IFD Publishing, P.O. Box 40776, Eugene, Oregon 97404 U.S.A. (541)461-3272 www.ifdpublishing.com
For Brother Driesch, a master carpenter who fought for the Keiser in WW I, for the U.S. in WW II, and for Port Corwald in my heart.
Port Corwald's Master Shipwright, Venerré, opened his shop window and lifted his spyglass to one ancient eye.
Every morning, he scanned the bay, beginning in the south at his abandoned assembly barns where once hull, mast, sail, and rigging were joined together by a small army of his trained craftsmen. Built during the war, they squatted like giant sea turtles in the shadowy, winter-wind lee of Shashka Peak. Black piers, dry docks, a forest of scaffolds, and spider-web lines still covered the southern curve of the bay — all empty save for ravens and wind — a monument to drowned men.
No man dared disturb the spirits of that place.
He scanned northward along the long breakwater of fitted stones separating sea from bay, across the channel gap, to the opposite side of the bay where merchant shipyards built new cargo and fishing vessels. Following the curve of the bay inland along the northwest shore, his glass passed over busy trade docks, warehouses, and salting houses.
Every day, he took up quill to record the winds, the clouds, the temperature, the position of the sun, the state of the tide, surface conditions, and sail movements. He wrote notes about the people of Port Corwald who did business along the seawall causeway that linked merchant docks and trade houses to Venerré's shop and the darker shipyards beyond.