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Lazy Weekend Sailing
In a nutshell, not too exciting, no trips to the ER, and no ominous looking storm clouds. Simply a lazy afternoon, of light breezes, sunshine and sailing in a low-key environment. The kind of weekend I look forward too all winter long.
I got to my boathouse at 10AM to meet a girl I had met a month before, and scheduled to give a lesson. When I arrived she was already on the dock waiting for me. She seemed to be friendly. I didn't ask her too many questions. I asked her if she didn't mind taking one of the high performance boats. She said “sure.” The boat was a lot more responsive than she'd sailed on before, every single twitch, due to a weight shift, or rudder change, would cause the boat to respond. After getting a feel for how to position herself as the boat rocked in the waves, and the way it leaned when it turned, my companion became more comfortable and started to enjoy the water. Although later after taking the helm for herself, she would briefly loose control, for the most part she seemed unnerved by the sailing experience. The wind was light, so I needn’t sail particularly hard nor aggressively. I casually sailed the boat on reflex without thinking too much, enjoying the relaxing aspect to it.
We talked. It’d seemed like I'd heard her story before. Another young woman living in the city, a reasonably employed professional from a middle class background, just trying to make it in the city, but not particularly connected to it. As we wrapped up, I walked her back to her apartment. She lived nearby, a block down one of the nicest streets in Boston.
I sat around and enjoyed the afternoon on the river, looking at the sunshine and the mellow breeze. I pondered what to do with the two weeks of vacation, I had coming up. Did I really want to fly back to the west coast, or should I stick around my home, and take in ambiance that is the city I live in.
So I went back to the boathouse, the wind was only slightly blowing and hadn't picked up. I practiced my boat handling skills by sailing without the rudder, and steering the boat only by shifting ballast and sail trim. Sailing without a rudder takes a certain amount of familiarity, and the predictable response of the boat in the light winds provided a subtle reassurance that my instincts were correct
No matter... After getting back, I happened upon an older woman, wanting to take one of the high performance boats out out. I was impressed with her gumption, usually people are happy to take a beginner boat, as opposed to a high performance skiff, so I agreed. Hoping she'd prove to be both an adequate sailor, and good conversation.
We went out, the lady was proficient enough. I didn't have to give her any particular instructions, nor did she get stuck in the rigging trying to get over the centerboard. It's reassuring to sail with someone I don't have to constantly coach. Talking to her was casually fascinating; She was in her mid-late 50's, a foreign language teacher, at a suburban high school, grown kids outside of the house, not quite retired yet, but I didn’t hear concerns of worries, or drastic changes which needed to or should be about to happen to her.
After two hours we got back, and parted ways. My sailing companion calling her husband to have dinner at a restaurant in the North End, and I simply packing up my things and heading back. I left that afternoon satisfied, wondering if I should be doing more with my life or writing down more of the things which should be bothering me. But I didn’t, instead I took the long way home, and enjoying the river and watching the sun set.
July 31, 2005