The Shoulder-Season Sailor

Just a few days ago, we were talking again about the fact that we enjoy being shoulder-season sailors. James’ birthday being in the middle of March and mine at the very beginning of December, we only get to sail for those occasions when we’re lucky and when we’re lucky, we’re always alone on the water. Our anniversary, October 25th, holds more possibility but also more chance of storms. The very first anniversary we spent at sea (in 1999), we got caught in a storm. And not just the kind that terrified the newbies. We made it on television news that night for having made our way safely into Oak Harbor, WA. The cameraman loved shooting our raggedy flag and James’ rakish, exhausted exhilaration. Then there was the time we sailed Sovereign Nation from Humboldt Bay to San Francisco Bay with 40-foot following seas that stacked up and threatened to start breaking as we swung too close around Cape Mendocino. In March, 2002. And the snowy trip from Norfolk, VA, to Baltimore, MD, in mid-December, 2009, that scored us a meal, presents, and a pageant in Reedville because the local sailor guy was so blown away that we were traveling in that weather. And it is true that Reedville is charming when it’s frosted with light snow. So here we are in early spring, making ready to travel most of the length of New England in order to start new jobs…during the shoulder season. It takes a certain finesse and a certain level of patience that most people just simply don’t have. You have to give yourself up to it. If the weather’s not good, you’re either going to sail in shitty weather or you’re going to be gentle with yourself and the boat so that you live that day. But[…]

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