This last weekend may have been one of the most relaxing I’ve had in ages.
Our friends Jack and Kim invited us along on a boat ride Saturday. The 31 foot sailboat belongs to a friend of theirs, so I was a bit nervous about barging (hah!) onto the trip, but he was a super nice guy and seemed happy to share the experience, not to mention his knowledge on boating. He put everyone to work who wanted to work (for myself, I prefered to stay out of the way, clinging to anything that seemed somewhat stable) teaching them boating slang as they went. I guess Jack and Kim join him on sailing races pretty often, so they were more or less already part of the crew.
Matt got a chance to haul rope and generally play pirate (no boarding though) which he seemed to enjoy. I love boats but am not so much a fan of, you know, water, so I didn’t help much until the end, when we pulled into a dock which seemed WAY to small for the boat. It was a bit of a scramble, with everyone running to the edges to push away from whatever permanent feature was about to hit the boat. On my side we nearly hit a large metal pole. I thought to myself, someone really ought to take care of that before we hit it. Then I looked around at everyone already frantic with something and realized, aw crap, that’s me. I’m still shocked we managed not to scrape off any paint or people.
We sailed from Elyria to Edgewater which gave us some fantastic views entering the city.
Other than docking, most of the trip was pretty tame. For the first few hours there was unfortunately not enough wind to sail, so we had to motor our way east. This made things easy, but I liked it better when the sails went up. The weather was beautiful, a gentle breeze that got us up to 7 knots (nots? whatever, and don’t ask me to translate that into mph), with nothing rough enough to make me wonder if I’d end up in the lake. In spite of my dislike (ok, FEAR) of water, when I was a kid, my ideal bed was a padded row boat in a flooded room. For some reason my parents didn’t go for that, but I could easily have fallen asleep for large parts of this trip.
The only slightly scary part of the sailing had nothing at all to do with the weather. This was labor day weekend, our destination was to anchor downtown and watch the airshow. Being labor day weekend, it was rather crowded, which was entertaining during the show, but extremely annoying afterward.
I guess it’s the same old story of one bad egg ruining the… whatever it ruins. In this case there were several. I’m not a boater, so I may not have the right to get indignant when people ignore ship rules. As a passenger though, I feel pretty entitled to be pissed off when people put me in danger. A good handful of motorboats decided they were getting back to the dock, and screw everyone else. They jetted back at top speed, causing wakes that pushed everyone else in all directions and all angles. I don’t know if we nearly tipped, or how close we came to the other sailboat riding the waves, but I DO know that the captain was looking anxious, and looking sideways and suddenly seeing water is pretty freaky for a landlubber.
Mostly though, people were friendly, and except for the few jerks, considerate of each other. Also, fireboat showing off=me acting about four years old with simple happiness.
We had a fantastic view of the air show, getting constant close flyovers. This was exciting, and I probably missed some of the show trying to get good photos, but I got some good shots so I think it was worth it. They did all the sort of death defying loop-de-loops you expect from the Blue Angels, but I think the flyovers were my favorite part.
There is something alarming about seeing airplanes so close to the cityscape.
The air show lasted several hours, with leisurely breaks in between. People on other boats were swimming and climbing around like the boats were jungle gyms.
I don’t expect I’ll have the opportunity to go sailing all that often, and I’m not sure I’d enjoy it as much if it got “exciting.” I wouldn’t have missed this weekend though.
On a totally unrelated note, I’ll be working on the blog design for the next few days (read: weeks) so the layout may be a bit… broken for a while. I know there’s a way to work on wordpress blogs without disturbing the online site, but I haven’t figured out how, so please just forgive me for any annoyances.
Eventual layout (I hope):