On the Beach

At McKinsey, when one is in between engagements, that state of uselessness is known as “being on the beach” — a term borrowed from the Navy and the apocalyptic tale of post-nuclear Australia by Nevil Shute.

I’ve been on the beach since early June and trust me, if one has to develop new career options, one can’t do much better than being beached on Cape Cod in the summertime. But as the season draws to a close and my itch to do something substantial takes over, the beach is vanishing under the tide of future employment.

This past weekend, while returning from a boisterous sail in 25 knot breezes, I was shadowed by a Wianno Senior. As I entered the bay I noticed it was hugging Dead Neck awfully close, something possible at an new moon tide. Alas, in the morning  while running the chowder races, I saw the boat had been beneaped at the entrance to Cupid’s Cove.

Today was glorious in the way only mid-September can deliver on Cape Cod, so I made a few chicken salad sandwiches, loaded up the cooler, grabbed the iPod and my eldest son, and set sail for nowhere. The goal was lunch in Oak Bluffs, but the wind pooped out and things turned into a slatting drifter. Just before the wind faded, we steamed along like no one’s business.


Back I go tomorrow. The boat is scheduled to come out of the water the weekend of October 15, and I suspect this endless summer will be ending in Manhattan just about then.

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

5 thoughts on “On the Beach”

  1. I have always been a bit cocky about my vocabulary, but, in dealing with you, I am clearly out of my depth. Please define beneaped and slatting. These are both new ones to me.

  2. I can only assume that is Bobby’s boat. He has the chops to cruise in tight on the moon tide. You cannot win them all.

  3. Beneaped: v., from “Neap” to strand a boat at the height of a spring tide (not the season “spring” but the tidal effect”) where it remains until the next spring tide can float it off.

    Slatting: to luff and roll with all ropes and fittings clattering in the swell.

    That was Ricky Burnes Marta, at least according to Brownie who phoned me check it out. The hull was number #210.

  4. The ‘beneaped’ chaps could very well reach over the beam & grab some cherrystones & littlnecks, while waiting for their tide!

  5. David,

    Only you could make navel gazing so poetic and evocative – the cool sailing interlude taken aside from your beach / seasonal metaphor for your doldrums, of course.

    But how long are you going to leave us hanging here? We are all dying to know what your next chapter will be about…


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