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
Snowy Portland, Maine harbor with lobster boats during a blizzard

‘Spineless’ Sam – a sea story

March 20, 2023 at 12:00 am

Spring 2023 By David Roper It could be his last night on earth. But twenty-seven year old Sam Martin doesn’t know that yet. It’s 9:35 pm. Saturday, January 5, 2004. It’s 12 degrees Fahrenheit, and the wind is gusty and southwest. Sam is sitting on his usual stool in theRead More

Points East file photo by David RoperAnd here they are, the merry gathering poses on the snow-covered dock.

Reviving the sea story

January 30, 2023 at 12:00 am

Winter 2023 By David Roper For Points East In my files this winter, I came across this invitation from nearly twenty years ago, sent to ‘middle-aged sailing men’ who are now, in 2023, old sailing men: As a Middle-Aged Sailing Man Known to be a Competent Bullshitter You are HerebyRead More

Just go

Just go

November 21, 2022 at 12:00 am

December 2022 By David Roper From the upcoming book, “The Ghosts of Gadus Island”   August 11, 1967 – Morning, Day 1 A Remote Island Off the Coast of Maine A tall teenaged girl moves close to the cliff’s edge, looks out to sea, runs her hands through her long,Read More

Far left, Dave in the cockpit of Phyllis with his father, Joe Roper. At left Dave’s granddaughter Rosie takes the helm of Dave’s boat Elsa.

Keeping a watchful eye: A Grandpa’s message to his little sailor

September 26, 2022 at 12:00 am

October/November 2022 By David Roper As you can see from the black and white photo here of your Poppy, I have been watching much longer than you, for more than sixty years, in fact. Sailors know it is important to always keep a watchful eye, to look forward as bestRead More

The other side of the island

The other side of the island

August 22, 2022 at 12:00 am

September 2022 By David Roper This is a continuation from the August issue of an excerpt from Dave’s upcoming book “The Ghosts of Gadus Island” August 1985 Artifacts – Gadus Island, Maine “What about cucumber guy?” Sophie asked, after Cleo joined her at the top of the wharf. “Should weRead More

A wrecked boat on the shore next to an old abandoned wharf on a very foggy day. The boat is in very poor shape and is falling apart. Side view at low tide.

‘In the wild, you get one mistake’

July 25, 2022 at 12:00 am

August 2022 By David Roper This is a continuation from the July issue of an excerpt from Dave’s upcoming book “The Ghosts of Gadus Island” August 1985 Fog, Gadus Island After a breakfast of corned beef hash and eggs, Sophie climbed a couple steps on the ladder and poked herRead More

Photo by Joyce Bartlett

Anchored off Gadus Island, we meet Carey

June 20, 2022 at 12:00 am

This is a continuation from the June issue of an excerpt from Dave’s upcoming book, The Ghosts of Gadus Island. July 2022 By David Roper August 1985 Fog, Gadus Island Cleo awoke to find their world embraced by a blurry soft white and edgeless cocoon of fog. Without sitting up,Read More

The Ghosts of Gadus Island

The Ghosts of Gadus Island

May 23, 2022 at 12:00 am

This is a continuation of Dave’s piece in the January/February 2022 issue, an excerpt from his novel (retitled), “The Ghosts of Gadus Island.” June 2022 By David Roper …She turned to her teenaged daughter Sophie, who was now leaning forward over the cabin trunk, anxiously scanning the horizon for theRead More

Photo by  David RoperEven in this digital age, there is plenty of information to fascinate in the printed “Eldridge Tide and Pilot Book,” which should be found on every well-appointed nav station.

The boaters’ bible

April 18, 2022 at 12:00 am

Back when I was 17, I took my first bible to sea. Oh, not that Bible. But a yellow paperback one. I figured it was maybe my best resource as I set off solo on my greatly modified ‘round the world adventure aboard my $2500, 23’ A.R. True Rocket sloop.Read More

A journey into the past

A journey into the past

January 31, 2022 at 12:00 am

January/February 2022 By David Roper These are the first published opening pages of Dave Roper’s new book, “Odin’s Island,” inspired by a true story. Odin’s Island – 1985 It had gotten cool, and the wind had started to increase and turn northeast, and this gave Cleo concern. She locked theRead More