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
Bound to boats and life

Bound to boats and life

April 1, 2010 at 10:10 am

April 2010 By David Roper He broke his right hip at what was then his “advanced” age of 87. He was lifting the battery out of Coda, his last and final boat, which was tied to the dock at the end of a pier. He slipped and fell, refusing toRead More

The compelling dreams of aging sailors

The compelling dreams of aging sailors

February 1, 2010 at 9:48 am

Midwinter 2010 By David Roper On Dec. 15, 2009, Kenneth Ketchum, age 80, decided to sail alone to Mexico from Houston on his Downeast 32 sailboat. He had been living in his recreational vehicle, which he sold to buy the boat. One hundred and fifteen miles southeast of Houston, heRead More

The last sail

The last sail

December 1, 2009 at 5:29 pm

December 2009 By David Roper The boat was very tired, and the thought of getting her out of the shallow Maine cove, and sailing her to Massachusetts, made me feel weak and jittery. The paint on the sides had lost its high-gloss finish, and had bubbled, cracked and peeled inRead More

Kissing the bride

Kissing the bride

October 1, 2009 at 5:17 pm

October 2009 By David Roper She lay languidly between the arms of Harbor and Hall islands in the midst of ledge-strewn Muscongus Bay and, despite the disheveled condition of her captain and two mates who had not seen the likes of soap, razors or toothbrushes in days she held herRead More

Watching the nest

Watching the nest

September 1, 2009 at 5:15 pm

September 2009 By David Roper The wing of sail divides wind and then wind joins it together again. Nothing is used, so nothing is wasted. The Tao of Sailing Hold those words and bear with me. Think about cycles – life cycles. I know I was, as I sat underRead More

Big Red and driving the bend

Big Red and driving the bend

August 1, 2009 at 5:33 pm

August 2009 By David Roper The year I met Big Red I was living alone in an ark under a bridge in St. Paul, Minn., on the Upper Mississippi River. Dave’s Ark was a 42-foot home-built steel houseboat which, due to its ancient and long-ago seized-up Ford 302 engines, neverRead More

Watching vastness and why we do it

Watching vastness and why we do it

July 1, 2009 at 5:26 pm

July 2009 By David Roper Late afternoon finds her standing at the very edge of the sea, waves just touching her toes, the rising onshore breeze lifting her hair, sunlight glowing against her skin and faded neon bikini. One of the locals, one of the women who brings no accessoriesRead More

Someone’s been sleeping in my bed

Someone’s been sleeping in my bed

June 1, 2009 at 5:22 pm

June 2009 By David Roper The most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you? Go ahead, name it. But you won’t top this: Actually, the absolute King of All Embarrassing Moments was witnessed not by me, but by my boss the year I was the captain of his 58-footRead More

I’ll have one order of paradise to go

I’ll have one order of paradise to go

May 1, 2009 at 5:21 pm

May 2009 By David Roper Years ago, back in my boat delivery days, I was hired to help a couple head off on the first leg of their dream. They were an anxious pair, long on their romantic vision of “escaping and living the dream,” and short on the practicalRead More

Mermaids and confessions to The Stem

Mermaids and confessions to The Stem

April 1, 2009 at 5:35 pm

April 2009 By David Roper July 12, 1959: 44.04N/68.35W, a small island east of Isle au Haut, Maine: So I ran, as I always did. Actually seeing two mermaids was all too much for a 9-year-old to understand. Who in the world would ever believe me? Talking about it withRead More