Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

All the critters here in The Swamp off the Saint Johns River in Central Florida wish everyone a Happy Saint Patrick’s Day…

I’ve had some great experiences with people from the “Auld Sod.”

My first was in ’87 when I was bringing an old, classic wooden Grebe motor yacht from Fort Lauderdale to Cape Cod. I had two young Irish lasses, Ann from Limerick and Gerry from Kerry as my crew. Took nearly two weeks before I stopped saying, “What?” and “Huh?” after everything they said and got the hang of their brogue. They were good girls and we had a blast. Hit every happy hour from Lauderdale to Hyannis. Ann, though, was actually an American citizen. He parents had been the Irish Consuls in New Orleans and she was born there. Gerry had a brother that lived in Ponchatoula on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain and she’d lived there for about a year. One of the things that made the trip enjoyable, other than the fact that the two were good kids, was that people would hear their accents at the bars and restaurants we went to and would approach us and strike up conversations. We got lots of free drinks along the way.

Over in Antibes, France, there were a lot of Irish living there and working on the yachts. Comparing them with the Scots and English that also lived there, the Irish spoke French, Scots and Brits only spoke English. Period. Irish, with a reputation in the U.S. for loving to fight, never got in fights in France. Never saw an Irishman in a fight in three years there. On the other hand the Brits and Scotts are among the most pugnacious assholes ever placed on this green earth. They were in fights almost daily.

When we sailed Jolie Aire across the pond in ’91 one of the crew was Martin, a lad from Dublin. Martin kept us in stitches at the dinner table each night with his stories.

Gerry, from Kerry on the left, and Ann from Limerick on the right after we arrived in Hyannis.

I love the Irish.

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