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Old 01-04-2010, 22:38   #1
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The Point of it All . . .

This weekend we had a wonderful day, accidentally, that summed up why we are all here...

After a lazy morning on the boat we were gearing up to head out, in a land based way. A friend was hauling up his main as we passed him and he called hello. We paused to visit for a moment across the water and as he was telling us about the days endless tasks he had planned he was looking around at the sky. Stepping over the golden wood spinnaker pole he had on blocks, gleaming with wet varnish he paused and said "what we really should do is go sailing". I grinned over at Himself with a questioning look. "wanna ditch work?"

So we did. Dave put away his can of varnish and began to tune his rigging. I hustled out to the car and ran the dogs home. Dave has a chocolate lab and we had two setters that day. A lotta dog for a 32" racing sloop, and the big setter had no experience on the water so I figured they would be better at home. Himself trundled back to our boat and collected up all the gear and stuff. We met back at Adagio at one and stowed our gear, stuck the ice in the sink and cast off.

Oh how glorious. The sky was blue studded with clouds, the wind was blowing tiny white caps up on the bay, the boat was a 32' macaroni rigged sloop, a master mariner boat, all wood and drenched in the classic sailing boat mystique. The sails were crisp and clear white against the sky when I looked up and filled to billowing curves as we caught the wind and slid thru the water.

Dave is one of those fussy racing breed. The first head sail, a 120% was too much to suit him with the wind we had and after only 5 minutes or so he was re setting blocks and swapping out for a 100% which didn't suit him either as the bottom of the leach was rubbing on the upper shrouds. I made the suggestion that he might like the sail shape better if he ran the sheets between the upper and lowers. Dave grumbled more about his sailmaker and yeah that had been suggested to him but he didn't like that because... yada yada yada... after a bit we watched, amused as he began to rethread the windward sheet between the shrouds, tack and then reset the starboard sheet in the new position as well. After a bit a grudging and then with slowly building enthusasim he began to adjust and finiggel, tune and taughten the jib until he finally announced that 'that's the best this sail has ever looked!' Not that that kept him from messing with the lines all the time... but that's what makes him happy and there must be a reason he wins all those races and the young racing bucks at Saint Francis are lined up to crew for him...

The view from under the bay bridge of the cranes and construction on the new East Span was facinating and then along the water front in San Francisco, with the city laid out in all her glory. All the while the wind whipping us along effortlessly.

Now here is the best part of the day. All through out it Dave kept up a running monologue about what he was doing and why, and had Himself doing everything right along with him. Hanking head sails, setting blocks and sheets, adjusting the tuning on the rigging, taking the tiller and answering the stream of questions on what they were doing and why.

It was a revelation to Himself that we were out sailing on this immaculate, bristol boat that was built in 1951 and were having the same issues that we commonly have whilst sailing our little hole in the water. The sails go up and then go down and are replaced. The wind changes and the heading is wrong suddenly. This sailor with huge experience is constantly second guessing his choices, reconsidering his position, constantly adjusting, reacting, responding to changing conditions.

We even had that lovely awful moment when we hit a dead zone beneath the bridge and were a bit closer than Dave liked to one of the footings. He decided to pop on the engine and it flooded, and wouldn't start. While never even close to real trouble, it was eerily reminiscent of the numerous times our engine has failed to behave well and left us in the lurch. we sailed along under weak wind power until the flooding cleared the motor started and we pulled north back into the wind.

That Dave took my suggestion on setting his jib didn't amaze Himself exactly, lets just say he was surprised that I could have something to offer in the way of technical matters that was of use to such an experienced sailor!

We circled a bit short of Angel Island and ran back down wind towards home. The cold was setting in as the sun dropped lower and I was glad for all the extra layers Himself had brought along for me. I have ordered a new heavy wind and water proof rated down to -10f for the next time we are out on a cold day, with heavy mittens to go with!

We were back at Oyster Cove before the sun set. We slid into the slip with the aid of friendly neighbours, one more example of how little difference there is between all of our experiences, and tied up carefully following Dave's instruction on placement of bumpers and lines. That was another good one. I make Himeself bring in all the bumpers once we leave the marina and he always moans about how pointless it is. He questioned Dave about it and gotta *LOOK* and a brief 'only condos on the water leave out their bumpers. Sailors stow them. Would you go dancing with your fly open?'

Which cracked me up and earned me a dirty look from Himself and a rueful grin...

It was just such a wonderful day, such wonderful conditions, good company and good sailing.

It's the point of what we are all doing here... working towards that moment of perfect movement thru the water. What better way could there be to spend a day? That we had not planned it and it just serendipitously happened made it even sweeter.
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Old 01-04-2010, 23:07   #2
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Very nice word picture, Sara. You're blessed to have access to such a beautiful sailing locale and good friends . . . and you write with wonderful "attitude." Keep 'em coming.

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Old 01-04-2010, 23:27   #3
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Thanks for the moment, how wonderful! My home town and always wonderful sailing with unbeatable views and cool destinations.
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Old 01-04-2010, 23:56   #4
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Oh, can I just add that the part of the story regarding you an Himself just made me think for a moment about how much sailing has added to my relationship with my grrrl. I thnk she's agree that we have both learned a lot about ourselves and each other and it has added a whole other dimension to being together and "working" together though I'm not sure working is the right word. A dimension and dynamic that not many sports offer. Were better for it and have wonderful memories. I'm glad she likes sailing and we get to do it together.
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Old 02-04-2010, 00:39   #5
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So Sara....when does your book..."Sailing with Himself"....hit the racks..
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Old 02-04-2010, 01:09   #6
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Well written Sara…. I could almost here you telling the story like the “Vinyl Café” a Canadian Radio icon about another Dave

The Vinyl Cafe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 02-04-2010, 01:14   #7
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What a wonderful afternoon....well done.
Its a bit like a nice cup of tea and some cookies when feeling under the weather....its the aroma and the warmth of the cup that adds to the satisfaction of nibbling on the cookies
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Old 03-04-2010, 18:11   #8
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Congratulations on a wonderful story. If you do publish it I would suggest marconi instead of macaroni and fenders instead of bumpers. Sorry, just can't get out of the sailing instructor mode.
Its a great story and just the reason that I like sailing with others as much as I do on my own boat. I really like to compare what they do vs what I do.
kindest regards,
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Old 03-04-2010, 19:08   #9
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Congratulations on a wonderful story. If you do publish it I would suggest marconi instead of macaroni
She probably wrote it on an empty stomach

All kidding aside, I've been missing these for awhile. Thanks Sara!
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Old 03-04-2010, 20:14   #10
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Sweet!
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Old 03-04-2010, 20:24   #11
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Quote:
I grinned over at Himself with a questioning look. "wanna ditch work?"
Real sailors know when to ditch work! Best day sails I ever had was ditching work. Middle of a week days just plain works better for sailing than working all too often. Only problem I ever had was I own the company and do all the work. Easy to call in "well" not easy to get away with it. I still do it. The calling in well part not the getting away with it. I've stretched a few to 10 days. Heck of a good day sail. Includes weekends too. It is perfectly fine to skip work on the weekend too. Been there, sailed well.

Knowing a good day for sailing is getting better not getting older.
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Old 04-04-2010, 15:10   #12
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bumpers.. fenders.. what evah... I always have a hard time keeping these straight on my car as well ; -}

as for the rigging issue... heh, I get to fall back on my Sicilian genes here... all things lead to pasta ya know!

love sharing this with you all!
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Old 04-04-2010, 15:32   #13
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you circled too soon

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We circled a bit short of Angel Island and ran back down wind towards home. The cold was setting in as the sun dropped lower and I was glad for all the extra layers Himself had brought along for me. I have ordered a new heavy wind and water proof rated down to -10f for the next time we are out on a cold day, with heavy mittens to go with!
Circled short of the island? Make a bigger loop next time! I was in Ayala Cove, grilling a few lambs with a couple hundred other sailors. Made a quick trip home this morning however, with all this southerly nastiness blowing me back to sausalito.

sorry we missed you.
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Old 04-04-2010, 15:38   #14
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oh man... a party and we missed it???

RATS.

I tell ya... I hate it when that happens... it is a bit nasty now... so heading home was prolly a good idea this am.

But man I would have loved to have sailed into the cove and bumped into you! I love our small world!
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Old 04-04-2010, 15:42   #15
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yeah, you missed a monster party

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But man I would have loved to have sailed into the cove and bumped into you! I love our small world!
It'll happen. We're thinking about sailing down your way for Kaboom, which will be held at Candlestick Point this year. Still need to research a good anchorage around Candlestick.
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