Looking back over a lifetime of coastal sailing, my Biggest Freakin' Sail was last fall with my daughter. Having sailed from Maine to Cape Cod overnight together, we covered 80 nautical miles in 10 hours from Port Clyde to somewhere off Cape Ann, Mass. That's a lifetime speed record our boat will never break again!
But it wasn't all good. She became seasick, which she often does in the wrong conditions. I misjudged the weather and got more wind than I wanted. Conditions became too rough for her on the wheel so toward the end of 10, mostly fun hours wrestling the wheel, we packed it in and hove to for3 hours to sleep-rest(sorry if you've heard the story before).
I felt guilty about the poor decisions(mistakes) I'd made to get us in that sketchy position.
Things could have gone bad even just 50 miles off the coast that night.
A few days later, I called my daughter who just moved to NYC(she's just graduated from college) for a job she took. I had a nagging question about that sail. "Were you scared out there, Mary Jane?"
She paused for a moment, then said, "Nah, I wasn't really scared Dad. I just felt bad that you became unable to steer the boat anymore, and I couldn't help". She rallied on the seasickness, but I had us in a state neither of us could physically handle, that night.
So that BFS was benchmark of sorts for us. She, becoming an 'adult' lately, me turning 60, and feeling a little vulnerable of my own abilities. Maybe she was seeing that point in life-Dad or mom can't fix everything.
Stuff happens, I still make mistakes(damn it!). We remember sinking this boat as a family(I'm not going into that here...
) and lot's of scary moments together for 23 years, mostly onshore. We've shared a lot together.
Here she is sound asleep in Cape Cod Bay the next morning.
I get several texts a day from NYC now. A recent one read. CAN'T WAIT TO SAIL TO CAPE COD AGAIN!!!!