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Log Entry

A Dave Moss Story

In an attempt to keep upbeat while winter drearily slogs along, and looking back at better times before Covid, I couldn't help but think of a short story by the late Dave Moss, a.k.a. The Moss-man, which still makes me laugh. A few years ago, during a passage from Annapolis to Bermuda aboard Mark Myers' Swan 51, TONIC, Dave was in (usual) rare form regaling us with his sailing tales. Bear with me, it won't be the same as hearing it from Dave but I'll do my best and here it goes.

Years ago, Moss was sailing his boat back to Annapolis from a Block Island Race Week with a young woman as crew, just her and him. They were enjoying a lovely afternoon sail down the Jersey Coast. There were plenty of boat drinks consumed and sunscreen was said to have been required over their entire bodies...

Anyway, they make it to the mouth of the Delaware Bay in the early evening, just before sunset, and Moss gets the boat through the entrance of the joyous body of water most sailors love to hate. He puts the boat on a proper course up the channel and by that point it is dark and Dave is pretty spent (from what you can only imagine) so he decides to get some much-needed sleep.

Before he heads to bed, the young lady, not an experienced sailor and somewhat unsure of herself, asked Dave what to do. Moss thinks for a minute and then instructs, "It's easy. Just keep the red lights on the right and the greens on the left, and wake me up if you need to" and with that Moss disappeared below.

A few hours later, a panicked cry comes from on deck. The young gal hollered, "Dave, I think you better get up here!" Dave cleared the fog from his brain and rushed up to see what the urgency was all about. He looked ahead through the darkness to see that, yep, she had done as instructed and kept the reds on the right and greens on the left.

The problem was, the lights weren't the channel lights, but rather the bow lights of a massive outbound container ship bearing rapidly down on them. Moss exclaimed, "Oh shit!"; then grabbed the helm, altered course as quickly as possible, and narrowly averted disaster. After changing his shorts, I'm guessing he cracked a beer and stayed up and on deck for the rest of the night.

So when I hear someone giving piloting advice by saying, keep the reds on the right and greens on the left, when inbound, I can't help but think of Good Ole Moss-man. We Miss that guy!


Feb 09, 2022

Legend, although I only just met him once or twice, I will never get tiered of hearing his stories.


Feb 05, 2022

Great trip and memory!

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