Mooring paranoia

A mooring is a semi-permanent anchor for securing a boat in a harbor. It looks like an iron mushroom, has a long length of chain, and a rope pennant to a float. It is also the one thing that makes me more paranoid than bird flu, an IRS audit, or turning into a collector of Hummel figurines.

Paranoid? I’m not paranoid about my mooring dragging during a storm, I’m paranoid about forgetting to renew my permit some year and finding myself completely hosed. The waiting list for a mooring is something like two hundred names long and turns over at slower-than-a-glacial pace. My cousin Pete was on the list for something like ten years and only just last year got a slot. I’ve got family members who didn’t get their moorings when the town went to a permit system and they are still angry and screwed, especially over out-of-towners having permits when they don’t. I predict acts of maritime violence some day.

Miss the March 30th deadline and you lose your mooring.

That thought keeps me awake for most of February and early March until I do the same annual  ritual. I find the renewal forms, I find the documentation for the boats (I have three moorings), I find the excise tax bills, I find my checkbook, I buy three stamped legal envelopes and self-address them. I drive to town hall and pay my excise tax — in person — and take the receipt on to the Division of Natural Resources where the mooring officer checks off all the required documents, takes my $70 check, and tells me the magic words: “You’re all set. The tags will come in the mail.”

To celebrate I write another $20 check for a new clam license. Instead of 007, my license to kill clams this year is number 0403. I need to check Capetides.com to figure out when the low tides are and sally forth to the super-secret-early-season clam beds that get closed on May 1 and make hay while the tide falls. Spring is upon me and I am positively giddy. Now to just get my taxes out of the way … pay three tuitions … at least the moorings are renewed.

I need to go clamming.

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

0 thoughts on “Mooring paranoia”

  1. Keep Clam and sing….
    “~~Salmon ‘chanted evening
    ~~A bivalve will milt upon me
    ~~I will get crusty,
    ~~Just waiting for a clam bubble
    ~~ButYou got a mooring,
    ~~And All I got is a sour gas tank
    ~~Water in the fuel line, makes me want to puke.~~

    hey, I just made that up. coolio, huh?
    jim Forbes

  2. Yes. Such are the vignettes that keep me peeking here for my daily dose of Churbuck. And so it is snowing on the Cape, how bizarre. Must be heavy and wet. Late snows seem to be occurring more frequently in that neck of the woods. And Jim, neat doggerel.

  3. You have THREE? And you want this information public?

    Let me get this straight: you have family upset they have none and here you are bragging about your three Othellos?

    You are a brave man, Sir Churbuck.

  4. Dreaming of ‘stuffies’ smothered in Tabasco, steamahs’, cherrystones, bluefish pate’, & a cup of chowdah’ chased w/ an ice cold Heineken here in Seattle. Giddyap HD

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