January 30, 2011

Valis At The Bridge


The Outlook wasn't brilliant for the Valis two that day:
The ebb was running heavy as they got under way.
And then the wind went three knots, then two knots, then to one,
The Valis crew would be adrift, before their day was done.

Some lesser boats headed home in the troughs. but Valis on a crest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, if only the number one would fly upon its stay,
They'd put up even money, that Valis could win the day.

But the sportboats nipped at Valis , as did the Moore 24's,
And the former were a terror and the latter would suck their doors;
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy stayed,
For there seemed but little chance of Valis ever winning the day.

But as they drifted to the line, to the wonderment of all,
A zephyr floated under the gate, and shatttered the deathly pall;
And when the dust had lifted, and the men saw what had occurred,
Valis had safely started and the Moores were flipping the bird.

Then from 5,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the ridge,
For Valis, mighty Valis, was advancing to the bridge.

There was ease in Valis' manner as she slipped by Marina Green;
There was pride in Valis' bearing and smiles could be seen.
And when, responding to the cheers, she deftly popped the chute,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt 'twas Edward yelling, "Woot!".

Ten thousand eyes were on them as run turned into reach;
Five thousand tongues had warned them to keep it off the beach.
Then while the writhing after guy snarled with every jibe,
They snuck behind Treasure Island on the changing tide.

And now what passed for reaching wind came hurtling through the air,
And Valis did the best she could in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy helmsman, the trimmer eased it out.
"That ain't my style," said Valis, and eyebrows rose in doubt.

From the crowds at Berkeley marina, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.
"Trim it! Trim the main in!" shouted someone on the stand;
And its likely that's what saved them as they took the sheet to hand.

With a smile of Christian piety great Valis' visage shone;
They slowly closed on Red Rock; they just might make it home;
Once more the great wheel spun, once more the luff did shake;
Upon a wing, upon a prayer, Red Rock was in their wake.

"Hope!" cried the frantic thousands, and echo answered hope;
But scornful looks from the helmsman turned the audience to dopes.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
For the sun was dropping mighty fast as they crossed the bay again.

The sneer is gone from Edward's lip, his teeth are set and foaming;
He pounds with cruel violence winch handle on the coaming.
And now into the purple dusk Valis reaches slow,
And now the air is dwindling and now has ceased to blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men hoist tankards, and swing them right and left;
But there is no joy in Berkeley - mighty Valis has DNF'd.



  1. Ah, I can picture the scene now, as if it was viewed from a natural amphitheatre or something.

  2. What? Oh Nooooo!

    no word from Never Sea Land yet. Hope David did better!

  3. Alas Bonnie, it looks like David has also succumbed. Our natural amphitheater can be a cruel teacher. It seems more than half the fleet failed to finish this year.

    But on a brighter note, Edward's sailing buddy, Phil, who did the 3BF with Edward two years ago has won his division!

    That'll teach Edward to jump ship.

    And no word from Edward yet. Hopefully, he'll be posting something. My verse is just a 'poet's conception' of how things could have gone based upon the results and some stinging personal experience from two years ago.

  4. http://www.jibeset.net/racedoc/JACKY_T002540161r101.html
    Sad, but true. Poor Valis, Duke Nukem Forever!

    Mind you, even with the rain it was a good paddle day.

  5. I look forward to daily summaries of America's Cup action in this same fashion!

  6. Oh, cruel, cruel magnificent natural ampitheatre.

  7. Baydog, I can assure you that the full resources of the O Dock news gathering operation will be utilized to bring our readers exhaustive coverage of America's Cup 34.

    I could have said will be used, but utilized takes up more syllables and sounds a lot more impressive, doesn't it? That's just an example of our dedication to first-rate reportage.

    We've already provided indepth reporting on the Ellison iconic condominiums planned for our iconic waterfront.

    And we've arranged for live feeds to this blog from ESPN's high definition 3D DocketCam that will provide thrilling gavel to gavel coverage of all the exciting AC34 courtroom drama.

    It is also possible that selected future verse on O Dock will be hand crafted in the more difficult iambic pentameter, with Elizabethan flourishes.

    At O Dock, we report, you decide.

  8. Paul and I are still working on a consistent story that explains why what happened happened. We've enlisted other VALIS crew to help with the story and have a theory that references Star Trek.

    Suffice it to say, at one point I think we were in the lead.

  9. I'm just trying to help here.

    I figured any legendary campaign needs a good narrative poem, ballad, or at least theme music.

    I wouldn't worry too much about getting your stories completely consistent. A little ambiguity adds mystery and aura. Years from now, you'll want people arguing about whether you went clockwise or counter-clockwise.

    Does getting your entry in first count as 'being in the lead' ?

  10. It was the albatross necklace...

  11. All I saw was clouds and boats going home adrift.

  12. Is that blue sky Photo-Shopped?

  13. The photo is from last year, Zen, for illustrative purposes only.

    It's amazing how a good photo can save a sloppily-written blog post.

  14. You're oh, so modest O Docker. Must be your Philadelphia upbringing.

  15. ... and years from now, those watching the race from their iconic condominiums (and arguing about whether VALIS went clockwise or not,) will recall how charming it was to watch the race on the water, instead of on the 3D DocketCam.

    Imagine the irony.