Hmmm, One of the valuable lessons we’ve learned over the years of being prudent sailors is knowing when to go out and when not to go out…
In early September of 2001 we were in the little town of Newport, Oregon waiting out the weather before heading South for the San Francisco Bay. On NOAA’s weather radio the forecast was for calming seas on the morning of the first so we decided to go into town, check our e-mails and get one last hot meal before heading off shore once again. As we walked the four miles to the Newport Library for our half hour of free internet access we both were a little more than just quiet, a rare thing for the two of us for sure, we were down right scared that the weather was going to turn on us but neither one of us wanted to deture the other one from the excitement of continuing our adventures around the world! So, we walked on in silence…
…After doing our business at the library we set off for a local all you could eat buffet but before we got there we both came out of our terror closets.
I told Dena that I thought it was a bad idea to be in a big hurry and if we both had bad feelings about leaving than we shouldn’t go, period!
And just like that, we both sighed a big sigh of relief and resigned to NEVER go sailing when either one of us even felt the least amount of reserve. It was like having a giant weight lifted off the conversation, not-to-mention liberating, we were both happy and even a little content by our decision to stay in a sheltered cove for a few extra days if for nothing else, piece of mind!
It’s a good thing we did too, that night Dena got food poisoning from the all-you-can-eat place and she wouldn’t be ready for another off shore adventure for another nine days…(*)
Somewhere in that long lost dinner conversation I’m sure were the seeds of another rule-of-thumb that Dena and I have applied to our general adventure behavior; and that was all the other “No Sailing” days in any given year while sailing in the waters of the United States of America…
…Never, and I mean NEVER! Go sailing on Memorial Day, the 4th of July or Labor day, the three days out of the year that the waters of the US are rife with idiocy! Every single ass-hole who has ever been on the water WILL be on the water on those three days, it’s a guarantee.
…Well, This year Dena and I haven’t seen each other that much over the last few months and of course that means we haven’t been sailing very much either, ok, we haven’t been sailing at all since we made land-fall in Middle River, MD!
That’s totally unacceptable so, last weekend we decided to go sailing on the only day that we both had off together in at least another two months. At the time it sounded like a great idea, a bottle of wine after a day on the water… As I’ve said before, I work at (evil empire inc.) and Memorial Day is one of their biggest sales days of the year so rest-assured the build-up to such a big deal is in its self a big (fucking) deal and I spent all week worrying about going sailing on one of THOSE days… By Sunday night this past week I had fostered a very BAD feeling about Monday’s sailing adventure and felt compelled to change our plans just a little…
… Sunday night we scrapped the first idea of going out all day in the big boat in trade for a full day of sailing down Middle River in our 9 foot Cat-rigged dory, S/V Tinker. We sailed up-wind and down river with Dena at the helm past five or six ship-wrecks to the “River Watch” restaurant and bar for some rich food and a few strong rum-punches! After that we sailed with the tide and the wind at our backs back up Middle River with me at the helm all the way to the Eastern Rd. bridge then back to our home and global-circumnavigation vector, the S/V S.N. Nomad. We had an absolutely incredible all day adventure that was free, fun and relatively void of the holiday ass-hole factor and best of all neither one of us got food poisoning!
* (September 11th 2001)
Lovely, and wow – do I ever remember that feeling! It’s so important for people like us to remember when to wait. Certainly doesn’t come naturally!
…You got that right! I’d like to believe that both of us are somehow, I don’t know, more in-tune with our environment, maybe from all these years of being in such intimate contact with the world has unconsciously brought our senses, (at least our sense of barometric pressure) to a new level of sensitivity. Or maybe it’s just a feeling… Whatever IT may be I believe it has saved our lives more than once.