two men settled on the deck to watch the sunset.  Lee was concerned about the Admiral’s car but Nelson assured him it was taken care of.  He’d phoned security at the Institute and arranged for it to be picked up and taken back there.  Nelson good-naturedly ribbed Lee about his ‘dunking’ and Lee pointed out that Nelson shouldn’t complain; he could have dropped him in completely.


“You know, Harry, next time I just might do that.”


Harry smiled, he was always pleased when Lee used his first name.  It usually took a few drinks and privacy but it was a start.


“What next time Lee?  You don’t think I’d ever do that again do you?  From now on you sail back to the dock and I come on board like a normal person.”


Lee laughed and took another swallow of his dark rum.


“Normal, huh?”


“Don’t start Lee, for every story you have about me I’ve got one about you.”


The two men raised their glasses to each other in silent acknowledgment of adventures shared.




Harry woke and looked around for Lee, his bunk was empty.  He had to admit that he had slept very well on Vanora.  Nothing like being rocked to sleep on the water, I really do see why Lee prefers it to an apartment.


As he climbed out of his bunk he noticed a present sitting on the table in the corner.  A quick look at the card confirmed that it was for him.  He washed up and dressed.  Then getting his gift for Lee out of his bag he picked up the one for himself and went in search of Lee.  Christmas music was softly playing in the small but highly functional galley, but no Lee.  There was, however, a pot of coffee and a mug beside it.  Harry accepted the invitation.  Carrying his mug of coffee and the presents, he made his way up on deck.


Harry couldn’t help snorting when he saw Lee, shirtless, barefoot and in sweatpants with NAVY emblazoned across the rear, doing push-ups.


Lee looked over at him and grinned continuing his count “99, 100.”  He stopped and stood up, stretching down to touch his toes.


“You are aware that it’s Christmas Day, Lee?”


“It hadn’t escaped me, Harry.  That’s no excuse not to get in a little exercise, besides, you weren’t up yet and I couldn’t exactly go for a run.  Needed to warm up after my swim anyway.”


Harry looked at Lee trying to figure out if he was serious or not.  Lee simply straightened up and smiled innocently back at him.


“I assume you’ll have a suitable explanation for Jamie when you show up with pneumonia?” 


“A little dip in the ocean is good for you, very invigorating.”  Lee was openly smirking now and Harry knew he was being played.


He put the presents down and gave Lee a swat on his backside, which, judging by Lee’s expression, totally astonished him.


“Lee, go clean up, grab some of your coffee, then we’ll open our presents.”  This time Harry was the one doing the smirking, he loved taking on the role of father, it was a very pleasant way of bossing Lee around.


“Yes, Sir.”  Smiling, Lee headed down to do as he’d been told.


Harry smiled from ear to ear as he sat down, that wasn’t the ‘Sir’ given to an Admiral. It had been full of the love and affection of a son to his father.


It wasn’t long before Lee was back, coffee mug and pot in hand.  He refilled Harry’s mug and sat down on the deck at Harry’s feet.


These moments together, without command decisions to be made or orders to be carried out, were precious to both men.


Harry reached down and gently ruffled Lee’s hair.  The message was  loud and clear without words.  The reply shining in Lee’s eyes was all Harry could ever hope for.


Clearing his throat and taking a quick swipe at his eyes Harry picked up his present for Lee and gave it to him.  He then picked up Lee’s to him.


They opened their presents together.


Lee had bought Harry a Livescribe Pulse Smartpen 4GB Pro Pack.


He explained its virtues to Harry.  “The Pulse Smartpen records audio and links it to what you write so you don't miss a word of any important meeting. The instant replay function lets you tap the pen on your notes to play back the last words said, and the smartpen's 4GB memory holds more than 400 hours of audio. When your meeting is over you can transfer your handwritten notes to your computer for easy access and organization. The Pro-Pack comes with everything you need to get started. In addition to the pen, the set includes a 3D recording headset for more precise recording or private listening, a USB/AC charging cradle for charging or syncing the smartpen, a leather case for convenient portability, and transcription software that helps convert handwritten notes into digital text. It also has a dot paper notebook, one ink cartridge refill and 500MB of online storage.”


“Very impressive Lee, I love it and it’s going to be very helpful to me.”


“I love your present to me, Harry.  I’ve always meant to get something like it but just never seemed to get around to it and certainly not one this elegant.”


Harry had given Lee a logbook nestled inside a handmade teak box that had a high gloss lacquer finish and on the top, a sail plate engraved with his boat’s name. 


While they appreciated the gifts they’d given each other, they both knew the real gift was the special time they were sharing together. The gifts of the heart offered to each other and accepted and treasured by each of them.




The End


1 In American English, a dock is technically synonymous with pier or wharf—any human-made structure in the water intended for people to be on.  Since it was an American show, I’m going with dock rather than wharf.


2 Bachelor Officer Quarters


3Trango B52 - excellent all-around belay and rappel device. It not only has a sleek aesthetic design but also offers superb handling when climbing.  Allows controlled descent.