The Incandescent Elyjah Tamman b. May 13, 1990. d. Oct. 17, 2021

My first year in journalism revolved around writing up crime briefs and obituaries for the Camden Courier Post. For most reporters tasked with writing the obits, it was considered a formulaic chore.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated for … A purple heart awarded for injuries suffered on the Normandy beaches during the…

Two Score, today.

On this day, 40 years ago, August 26th, 1979, my family stepped off a plane at JFK. On the way to our new hometown, Sparta, NJ, my father insisted we stop at the base of the World Trade Center towers. He was awed by the towers. And they were terrific, sure, but, coming from the…


I am resting. Watch. I am fluttering, you follow. Be wise when you chase.


What color are you? It depends on the light, no? Our hooks are in the mud.


Precious is you.Jade, ruby, amber opals.A fiend tugs within.

Work and Sails are Balanced

How my latest work project evolved from a chance fish sighting.

Madonna in Red

On winter nights, the sodium street lamps cast gashing shadows. They scribble on the cobblestones and walls through cables and wires that hang like abandoned nooses. A few restaurants welcome guests but many of the cafes are shuttered. A mist settles on the plastic-framed menus hanging beside the doors. Looking through a window, two local…

Ebb and Flood

To the sea you run. I am bound for now and stay. One blue and one green.

A Long Journey On The 2 Train

Standing riders shuffled around, equalizing the gap between themselves and everyone else.

None heard that the lines written for Hercule Poirot were delivered with a proper English tone. Nor did they care that the questions from her daughter were born of a place much closer to Kensington and Prospect Park than Kensington and Hyde Park.

Let This Vessel Rest

I touched her hull but she barely twitched. “I am tired, hurt, and scared,” she said in a rattled whisper.

She was weighed down by generations of neglect and good intentions. She wanted to it all to be over, to be put to rest. The ice in the Hudson heard her and tried to help, only to be plucked from obliviation by good intentions once again.

Sailboat Sourdough Winter Bread

Bread baking on a sailboat is more efficient using packaged yeast than maintaining a sourdough starter. But if you are looking for efficiency, you are probably not particularly interested in sailing either.

Weighted Coin: Spare a Dollar

I once passed out, drunk, resting my head on the curb outside a gas station. I was kicked awake by a Sheriff’s deputy. He sent me home after I explained that I was just waiting for the store to open so I could buy a pack of cigarettes. He could have bundled me into the back…

The awful rise of boat name pun-ditry

Among boats built in the 1990s, the pun name SEAS THE DAY cracked the top 30. It was just the beginning. By the 2000s, the boozy HAPPY OURS and the medical KNOT ON CALL had joined it in the top 30. The next decade saw WHY KNOT added to the top names and why not?

The Weight of a Big Boat Project

Long boat projects can be daunting, especially as a live-aboard. The boat is often in a state of tumult. Dust and debris in the head, in pots and pans, in toothbrushes, hair and teeth. Between the sheets. Sometimes even in dinner.

I will allow myself to complete the work exactly on time. Which will be precisely when I am finished.

Of Two Minds in Puerto Rico

It is easy to forget that this island’s flavor would not have happened if the Spanish hadn’t decimated the Taínos and imported West African slaves to replace them.

But today each has contributed practices, rituals and DNA which has been shaken, blended and muddled into a poignant, delicious, cocktail.

Causation and Correlation: How I Didn’t Die From Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

I had a unexplained headache wake me late Friday night. Later, maybe I had a dream or heard an an unexpected noise, but my reflexive brain told my hand grab a spare CO detector, put the battery in, and plant it near my bunk in the aft cabin.

Chapter twelve

“What do you think?” Isaac asked Vashti. “I don’t know. It’s not like there is a plan for things like this. What do I think? I think I would like to rest my brain.” “I wish that all the time,” Isaac said. Vashti reached for her jacket, pulled it on and rummaged around her pockets….

Chapter eleven

Raphael came up just as the lights faded in the western sky.  Isaac was now sleeping. Vashti was smoking behind the wheel. Neville was awake and, since Raphael had confiscated the Oxy, was feeling a tightness in his ego. He was also hungover from a cocktail of beer and narcotics. Nils too had woken up…

Chapter Ten

Raphael stood. He needed rest. He hadn’t slept in well over 24 hours. And since Isaac had started talking he felt his mind inching beyond his grasp. “I’m going forward,” he said. “Isaac, make sandwiches for anyone who is hungry. Make sure Neville and Nils have water too, especially Nils. “After that, you have the…

Chapter Nine

Raphael jumped down into the dinghy and helped Nils stand. Nils’ limp arm hung over Raphael’s shoulder. Vashti reached for Nils’ free hand. “Raffi,” Isaac said. “I think we have a bigger problem. We should discuss.” Raphael sighed.  “Isaac, your timing really sucks. Let’s just get Nils on the boat. I promise, as soon as…

Chapter Eight

It was noon by the time Isaac had laid out his explanation of their compass problems, the cockpit was cleaned up and Vashti and Nils had raised the dinghy off the foredeck and lowered it onto the glassy waters. And it was hot. Isaac had brought up a thermometer and it read 101 degrees in…

Chapter Seven

Raphael called for Vashti and Isaac. Isaac tapped on her arm and pointed to the galley. “Can you two bring up the bacon, the coffee, and stuff. Nils? Grab the mugs and napkins and hot sauce on your way up. Thanks.” Raphael headed up first, carrying the breakfast wraps. Neville was waiting at the helm….

Chapter Six

The bacon fat sizzled in the pan. Raphael peeled and diced an onion and then a  pepper. He whisked eight eggs by hand and, on a whim, added two spoonfuls of ricotta. He removed the bacon and threw the onion into the smoking fat.   Steam leaped from the pan with a fizz. A small piece…

Chapter Five

Vashti rushed below followed shortly by Isaac. Nils lingered topside, sipping on a refill of coffee. He didn’t want to leave Neville and Raphael alone together. Neville came back to the wheel and took the helm without a word. Raphael sat on the bench opposite Nils, turned on the sat phone and glanced at the…

Chapter Four

All but Isaac were agape. He pulled his top crossed-leg closer to his belly. He had never seen the aurora borealis but it was not what he expected. “What’s our latitude?” Raphael pretended not to hear. Isaac didn’t really need to know. The boat was roughly on the same latitude as New York City and,…