Monday, April 17, 2006

Another dream is scuttled

From Reuters:
U.S. yacht said attacked by pirates off Yemen

ROME (Reuters) - A U.S.-flagged yacht with three people aboard was attacked by pirates wielding rocket launchers off the coast of Yemen, the Italian Coastguard said on Sunday after an Italian freight ship reported a distress call.

"Around 9.45 a.m. (0745 GMT) an Italian container ship, the Jolly Platino called to say it had heard an SOS message from an American sailing vessel, the Tir Na Nog," an official from the Rome headquarters of the Coastguard told Reuters.

The Italians informed U.S. authorities in the region of the incident which happened some 25 miles off the Yemen coast. The official said two U.S. and one Dutch military vessel in the area had been told of the attack but he did not know how any rescue attempts were progressing.

Commander Jeff Breslau, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain, said: "Coalition forces are investigating the incident." He gave no further details.

What's the line from the Marine Corps hymn? "From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli, we will participate in investigations of alleged incidents as part of a UN-authorized multinational peacekeeping coalition..."

Never mind that. Those of you think who of me as a Minnesota writer might not realize that I am Not From Around Here, as the Minnnesotans say, and there are times I get profoundly homesick for the sight of that big blue wet thing and the sounds of seagulls and breakers on the beach. I'm the sort of guy who from time to time buys a copy of Wooden Boat magazine and reads it with the same enthusiasm other middle-aged men reserve for Playboy, who grew up thrilling to Robin Lee Graham's articles in National Geographic, and who always harbored a secret dream of someday buying an Alden schooner and spending a few years sailing around the world, writing articles about and taking pictures of the exotic places I'd go and the fascinating people I'd meet.

That dream is a fantasy from another world, it seems.