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post #2478 of Old 11-07-2012
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Re: Big Freakin' Sails

Lots of great stories.... It'd take me a long time to catch up on the nearly 250 pages of info over the years on this thread.

Just adding a short story, nothing epic like some of things so many others have endured... just in my mind really funny actually in a "family interaction" sort of way.

...heading out with my aunt and uncle 5 or so years ago on lake erie. Blustery to say the least, but at the time his boat was well over 40 feet (I simply can NOT remember what it was) and he was very comfortable sailing her, and I'm confident in his abilities. My aunt was at the helm, uncle at the companionway playing crew as all lines came back... Main was reefed, jib was rolled out just a bit, and we were close hauled just out of from the protective breakers. The waves were rolling big... the wind was solid... the boat was creeping forward... and the decision was made to tack. As we came about the timing was perfect, but perhaps not in a good way. Right as we began sliding over the back side of a big rolling wave our trajectory was perfect along the side of the boat and the wind easily pushed the sails over... The boat was deep in this trough, on it's side, the main was taking in some water and that moment seemed to suspend there forever in slow motion. I swear it seemed like all I could see was water. We were all tucked into the cockpit hanging on and I didn't have the sensation of coming out of the boat or danger. It was in all reality a very calm moment. We just waited for those slow moments to pass as the rolling wave lifted us back up and the boat (like a weeble-wobble) stood back up. Of course the water that started to fill the main was flung across us, which made for a nice dramatic touch.

Now here's what to me is the funny part. We're now moving through the water much better and heading out where the water doesn't seem so unpredictable. This is good sailing!! And after just a few moments of that great sailing my aunt says, "Don, I think we should head back." He knows she was startled, but we were fine and said something along the lines of, "well, we're fine... sailing is good... getting out into better water... etc" She paused. Eyes fixed on my uncle who seemed to be trying to mind his own business adjusting a sheet or considering letting some more of the jib out. She didn't let him off the hook, and though he wasn't looking at her, she was looking strong at him and simply said (in a tone that makes every husband's spine tingle), "Don."

He didn't move.... then glanced at her, almost slowly... paused again... then said (somewhat light-hearted), "Yeah, that's fine, we can head back... we've had our fun... mumble-mumble.. trail off trail off.... "

We tucked back in without any troubles whatsoever, had some wine in the slip, and called it a great day on the water. Looking back I still laugh when I can see so clearly in my mind my aunt's expression.... tone... and my uncle's smart response.

Ex Scientia et Artes Vita
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