That’s the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club, by the way. Isn’t it pretty? (OK, so you can’t actually see it, but take my word for it. It’s pretty.) I love that tower, a great landmark when you’re out on the water, and easy on the eyes, too. (And I’m kidding about them not admitting the likes of us. They’re not all that exclusive, and besides, we’ve never tried.)
On Saturday, it rained. Sunday, likewise. But Monday, the holiday, was clear and bright and, well, you see the picture. A perfect day. We sailed close along the coast, and I put the binoculars on the big houses, while contemplating a heist story in which the thieves would hit the houses in January, then make their getaway by snowmobile, over the ice. We passed a giant freighter called Federal Yukon, whose stern announced its hailing port: Hong Kong. I guess that makes it a salty, unless they’re talking about the obscure port of Hong Kong, Minnesota. It’s a bulk carrier, our “Know Your Ships” guide said. BCs carry everything from taconite pellets to potash. (Kind of makes you wonder if the Edmund Fitzgerald would have a song written about it, had it been carrying potash. Hard to rhyme that one without sounding stupid.)
Here’s a stern shot of the Federal Yukon. Note that diagonal structure rising over the aft deck. It took me a minute before I figured out what it was; the blaze-orange lozenge within was the clue. It’s the lifeboat. Orange for visibility, enclosed for survival, it looks like a tiny submarine, nothing as picturesque as the Titanic lifeboats, those big open rowboats staffed by freaked-out members of the White Star Line. But then, I guess by the time you reach the lifeboats, being picturesque is no longer a concern. I’d like to know the launching procedure, and why it’s up on that structure. I’d imagine there’s a stairway to a rear hatch, and it deploys automatically if it ever reaches the water, with all souls on board kissing their asses goodbye.
I’d love to take a trip on one of these suckers, and write about it. Please, no hello-sailor jokes.
Last weekend we saw the Best Actress performance, so this weekend it was Forest Whitaker’s turn. “The Last King of Scotland” was fine enough, and the Oscar was well-deserved, a real game-set-match turn, but I think I’ve OD’d on Africa movies for a while. Black savages, unspeakable violence, death-by-machete brutality, flawed white heroes — is there ever a variation on this theme? Why can’t someone make a film of “King Leopold’s Ghost”? At least then we’d know where the natives got the inspiration for all that limb-severing.
So, the bloggage:
Not much today — I stayed away from digital devices most of the weekend — but I found yet another time-waster: Overheard in the Office, along with its sister sites Overheard in New York and Overheard at the Beach. As an enthusiastic and unapologetic eavesdropper, I love this stuff. I may submit my most recent gem, overheard at the video store:
First guy, holding DVD box: This one shows a hot chick with a sword.
Second guy, holding DVD box: This one just has a bunch of dudes on it.
First guy: So this one wins.
Second guy: Totally.