Saturday, May 30, 2009

First Sail of the Season

Sheepishly, she realized that she had written the story in the last post once already. She hopes you will accept this overdue story as a peace offering.

In the spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of...sailing? And apparently a young-ish woman's thoughts too. The nice weather the last few weeks hasn't hurt, but beyond that, our recent days have been littered with sailing-related gifts. A sale on anchors (at the same time we had the extra money to get one and the time to research which one we wanted. For those of you who care, we bought a Delta), a dodger on Craigslist, dinner with a delightful family who will be leaving this summer on their sailboat. We took a class at a local jeweler and made a pair of simple silver wedding rings so we don't lose a diamond (or a finger) while sailing. The girls and I started taking Spanish lessons from a friend (she's taking piano lessons from me--yay for bartering!) And we took our first sailing trip.

We had reserved Mother's Day weekend for a sailing trip some time ago, just hoping for good weather. And, though it was still cold enough at night to sleep in 4 layers and a hat, the daytime weather was perfection itself. We began with the obligatory trip to the Farmer's Market across the parking lot from the marina and followed it up with the traditional later-than-hoped-for sailing time.

After motoring up Budd inlet, we put up the new mainsail (another of the unexpected acquisitions of the winter) and the drifter, and sailed...very...slowly...past Boston Harbor. After an hour or so of fighting current and headwind, we decided to let the wind plan the destination and turned toward Hope Island. Sailing up to the mooring buoy always feels like an accomplishment. Dropping the boat hook overboard when the handle fell off quickly reminded us not to feel too sure of ourselves. We pulled around again and Bryan leaned over the side to retrieve the hook (still hanging from the mooring buoy ring), and it broke in two. We finally got a stern line through the ring and pulled the boat around by hand to hook up properly, bow first.

That's when Bryan realized...we had no oars! We always leave our oars on the boat, but we'd brought them home after the last trip to fit them on the new dinghy and now we had no way to get to shore. After a brief family conference, we all agreed to motor on over to Jarrell Cove State Park, where we could stay at a dock.

We pulled in to the Cove about 8:30 and found a spot at the inner state park float. We were a little concerned that the -2 tide on Saturday would not leave us with quite enough water under the keel, but the bottom was muddy so even if we did touch for a few minutes at low tide (we didn't) it wouldn't hurt anything.

Saturday, we enjoyed getting to know the neighbors, who laughed with us at our forgetfulness and offered to loan us their paddles so the girls could dinghy around the lagoon. We tied the dinghy to the anchor rode so we could reel them back in if necessary and tied the borrowed paddles to the dinghy. But after a few minutes of awkwardness, and several near misses (we discovered that shifting one girl to the stern seat greatly reduced the chances of paddle handle meeting sister's face), we cut them loose. Each year, they shock me with their independence.

Watching them intuit how to work together to steer and row efficiently settled any concerns I may have had about the ability of kids to learn teamwork without organized sports.
Often, we spend a portion of each vacation day traveling from one place to another. So we weren't too disappointed to see, on our way to Jarrell Cove, that Joemma Beach didn't have their docks out yet. It was so relaxing to spend the whole day at Jarrell Cove, hiking, chatting with the camp hosts, cooking (and eating!), reading, playing games, watching the Purple Martins commandeer our mast, and fiddling with my Mother's Day gift...a new telescope.

Sunday, we moseyed back to Olympia, packed up, snagged some sushi at our favorite local sushi spot and were home by bedtime. Despite the laughable glitches, this weekend satisfied our need for some peaceful relaxation and deeply gratifying time with our family.

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