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
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

Shutterstock photo

A fairy tale for grownups

July 25, 2020 at 12:00 am

By David Roper For Points East Once upon a time there was a man who felt that his life was a canvas painted in various shades of gray. His job lacked challenge, his friends were dull, and his girl didn’t cast her eyes down and blush when he whispered toRead More

Photo by Bryan BurnsThe author in a contemplative moment. Last, big voyage? We all think about where and when that might be.

Sailing way into the past

June 22, 2020 at 12:00 am

“We’re getting to be antiques,” I whispered to Elsa, as I collapsed into the cockpit after dropping the old Herreshoff anchor 50 yards off a nearly abandoned fisherman’s wharf. It was the end of a brisk fall solo sail, a late cruise, as I was reluctant to let go ofRead More

Life’s a beach . . . or is it?

Life’s a beach . . . or is it?

May 18, 2020 at 12:00 am

By David Roper In these times of COVID-19, statistics show that many people are virtually escaping to paradise via YouTube. If you Google “Sail to Paradise,” you’ll get 40,300,000 hits. As of today, there are 1,300,000,000 YouTube videos out there, movies from every imaginable category. So, if you can’t actuallyRead More

Photo courtesy Dave RoperThe author in "hunkered-down" mode, reading 1/2 hour of every two.

The case of the missing Maglite

April 20, 2020 at 12:00 am

The Buddhist desire is to empty oneself in order to be filled. In this time of “social distancing” we certainly have an opportunity to slow time’s winged chariot, to empty ourselves of all the chatter and clatter of everyday life, to fill up the spaces often so wanting. Today, aRead More

The author's son, Nicky

Rot in the bullshead

March 16, 2020 at 12:00 am

By David Roper For Points East Editor’s note: Dave Roper is on vacation, so we’re cutting him a little slack this month. Here is one of our favorite columns of his, which ran in April, 2013. They owned a small inn on the coast of Maine, and they came inRead More