Summer of 1971. My then husband and I were anxiously awaiting the arrival of ….. our custom built 26ft sailboat. We had settled on the name “joss” for the boat, as its loose meaning is good and bad luck. Given how fickle a sailboat can be, it seemed highly appropriate. I was currently reading everything James Clavell was publishing and I came across the word in his novels.
So being the gutsy girl (for the time) that I was, I wrote Mr. Clavell for more info about the word, especially how it was used in the Orient . And he ANSWERED me! See below. He wrote with his personal address in Vancouver, B.C. and invited us to sail up and anchor at his house on Vancouver Island, offering a cup of tea!
Clavell wasn’t just a writer. Both he and his wife were Chopper pilots. Clavell was also a dedicated sailor of sailboats. It was one of the highlights of my life to receive a personal letter from him and be invited to ‘drop anchor’ at his home on the sea. No, we never did make the perilous trip, under sail, to his home port. A deep regret, but we were new to sailing and anyone who knows those waters between Puget Sound and Horseshoe Bay (B.C.) will understand how we were so not capable or experienced enough to attempt it.
But! we were crazy enough to take our 420 (International Dingy Sailing class) sails with us to Portugal and sail the Tagus River, not knowing the waters, currents, language or people!
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