A salute to sailing—and connections

A year ago, I wrote a column about the Rendez-Vous Yacht Club’s annual fall cruise and ended it with “Hurry up Spring, 2013 so we can go sailing again.”
Here I am, fresh off the lake from the 2013 fall cruise and dumbfounded by the rushing river of time that has swept another season’s worth of sailing adventures—over a very short summer—into the history books.
On my way to the sailboat Friday afternoon, I had a skip in my step. I whistled a tune from “Great Big Sea” and synced my soon-to-be boat legs to the beat of the music.
Then I caught a glimpse of the white caps boiling on Sand Bay and a strange chill of déjà vu “shivered in me timbers.”
Mother Nature had thrown a cold, windy party for my inaugural fall cruise last year. I had watched the temperature slide into the belly of winter, I had grown an extra layer of hair on my legs, and strapped on some brave counsel to ready myself for the trip I expected would rival the Franklin Expedition.
Surely the big mama of daily forecasts wasn’t about to repeat that scenario and make me think I was off my rocker for the second time.
It’s amazing, though, what a handsome man can do to my resolve. I took one look at him standing there on the boat, smiling at me, and I didn’t care if the seas were rolling.
So there I was sailing away from shore, loving every minute of it, bobbing up and down like a duck—clad in the same pathetic mismatched little rainsuit as last year that I’d found hanging in the barn where it had been collecting pigeon feathers since 2006.
By the time we reached the first anchorage of the weekend, the wind had flipped my hair into the upward bouffant of a vintage Russ Troll Doll, and I was cold. But hey, I was in the sea of no cares.
Insert smile here.
Once again, Robert Service came to life around the mighty campfire through the magnificent voice of a fellow sailor. The recital of “The Ballad of Blasphemous Bill” filled us up and laid open the importance of the old traditions of reading really good poetry from books out loud among adults.
Awesome.
I did not, however, kick Mother Nature’s booty this year and go for a late September swim in a cold lake. But I did try the whiskey. Oh, Lord, whose idea was that anyway? My head still hurts.
Insert jolly roving laughter here.
I also got the chance to test my budding helmsman skills when I managed to carry the sailboat along at more than six knots, heeled over, and “Hold on Tight!”
I have a very good nautical teacher. But then again, I do come from the sea-faring stock of the Davis clan from Newfoundland.
Insert ancestral pride here.
Thank you, sailors, for enriching my summer. Thank you for this day and that, and the want to do it all again next year.
Melody Beattie says we should revere our connections. “We are dependent on much around us, not just for our survival, but for our joy. We need food, water, and the company of our fellow travellers on this great journey.”
I continue to grow into a better woman through all the friends who are connected to my world, be you a roving tar or not. All, and especially you, sir, make the journey a thankful one.
Life is so very much better when it’s shared. This I know for sure.

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