the visual property of something that shines
Her mast and boom were made of wood, kept in good shape and varnished to a high
a platform raised to give prominence to the person on it
She was twenty-two feet long, with a two-foot wooden bowsprit sticking from her nose, a stainless steel
pulpit above it.
not transmitting or reflecting light or radiant energy
She was old, designed by a man named Schock and made in the mid-sixties, so old her fiberglass hull had lost its shine and had a faintly sanded,
opaque look to it, although the original color—a robin’s-egg blue—still shone in the California sun.
be made of
He looked out across the small marina that
comprised most of the Ventura harbor.
pathetically lacking in force or effectiveness
“No. I can’t take her. Not like this, not this way. You love that boat, you live for it....” David trailed off, paused, finished lamely.
someone empowered to certify a document's validity
You know how hard it is to find a
notary public in a hospital?
reduce to ashes
“I am going to be
cremated. I want you to take my ashes out alone on the Frog, out to sea alone, and leave me there. Take me to where you can’t see land and scatter my ashes there on the water. . . .”
a movable barrier covering an entrance
He unhooked the hasp holding the sliding cabin top
hatch in place and slid it forward.
covered with or smelling of mold
The cabin hadn’t been opened since the last time Owen had come to the marina, over a month ago, and it smelled of mustiness and mildew and fungus and something else as well, something David could not pin down at first.
an upward movement, especially a rhythmic rising and falling
He sat then, on the edge of the cockpit, holding the box, and cried and cried, letting it roll out of him in uncontrollable
heaves, his hands clasped between his knees and the sound of the waves and gulls and sea around him.
a large edible marine gastropod with an ear-shaped shell
Then they had put masks on and gone over the side and Owen had shown him two
abalone stuck to a rock and he’d popped them loose with a screwdriver and brought them up and cleaned them and fried them in butter—real butter—and David had never tasted anything so wonderful.
Owen hated the motor—
sneered and called it “a cast-iron mainsail”—and David had never seen him use it.
any vertical post or rod used as a support
Stretching from the front pulpit to a back
stanchion and all around the Frog were stainless-steel lifelines rigged in stout stainless-steel posts.
climb awkwardly, as if by scrambling
clambered up onto the bow and clipped the snaps of the jib sail to the forestay—the cable that runs from the tip of the bowsprit up to the top of the mast—and hooked the top, or head, of the sail to the jib halyard and pulled it up.
a slight push or shake
She was moving very slowly, the wind pushing her a bit and adding to the movement David had started by giving her a
nudge, and when he held the tiller over, it swung her stern around so she lay side-to the wind in the large open area to the rear of the slip.
a deliberate coordinated movement requiring dexterity
It was a graceful, clean, neat, silent
calm and free from disturbance
In the marina the water was like a lake, sheltered and
a feeling of profound respect for someone or something
It was a silence of thought, almost of
reverence, a kind of worship, and David now did the same, felt the same.
in an unclear way
He hadn’t checked the weather and felt
vaguely unsettled about that because the Frog didn’t have any radio gear except a cheap little transistor battery-powered receiver that hardly ever worked right.
pay close attention to
Sailing through the night David thought of Owen wanting to know things, all things, and a part of his brain kept pushing tiny warnings at him but he didn’t
heed them—quick little thoughts about the distance he had come, or was going to go—short thoughts about mistakes he had made, or was making.
a stock or supply of foods
He thought that he hadn’t checked
provisions of water, but he dismissed the notions because he wouldn’t be out long.
suggestive of the supernatural; mysterious
In his wake, in the silent bubbles left by the Frog moving through the water, there was a rippled, dotted line of
eerie light glowing up from the water.
sudden violent winds, often accompanied by precipitation
A quick wind
squall could dump you in sight of the harbor and the waves could hold your head down and that would be it—all in sight of the yacht club restaurant.
cause to become more serious
But to head into the open sea, into the wide reaches of the Pacific—away from and out of sight of land—was completely different and it
sobered him now as he settled back into the business of sailing the Frog.
Without the push of the wind holding her over, the Frog almost
wallowed in the water.
an addition that was not included in the original plan
He turned away without looking, then as an
afterthought threw the box as far as he could and did not watch where it landed with a splash.
the characteristic of having a loud deep sound
The sound was louder now—a hissing moan that had an almost evil
resonance to it—but he didn’t waste time studying it.
The Frog was being driven and slammed by the waves, heeling almost on her side,
pitching forward and back to a nearly vertical position and each time she was thrown by the storm, by the wind and waves, she took water in.
vastness of size or extent
The noise, the slamming
enormity of the noise was deafening. Waves thundered and cracked when they hit the Frog.
lasting for a markedly brief time
He had a tiny thought that the Frog couldn’t take any more of the crashing, a
fleeting worry, and he was gone, spiraling down into the noise and pitching madness.
intense feelings of suffering; acute mental or physical pain
A flash of intense, jolting
agony took him—overwhelming dizziness—and he passed out once more, but only for seconds, and when he came to again he opened his eyes.
a condition of great disorder
The interior of the cabin was a
shambles. The only cushion still in place was the one he was lying on—all the rest were tossed every which way.
marked by an orderly and coherent relation of parts
Everything that had been stored under the bunks had been thrown clear, which didn’t make any
logical sense to him.
spread by scattering
The contents of drawers were
strewn everywhere about the boat.
draw back, as with fear or pain
First a tiny movement as he pulled his head down and out of the corner,
wincing with pain, then his right arm—it seemed to be the only part of him not hurt—grabbing the table to help pull him upright.