David Roper

Dave Roper is a regular columnist for Points East. Next to sailing, telling and writing stories is Dave’s favorite pastime.  His most recent book, Watching for Mermaids was a three-time Boston Globe bestseller www.watchingformermaids.net. His writing has been published in eighteen languages.  Dave has been a yacht delivery skipper, captain of a 135’ Mississippi River stern wheel cruise ship, and life-long cruiser along the coast of Maine aboard his 31’ Independence sloop, Elsa Marie.  Dave is the founder of A-Script, a career advisory and resume writing firm in Marblehead, MA.  davidroper00@gmail.com

Insufferable opinions: Who’s a curmudgeon?

July 24, 2017 at 12:00 am

“You should keep your opinions on all this boat stuff to yourself, Dave,” my dear wife said the other day, just after I’d picked up the mooring and settled down in Elsa’s cockpit. “They’re really just observations, not opinions,” I replied. “People are different. They have different learning curves fromRead More

Tech and humans: It takes two to tango

June 26, 2017 at 12:00 am

I used to be scared when I went to sea. But it was a healthy fear that was good for me, and got me this far. Then along came the kind of technology that exuded certainty, almost saying, “I’ll handle this part. I’m always correct. But you handle your part;Read More

Escaping to Live the Dream? Maybe.

May 22, 2017 at 12:00 am

Robert Pirsig became a sailor subsequent to the success of his five-million-copy bestseller, “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.” He also easily broke my publisher-rejection record, with 121 publishers saying “no” before one took him on. He holds the Guinness record as the most rejected bestseller in history. ForRead More

Retiring before 30

April 24, 2017 at 12:00 am

“I don’t know, Paul,” I said in an uneasy tone as I sat on the couch of the big-time yacht broker who’d set up most of my boat delivery jobs. “I need to draw the line and quit this business before I’m 30. “I’m not getting any younger.” Even atRead More

Boats as reflections of one’s stage of life

March 13, 2017 at 12:01 am

It was in the midst of a long stretch of nothing as we headed home from Maine – hour after hour of incessant, greasy, undulating seas and an occasional glimpse of land off Cape Neddick – when my old psychologist friend spoke. We’d both been quiet for a while, whichRead More

What makes Points East work?

January 27, 2017 at 4:15 pm

In the midst of this year’s Points East holiday gathering I wondered, as I have done yearly at this event, why does this magazine “taste” so good? Why the devoted readership? Why the nearly 100 percent staff attendance at this party, year after year, many driving from afar? Why theRead More

A little dinghy and a fear of whirlpools

November 21, 2016 at 3:36 pm

A bucket list adventure to the Pacific Northwest ends successfully for our columnist, but now withhout a bit of disaster.

Bucket-list Adventure: Points way west

October 1, 2016 at 12:25 pm

“This is not only a gripping story, but also one of the most dramatic and detailed sailing adventures of all time,” said none other than Walter Cronkite on the dust jacket of Ferenc Máté’s novel, “Ghost Sea.” Nearly a century ago, on the wild British Columbia coast, a Kwakiutl warriorRead More

When Zeus is mad

September 1, 2016 at 12:27 pm

As we rounded Appledore Island at the Isle of Shoals Saturday afternoon, I crossed my fingers. It was high season, a weekend, and unbelievably hot ashore, so I feared all the moorings in the Shoals’ Gosport Harbor would be taken. But it was worse than that: Many boats had toRead More

Men are from Mars . . . the marine version

August 1, 2016 at 12:39 pm

As I was rigging some new jib sheets on board Elsa last week, a fleet of little 420 sailboats, each crewed by two young teens, sailed by me in Marblehead Harbor, headed in after a race. These kids were happy, smiling, and very polite to this old sea dog asRead More