Monday, March 31, 2014


by Ray Jason 
One of my favorite examples of sea gypsy tribal wisdom is this humorous aphorism: “The most dangerous thing on a boat is a … calendar!”  I can personally attest to this, since almost every serious calamity aboard AVENTURA resulted from being in the spider’s grasp of “a deadline.”  But there is one segment of the year where I do enjoy marking the passing days; and that is late March.  This enthusiasm stems from the imminent arrival of April Fools’ Day. 
            All Fools’ Day does not appeal to me because I enjoy playing pranks on people.  Instead, I savor it because of its links to the tradition of the court jester.  In an era when disagreeing with a king could be a beheading experience, the one exception was the resident fool.  He could lampoon the foibles and lunacy of royal conduct and usually live to tell. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014


by Ray Jason 

 The sky was as dark and nasty as the soul of a Dostoyevsky villain.  Huge, powerful clouds that looked like charcoal dipped in molten lead, were blasting down the mountainside towards AVENTURA.  I let out more anchor chain and checked the deck for any loose items.  Then I went below to await the tempest.  It did not disappoint!  Fierce wind ushered in rain as strong as a tropical waterfall.  After 20 minutes the worst of it passed and the sky lightened to a sort of pewter gray.  The rain decreased from torrential to steady. 
This was the perfect accompaniment for my present task.  I had just responded to a heartfelt email from an unknown teenager who found solace in my writing.  He was struggling with the awareness that he was different from most of his classmates; and that he did not fit in.  High school can be a very cruel environment for someone who does not conform.  I sent him an encouraging email, but then realized that there are so many others in their formative years who are battling the same demons.  And so I decided to write an essay dealing with their difficulties in the hopes of bolstering both their spirits and their resolve.