The last time I went sailing was aboard the Betsy D in February. Since then I have survived the cold of winter, the pollen of spring, the exhaustion of work, the ordeal of Zanne having an emergency cholecystectomy (she's OK), the shock of G'Ma nearly flatlining at Group Health Bellevue (she's OK), the stress of a drawn out move, and the damned old feeling that came with my own diagnosis of hypertension. There's been a lot going on, but I have to admit that procrastination and needless worry are just as responsible. Not any more. On Tuesday, Zanne and I joined Dan on the Mirus again and returned to the Duck Dodge. I'm back on the water.
|Captain Dan and Pirate Lou|
The weather has to shoulder some of the blame. It's been wet, naturally. Last weekend was Father's Day, and the CWB was on the list, but the weather was truly weird. Saturday was as muggy and uncomfortably moist as a July day in San Antonio, while Sunday the wind blew hard and gusty for so long that I could only assume that the Center's livery was closed and the public sails didn't happen. Yesterday, you had to trust the forecast, because at noon there were still menacingly dark clouds even while the NWS said it was supposed to clear up. It did.
|and the wind on west|
One of those unneeded worries was that Zanne and I wouldn't be able to get to a 6:00 shove off with me only getting off at 4:30. In fact, we beat to Dan to the Marina; he was chilling at the Pacific Inn when we got to the gate. When we were all at the boat--just the three of us--we had time to hang out. Dan supplied the PBR. Zanne brought a whole bag of food, highlighted by croissant sandwiches with her own fixings, like ham off the bone, tomatillos, thin cucumber slices, and, of course, mustard. We chatted about islands: Tortuga (I'm reading Exquemelin between calls at work, more later), Easter Island (long blog underway, more later), and Palmyra (see And The Sea Will Tell, a true tale of murder in the South Pacific by the lawyer/author, Vincent Bugliosi, that originally brought you Charles Manson!...more later??!).
|All north on a port tack|
We shoved off, rigged, and settled in. The 6:00 departure meant that, for once, we were on time for the 7:10 start for "Cruising and Slower Boats." In fact, we were early and tacked around until we were in position passing the committee boat, none other than the schooner Lavengro, which was already in party mode. Lots of other sailors had trusted the forecast and come down for the clear skies. Some boat somewhere was blasting what sounded like Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Even more remarkable than being on time was being on course: For the start and the first few marks we were actually in the race! Our tacks weren't perfect, but we held our own. The wind was out of the west, unusual as Lake Union almost always has the wind out of the north or south. This made it easy to go up and down the lake but not so easy on the north leg by Gas Works Park. Even the bigger, better boats crowded the buoy and spilled wind. We nearly lost the mark completely.
|The pretty Apache|
The most notable boat was a gaff sloop named the Apache. With its big, gaff-rigged red sails, it reminded me of the Amie that hangs around the CWB. In fact, the CWB web site shows that the Apache is starting to hang out there, too. The only info I can find on this boat is at the bottom of a thread on Hereshoff gaff sloops at Wooden Boat Forum. I'd like to get to know this boat better, and it sounds like odds are good I'll be aboard her soon, at the very least during the Festival.
|Captain Rackham, your flag has shrunk.|
The wind out of the west meant that the southward, next-to-last leg of the course was nearly dead, since Queen Anne Hill nearly blocked any air. By then, however, the serious competitors had already finished, and the rest of the race was giving in to entropy and relaxed attitude. As the sun left, we "finished" and went casually up the lake, simply enjoying the sailing and the rum (Trader Vic's Spiced, the best deal so far after Liberation).
I need to trust myself. I need to trust the wind and water. I need to trust both the peaceful and passionate sides of my love of sailing. Hell, I need need to trust my wife and friends. I need to cry out, "I am not a blasted lubber, I am Blue Lou Logan! Fall off, heave to, or prepare to go to the bottom!"