Neddie Jingo: Ass-Cancer Survivor. In due time, he will recover enough to resume his usual activities, like shaving.
There. That's much better, isn't it. Amazing what a week at the beach will do -- even after what Annapolitan so felicitously characterized in a Comment as "tail problems."
The dogs are completely healed, you'll be thrilled to hear. Your academic biology types might try to tell you that dogs can't express emotions though their facial expressions -- anthropomorphic projection, et wet-blanket cetera -- but if the mid-beach-romp expression on Ring Ting Ting's face in this photo isn't an ecstatic smile, I'll eat my straw boater:
I'd have called it a shit-eating grin, but unfortunately that's probably more literally true than some of us might be comfortable with.
Today, our last full day here, was Sailing Day. Young Freddie and I (young, hell -- he's 12 going on 16) rented a WindRunner at a local outfitters and we spent the afternoon tooling around aimlessly in a delightfully spanking-fresh breeze on Currituck Sound. A WindRunner is a three-hulled craft -- the central main hull and two outrigger pontoons -- with a mainsail and a jib. It's steered like a kayak, with two pedals at your feet, and its approach to jib-sheet handling is ingeniously innovative -- certainly not what I learned on the old family day-sailer back in the day, at any rate.
Oh -- and it's just wicked fast with the wind on the beam. Woof. Wonderfully zippy. The pontoons make it super-stiff, and if your mate hikes on the windward pontoon, the thing can fly. On the other hand, it's pretty much completely impossible to capsize -- hence its popularity as rental boat.
Some fifteen minutes into the excursion, I luffed her, took the way off her, and directed Freddie into the cockpit. He was tentative at first, never having piloted a water-craft before, but once he felt her heel over in the breeze, heard the sound of the waters beginning to sluice down the hull's length, and above all the thrilling speed that you can very quickly pick up in a well designed sailboat in a stiff wind, it was pretty obvious he was rather taken with the pastime.
I do believe a sailor was born this day.
All right. Back to the world of dreams.