Captain Hardy Stories

Thomas Howland

Chapter IV – “Hey Hardy”

Early on in his employment aboard Java, Captain Hardy realized that as much as he respected the Skipper certain courtesies had to be maintained. On this particular day, Captain Hardy needed to set things straight.

As was his custom, Captain Hardy rowed out early to Java and began getting her ready for the arrival of the Skipper. The plan that day was to sail over to Menemsha Pond to visit Uncle Todd Swift and his schooner, the Tyche.  Because the trip would involve staying aboard several nights, additional provisions, including a block of ice, would be needed.  When all of the preparations had been completed, Captain Hardy rowed back to the Yacht Club. He secured the dinghy and then stood with the rest of the yacht captains on the porch of the New Bedford Yacht Club awaiting the arrival of the owners.

In the meantime, Llewellyn Howland, Sr. was experiencing a rough morning. He had been trying to get down to Java for several hours, but personal matters had delayed him. He was in a foul mood when he finally arrived at the Yacht Club. Walking by the Yacht Club porch, he yelled up, “Hey Hardy!”

Captain Hardy calmly walked down the steps following the Skipper down to the float where the dinghy was located. The Skipper threw his bag into the dinghy and proceeded to get on. As usual, he sat on the after thwart and waited for Captain Hardy to untie the painter. This time, however, Captain Hardy did not get in the dinghy. He untied the painter and then with a strong right foot shoved the dinghy out into the water between the floats. In a stern voice he told the Skipper,

“Don’t you ever Hey Hardy me again.”

Laughter could be heard coming from the porch of the Yacht Club.  Mr. Llewellyn Howland, Sr. shot out from the float with the bow of the dinghy tilted up in the air. It was quite a sight to see. The point had been made. Another lesson was to take place later that day.

The Skipper’s day improved once aboard Java. There was a good breeze and Java made good time over to Martha’s Vineyard. With the sun just over the yardarm, the Skipper invited Uncle Todd aboard for a drink. It was during this time that the Skipper heated up a stew on a small alcohol stove. The meal was served on china, not paper plates.

After a delicious dinner and a good visit with Uncle Todd, it was time to wash the dishes. The Skipper poured warm water from the kettle into the sink and began to wash the dishes. He handed the first plate to Captain Hardy to dry. The plate fell to the cabin sole and burst into pieces. The Skipper then handed Captain Hardy another plate to dry. It, too, was dropped and shattered into a hundred pieces.

Captain Hardy had just made point number two: He did not do dishes. Most people would have told the Skipper before hand, however, that was not Captain Hardy’s way. He was a good judge of character and knew that strong measures were required when dealing with the Skipper in such matters.

So ended a day of good sailing and lessons learned.