September 30, 2009

Who Is This O Docker Character?


Oh geeze.

A week and a half into the new blog, and already the wolves are circling - testing for any sign of weakness, waiting for the campfire to flicker out.

Over at Proper Course, Tillerman has called me out. The Flemish coils of O Dock are once again under attack.

On O Dock, we take our Flemish coils very seriously. They're our coat of arms. We wear them proudly.

I suppose it's time to tell the tale of our Flemish coils and of how I came to be O Docker.

If you're familiar with the musings of SF Bay area superblogger Edward, you know who to blame. It's all Edward's fault.

I'd posted an innocent enough comment to his blog, alerting him that he was going to fall off the bloody deck wearing some silly shoes he'd bought to do the Pac Cup race. I was just trying to give him some kindly sailor to sailor advice. He was planning to make it all the way to Hawaii in those shoes. Someone had to warn him.

But signing the comment was a problem. I didn't have a Blogger ID yet so I had to make up some alias. I didn't want to use my real name because he's bigger than me and looked downright menacing in the photos he'd posted on his blog. I mean, just look at those nostrils:

Leader of the infamous O Dock raid

And he was just across the way on A Dock. He could dinghy over and do me bodily harm. Well, if he was an A Docker, I had to be - O Docker. So, that's how I signed the comment.

What I saw as an olive branch proffered, Edward took as a call to arms. I extolled the virtues of O Dock, a jealous Edward launched an attack. He organized a raiding party and breached O Dock security. Photographs were taken in anger. And posted to his blog:

But it was far worse than that. The attack was devastating. Edward had hit us below the belt - right in our Flemish coils.


Now, I don't do Flemish coils - ever. They're, somehow, too 'yachty' for me. But many of my dockmates Flemish. And this was an affront to all of us. Suddenly, they had become our Flemish coils - like it or not. Until that moment, I'd never really felt like I belonged to O Dock - it had just been somewhere I kept my boat.

But all of that had changed now. A flame had been kindled within. Off in the distance, I heard patriotic music beginning to play. Life on the dock suddenly had a new purpose. No longer would I face the cold void of the blogosphere alone and nameless. From that moment on, I was O Docker.

I'm O Docker, dammit.



  1. Not until you have a cape!

  2. Actually, Zen, I've been thinking about getting a cape.

  3. We've seen the pictures often enough to memorize them. If I'm lost in a storm and end up on O Dock...
    But the one with the shadow print of dirt, sea salt and bird droppings puzzles me.
    Do Coilers leave these signs for trackers to follow? Does that boat ever leave the Dock?

  4. Ahhh! You're a berther! It says it right there on the sign.

    Say hi to that nutty realtor-dentist-lawyer lady with an accent for me. She's got a cute accent, despite the nuttiness

  5. There are many theories, Michael, about why people Flemish. Some think it's a sign of anal-retentiveness, some think it's the same kind of instinct that makes birds build nests. It's puzzled animal behaviorists for years.

    Greg, I am indeed a berther, though, for some reason, when I bring it up in conversation in Berkeley, I get very strange looks.

  6. I'm an optimist.

    It's Type O, positive.

  7. O+. You are not the universal donor. Mariners! it is safe. You are in no threat of receiving jalapeño brandy-infused blood.

    I am A+. It was the only A+ on my college transcripts, found in the medical report. Oh, and in watercolors. I did an A+ there. Once.

  8. Why am I not surprised you got an A+ in watercolors?

  9. I'm O negative. But you're safe from getting any of my blood because I lived in England long enough that I might have been exposed to mad cow disease.