Thanks for the Memories
Eddie Jones - devout sailor, veteran columnist, computer
guru - is a very funny guy. He also has a reservoir of wisdom
that has little to do with learning and lots to do with living.
"Time," says Eddie, "is the only contraband
we carry into this life, and what we don't spend on others,
we should exchange for memories."
Well, Eddie, thanks for the memories. And the guffaws, the
chortles, and the snickers. Hard Aground with Eddie Jones:
Selected Sailing Essays for the Navigationally Challenged
is filled to capacity with some of the best material about
life with boats that has bobbed to the surface anytime recently.
Eddie's new book is a collection of cruising and boating
columns that originally appeared in Carolina Cruising and
Coastal Cruising magazines. The stories are written for the
navigationally challenged, by the navigationally challenged
so the author claims.
In the book, Eddie recalls his first boat show: "Like
some nautical neophyte tripping over docklines and trailer
hitches, I was easy prey for the barracudas in blue blazers.
They exploited my enthusiasm and ignorance and were helped,
I suppose, by my mistaken belief that I could steer a sailboat
toward some fixed point across a body of water by means of
a wooden tiller and soiled sails."
About a year after Carolina Cruising published its first
issue, Eddie was at another boat show, this time in Raleigh,
where he met editor Bert Quay. "At the time I thought
all boating publications made lots of money and paid their
writers exorbitant fees. I was a little disappointed my bride
didn't share my enthusiasm for this new vocation, but I knew
she would come around to my way of thinking once the paychecks
started adding up. Besides, I'd finally found gainful employment
on the strength of my two greatest assets -- laziness and
As his articles appeared in print, Eddie developed a loyal
following of fans. Folks stopping by the booth at the Annapolis
boat show didn't want to talk subscriptions, chat with the
editor, or offer to write an article for publication. All
they wanted was to meet Eddie Jones.
Eddie is a "land-cuffed" cruiser: though his heart
is on the water, the rest of him is home in Carolina. As his
inner sailor beam reaches along the banks of the Abacos, the
family man is earning a living, teaching Sunday school, and
dreaming of the day when he and his wife will sail off in
a boat that is "bigger than her wingspan."
Eddie has a glorious gift for finding humor in the mundane,
for painting cruising calamities with a bilge-flavored brush,
and for evoking word pictures that tug at the hearts of all
who are currently anchored to family, homes, and jobs as yet
another flotilla of sailors make their way south for the season.
Reprinted with permission from
Good Old Boat Magazine 2004 ©