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first night sail
I went out with another club member on the lake on Tuesday night to get my night checkout done finally in the club catalina 22s. My mentor wanted to show me how to sail out without the engine as the wind was right for it. We pushed back from the slip and he had me hold the sail out on the other side of the boat to backwind the sail and we slipped quietly out of the slip. Letting it go to the other side we reversed course and headed out of the marina.
We sailed a bit before sunset, talking quietly together about what things will look like, how he does this or that. We sat and watched the sun set. Just as the last sliver of a blood red sun was dipping below the horizon another sailboat on the lake traversed the disc. Amazingly beautiful in a way I don't know how to put into words. My quick camera shot was late and never do justice to the real life. The wind picked up as the sun was going down, staying smooth, strong, we sailed out and back on the main alone that night to ease our put away time when we were done. But honestly, it was enough. We sailed strong, flat, comfortable on the boat as he and I talked a bit and watched the sun go down.
Then we watched the stars come out as we waited on the moon to rise. A partly cloudy sky and our stars were flitting between the gaps. The marina lights on the lake came up, the blinking lights on the wavebreaks, the blue lights at the Glass Cactus restaurant shone from the shore. It was quiet on the water. Slicing through the waves, the occasional slap in the water of a startled fish as we slipped past them. It grew chillier, sweatshirts and wildbreakers were shrugged on from the bags.
The moon rose giant and green above the horizon casting broken reflections on the water as we headed towards the docks. Slipping into our cove, past the wavebreaks on the mainsail alone I was determined to see if I could follow his example, see how far I could get back to my slip without having to break the silence with our motor. The wind grew slack as I started to round the end of the covered pier, my sail fluttered uselessly on the mast and I put the little outboard motor down. Prime, a sharp pull, and it stuttered to life, muted in the quiet, as if it too wanted to keep the peace. An easy dock in the slip and we were soon tied up, sail put away and ready to go.
Over our shoulders the moon rose bright and shone as the clouds scurried across its face and the stars winked at us in the quiet.
I stood on the bridge of the marina looking at the little catalina 22 in her slip, looking at the moon above and wondering why it took so long to finally find my way to the water. Has it only been a year since my first sailing lessons?
Fair winds my friends..
Last edited by Mitch817; 05-20-2011 at 03:44 PM.