The Knock Down, a love story…

The squall is building overhead and my thoughts are leaning in the direction of, Wow, I’m glad we’re not out there now…” Ok, I’ll start over… Dena and I were eating sushi last last night contemplating a Monday morning sail. We’d get up… whenever, ready the boat…at the pace we feel is needed and go sailing. Destination, whatever… It was incredible, the wind was a fresh 10 knots out of the North leaving the dock, meaning, to our broadsides but we slipped out between the pilings without even getting close and just like that we were out in the upper Middle River. As we rounded in to the confluence of Dark Head and Hopkins Creek we set sail and in less than a minute we were silently clipping away at five knots at a heel of about 15 degrees to starboard. It was perfect! We tacked twice before leaving Frog Mortar Creek aft and with it we payed out the sheets for a beautiful broad reach out towards the open Chesapeake Bay. Once again, Incredible, absolutely perfect sailing! Before making the mouth of the Bay we rounded up to head back up river so Dena could make it to work on time. We had an out flowing tide on the way down river so we knew with the up wind beat and the ebbing tide we’d be in for a little bit longer trip going back home. On our second tack upwind we luffed up into a gust so as I tightened sail Dena fell off just a touch and at that very moment we got broad-sided by a massive rogue gust from the rivers’ confluence. In the next 8 seconds the boat would be knocked down, the forward lower shroud on the port-side would be ripped out of the[…]

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Tradition!?

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[…]

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