Blue Water Dreams, Chapters 1 & 2

Chapter 1 A light breeze floated the jib’s clew high above the impenetrable green of Lake Union. Lania sailed northeast into a cobalt sky unseen in Seattle since the previous spring. She slipped over the little wind waves, the lapstrake planks of the boat’s hull amplifying the whispered flirtation between wood and water. Alone in a responsive boat, Lania sailed across the north end of the lake as though racing, every gust an opportunity and every slack a test of her judgment on sail trim. Fingertips alive to the precise tension on the jib sheet, she milked each patch of moving air by hauling in or slacking the line a half-inch at a time. Slipping from pocket to pocket, her eyes scanned for the ruffled water that indicated air currents. Puff chasing in a long ellipse around Lake Union. Heading south now, rougher water ahead revealed the salty compressed air currents caused by Puget Sound winds circumventing Queen Anne Hill. Many a sailor had capsized in that knockdown alley but Lania could see it coming. The varnished teak tiller rested along her hip, transmitting the Morse code of the water’s motions from the rudder into her listening flesh. Her right hand tugged the main sheet free of the fiddle block’s cam cleat. The line sizzed through a four sheave block and tackle system that quadrupled her strength and made short work of bringing the boom lower and closer to the centerline. Capable hands firmed on the tiller and jib sheet. Lania slid to the starboard settee as the green waters lifted, the peaks lightening to celadon and then growing frothy white beards behind each wind wave. One foot braced on the opposite settee as the small wooden boat began to heel. Forearms and wrists flexed in slow counterpoint to the[…]

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