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
Graphic by Duane Cline

Sailor’s Jeopardy: It’s knot what you think

July 26, 2021 at 12:00 am

Where does “Slush Fund” actually come from? Pick up some valuable trivia to impress your boating friends.

My six rules for non-boaters

My six rules for non-boaters

June 21, 2021 at 12:00 am

July 2012 By David Roper When visitors from landlocked places come sailing with us, it’s really sweet. They’re so excited, and try their best to assimilate to the sailing world, buying the proper boat shoes and sailing shorts, researching and trying out a few terms such as “ahoy” and “avast.”Read More

The wave pilot vs. the flickering screen

The wave pilot vs. the flickering screen

May 17, 2021 at 12:00 am

June 2021 By David Roper Let’s face it: We humans are fascinated with screens. They’re everywhere. At every boat show there are throngs around the latest electronic breakthroughs. The marine store catalogs are filled with page after page of electronics. On boats, these electronics have elevated the neophyte boater toRead More

An Easter story, 1959

April 19, 2021 at 12:00 am

A man does what he must – in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures – and that is the basis of all human morality. – John F. Kennedy May, 2021 By David Roper So, what should he do? There he was, a middle-aged manRead More

Having “the (dock) talk” with my doctor

Having “the (dock) talk” with my doctor

March 15, 2021 at 12:00 am

Spring and the boating season was fast arriving. It was time for “The Talk.” Yeah, THAT talk.

Photo by David RoperA pre-COVID-19 gathering of The Driftwood Boys. Since confined spaces have been off-limits recently, they've found an alternative way to "go cruising."

Virtual voyage? Anchors aweigh

February 1, 2021 at 12:00 am

Midwinter 2021 By David Roper There are good ships, and there are wood ships, The ships that sail the sea. But the best ships, are friendships, And may they always be. -Irish Proverb You could easily say that the pre-COVID-19 photo on the following page says it all. It’s aRead More

The plywood dinghy lived twice as long as it was supposed to. Her departure was sad, but not unexpected.s

If one is going to sink . . .

November 23, 2020 at 12:00 am

A 21-year-long relationship meets a soggy, although predictable, ending

The Gulf, golf and the kid

The Gulf, golf and the kid

October 13, 2020 at 3:11 pm

How do you get a teen-age boy to go cruising in Maine with his father (no, this is not the lead to a new joke), to share in the joy of quiet nights under a blanket of stars, to be away from his friends, from the activity and noise of youth…from chicken fingers…from girls?

Tiny boats and huge yachts

Tiny boats and huge yachts

September 28, 2020 at 12:00 am

  As soon as you set foot on a big yacht you belong to someone, not to yourself, and you die of boredom. -Coco Chanel   By David Roper For Points East Magazine Tiny boats and huge yachts. The allure is almost always there, despite the lack of practicality ofRead More

Photo courtesy David RoperThese red circles denote the shell piles -- or middens -- left behind by an ancient people on Snow Island.

In search of the Red Paint People

August 24, 2020 at 12:00 am

By David Roper This year’s cruise to Maine was supposed to be a quiet, reflective time spent mostly anchored alone in a bay I’ve always loved. For the first time in many years, my wife would sail with me on the Downeast leg from our homeport of Marblehead, Mass. IRead More