Sometimes when snowflakes are falling and the winds are howling, I find myself thinking about Wolf Larsen. No, not the antagonistic character from the Jack London novel Sea Wolf, but instead a former fishing rig of the same name, anchored in the Price's Bend section of Northport Harbor. Brutal and cynical, yet also highly intelligent, she is appropriately named.
I first saw Wolf Larsen several summers ago while anchored here waiting for an August storm to pass. Her outriggers and design stood apart from the cabin cruisers and sailboats surrounding her. There was no activity aboard, and it appeared that there hadn't been any in a long time. Cormorants and herons had assumed ownership with two large nests atop the pilot house.
Returning here again (by land) in early December, the other boats were long gone, but not Wolf Larsen. There she was, still moored, with her bow pointing into the northwest winds as some early season snowflakes blew around. Was she spending her entire winter at Prices Bend? I don't know.
I do know that when I arrived at Hobart Beach on a blustery March day, I saw her again. Still standing proud, attached to her mooring, a little bit tired, but not for show.
Sometimes it seems as if every harbor has a few of these: an owner with a dream, and not much else. There may be grandiose plans of Caribbean travel and carefree days afloat, but in the end, divorce, layoffs, and all the other complications of life get in the way.
Old boats require money and time. We often can provide one: rarely can we offer both.
When times are good, we have the money but wish we had the time. Then times turn bad and we have the time, but the money and the dream are all gone.