Friday, August 7, 2009

and one Sunday...

Last Sunday to be specific, was the maiden voyage of the SS Doesn't Have A Name But Does Have Some Numbers And A Brightly Stripped Sail Atop Two Banana-ish Hulls.

It was a beautifully sunny hundred degree scorcher. We caravan-ed to Charbonneau Park with Nadia and Tony leading the team in Stinky Pete and Aidan and I bringing up the tail in Red Mama. As per normal with this configuration I had to jump out on the highway to salvage something that fell off of Tony's charge, but only once this time. You see this arrangement is not so the two fragile members of the family can relax in air conditioned, cruise controlled goodness, it is out of precaution because Stinky Pete is a wee bit unpredictable. Charbonneau, being a popular place on such a day, did provide one parking spot nearest the boat ramp and one out in Timbuktu.

After arranging and rearranging our gear it was time to raise the mast and hoist the sail
and bungee the nourishment to the tarp
and don the colorful life jackets
and secure my Sea Bands
and tie off the lines
and get in line at the ramp
and wait in line at the ramp
and finally back down the ramp, in just two tries
and prepare to unload
and be stopped by a 13 year old telling us to move our boat back up the ramp because his family forgot to put the plug in their boat
and take our boat back up to dry land
and offer to help family in any way you can
and watch as they park on the ramp for the next 20 minutes trying to drain their boat, with a keg cup
and get in the other line
and wait
and finally take the mercy of the guy who has been watching all of this unfold who lets us cut in line
and back down the ramp in one try
and try to release the straps to lower the boat
and watch our kids so they don't get lost, stolen or drown
and finally release the boat
and park the truck
and embark the boat (something we had not rehearsed)
and set sail!!!

but there is no wind. So we get the oars,
and row
and row
and row
and let the lady who is patiently waiting to get to the ramp know that it might be awhile because of the sinking boat (they have been parked on the ramp for about 45 minutes at this point)
and row
and row
and then out on open water we drift and wait for wind.

I have been experiencing motion sickness since we stood on the dock. Technically, my first memory of motion sickness dates back to 1982 during the weekly car ride from Pasco to the Ranch in Dayton after ingesting McD's orange juice. Another story for another time, but know that the motion sickness remains. So while green, I am trying to smile and experience sailing. And so we float.
and bob
and float
and weave
and float
and bounce
and the kids jump in
and I lie down
and Tony frets because the wind is not gracing us with it's presence
and Tony jumps in
and I shade my eyes
and remain horizontal
and listen to Nadia giggle
and Aidan plan adventures
and see them pop up in the front
and then the back
and hear Tony hoist them up by their life jackets
and sit up
and eat a little lunch
and lie back down
and hear them splash in again
and listen to the conversation between father and children
and brother and sister
and sweetly ask my sweet husband to maneuver the boat so the sail shades me
and feel like a wimp
and sit up to engage in conversation
and lie back down
and drag my feet over the edge
and feel the cool water lap around my ankles
and try in earnest not to think of the capacity of fish brains in distinguishing my toes from some delectable treat
and jump up as Tony declares so joyfully that you can hear the smile, "FEEL THAT!"
and I think he means the bobbing and weaving and bouncing again or worse, a toe-loving or child-eating fish, but then I realize he means the wind. It was more of a breeze but it got our attention. He hoists the kids up, grabs the tiller and speaks sailor talk to me. I have no idea what he is talking about, but he is near giddy. The kids are giddy. I am green and giddy. We shoot across the lake and I start to believe the sailors we talked to a couple weeks back when we were surveying the area who said the Hobie Cat is like the sports car of sail boats, and to think I just thought it had a cute name. And then the wind stopped. There we were across the lake, away from our car and truck, away from the boat ramp and in the quiet. It was blissful.

Reality slapped us with the slant that without wind we would have to paddle our way back but the day was still young. We enjoyed our solitude and the peaceful surroundings and when the time came we paddled back. There were some sketchy docking issues on the return trip but we returned safely with smiles on our faces, and adventure in our spirits for the next time.


Monique said...

Wow! I have been waiting for this post! Congratulations Tony on your maiden voyage. I wish there would have been more wind for you, but it sounds like a good thing since my poor best friend was green with sea sickness(lake sickness). Hopefully next time we come, you can take us out too! I love your description of the day Mel. Perhaps you should think about writing as a second profession :) Love you all!


Trevor and Sara said...

Okay, BEAUTIFUL post. Wow. Loved that one!