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MAX EBB bor, most of them liveaboards. Lee must have recognized some of them, too. "Trawler trash," she whispered. "Lee," I said. "Some of those guys are my friends." "I totally mean it in a good way," she backpedaled. Packages were passed up to the party boat — about equal tonnage of food and booze — and they climbed aboard after. Clearly the party was about to gear up a notch, but before that happened someone recognized someone on a Newport 30 who needed a ride over to the raft-up. "It's C. Shell!" he said as he hopped back into the dinghy. "I'll zip over and pick her up." A minute later the high-powered dinghy was back with the passenger. Apparently most of this crowd knew her — they had once been liveaboard dock neighbors in a different marina. "Anybody expecting anything good from Santa this year?" she asked as she climbed aboard the party boat. C. Shell did not bring any food or drink to contribute, but instead had a bundle of what looked like little comic

books. "I don't have any family in town," said one of her old friends. "My ex confiscates all my mail," said another liveaboard. "Who would think to give me a present?" complained another marina urchin. "Here, guys, one for each of you," she said as she handed out the little pamphlets. "Happy holidays." "Dock Dorks!" the first urchin exclaimed. "C, you did it! The book! Am I in here, like you promised?" "I didn't promise nothin'," she insisted, but her old friends put down their drinks to comb the pages of this book of cartoons, mostly about the liveaboard culture and lifestyle, and mostly drawn from C. Shell's personal experience. "Hey, guys," said one of them with a concerned tone. "We don't come off looking so good in some of these 'toons." "Speak for yourself!" retorted another old dock neighbor of his. "She drew me as looking pretty good . . . oh wait . . .

never mind." "This is just the first of four volumes," C. explained. "Eventually I'll publish the complete collected works in a square binding." "Cool!" said Lee. "I know a liveaboard who needs this book," said the owner of the big boat that was hosting the party, after flipping through one of the samples. "Do you have extras with you to sell?" "Of course!" C. confirmed.

M

eanwhile, the party animals on board were finding more drawings of themselves in not-always-flattering situations. Truth is a defense in libel cases, and even the scurvy bunch of actual "dock dorks" depicted in the book recognized the truth in their characters. After another round of drinks they were all having a good laugh at most of the cartoons. But I'll be thankful to get back to having holiday dinners with my actual relatives again. — max ebb

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Latitude 38

• December, 2012

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Latitude 38 Dec. 2012  

The December 2012 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.

Latitude 38 Dec. 2012  

The December 2012 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.