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

When you come to a fork in the river, take it!

May 21, 2018 at 12:00 am

Once upon a time, 35 years ago, I lived in a houseboat under a bridge on the Upper Mississippi River, where I happened to captain a 135-foot sternwheel cruise ship. Having grown up on the ocean, I’d always thought of the Mississippi as some legendary Mark Twain world I wouldRead More

There, but by the grace of God . . .

April 23, 2018 at 12:00 am

Years ago I wrote a column about my notorious, crazy and fearless water-borne antics as a teenager. Most of these occurred in a 1960s-vintage Boston Whaler in and around Marblehead Harbor. And most of the negative outcomes from my antics were due to excessive speed. Fortunately – for a while,Read More

The tide waits for no man

March 19, 2018 at 12:00 am

David Roper
Our oceans aren’t turning back. That’s clearer than ever, especially during our recent devastatingly high tides, which got me to thinking about old King Canute. I regularly walk by Brown’s Island, a lovely spot off Marblehead only accessible by foot at low tide.

‘Silence in the Age of Noise’

January 29, 2018 at 12:00 am

For Christmas my dear wife gave me two books with the word “silence” in their titles. Perhaps she was trying to tell me something. They are both amazing. I haven’t shut up since. Really, though, I seek silence. On land. At sea. It recharges me. Gives me time to wonder.Read More

‘Boat Talk’ with Clevis and Pinhead, the Shackle Bros.

November 20, 2017 at 12:00 am

Well, you are about to embark on another enlightening, informative, instructive, illuminating, enthralling and clarifying episode of “Boat Talk,” hosted by The Shackle Brothers. As a bonus, we’ll also have a new round of The Puzzler, designed to stump all of you; or at least those of you with veryRead More

‘Boat Talk’ With Clevis and Pinhead, the Shackle Brothers.

September 25, 2017 at 12:00 am

As a devoted fan of “Car Talk,” the much-loved call-in radio show, I could never understand why there were never similar format shows on other subjects. Why not “Wife Talk,” or “Husband Talk,” or “Parents of Teenager Talk?” Why not “Boat Talk?” Well, you are about to embark on theRead More

Listening to your inner ear

August 28, 2017 at 12:00 am

“A sure cure for seasickness is to sit under a tree.” Lord Nelson Until he went to sea with young Cubby on his sail back from Maine in a small cruising sloop, Big Red hadn’t been seasick and never dizzy when he got ashore. That was because he’d spent hisRead More

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