Aug 10, 2015
A replica of the schooner AMERICA, the yacht that trounced England in the 1851 Hundred Guinea Cup (and later renamed the America’s Cup, in the yacht’s honor), was here in Port Townsend this weekend. It was a poignant event for me, considering my long-standing sync of the “Auld Mug” with the Holy Grail.
The black yacht is a rakish 101’ from bow to stern, 90’ on the waterline, and cuts a dashing figure under sail, even today. It flew a gigantic American flag from the main mast - wrapping itself in the flag, so to speak - but well earned, in this case.
I pondered the meaning of “replica” or “replicant”. It reminds me of reincarnation, or the idea that a vessel of wood (or clay or 3D material reality) can “embody” the spirit (fire) of another vessel. This yacht, made of coarse material, is the avatar of the original AMERICA, in the same way the Hindus believe that their eternal Gods are incarnated into vessels of flesh. I felt like I was walking upon a holy relic.
The interior was filled with half-hull models of previous cup defenders - the saints buried in the catacombs. The air was thick with memory.
When I left I noted a guy on a bike wearing a Captain America t-shirt on the dock. The Captain of the AMERICA?
Later in the day, I attended a birthday party at the Pourhouse. We watched the AMERICA sail by, full of well paying guests, we watched from the cheap seats. It is curious that in 2013, the three of us (I, the birthday girl and her husband) watched the final race of the 2013 America’s Cup in this very same pub, and that's the ONLY time we were both present there.
The Pourhouse is a fabulous pun made even better by the Grail sync, since the Grail is above all else a “cup” or “vessel” of divine essence, and the fabled re-discoverers and hoarders of the Holy Grail were the Knights Templar, AKA the "Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon".