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Free Range Human, Sailor, Writer, Artist, Videographer  

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Remembering Elaine

Many years ago Elaine and I sat on the porch at Boca Ciega Yacht Club in Gulfport, Fl.discussing something about the finer points of sailing the old Day Sailor I boats used in the Sailing School at the time.  The discussion rambled on as they are wont to do.  Then Elaine backed her chair away from the table, stood up and announced that we were going sailing. 

A Bit of Perspective

I grew up on the Great Plains; North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas.  They all have one thing in common. There are no natural lakes in any of them.  Not one.  Sailors were as common as Hippies at a National Republican convention.  Elaine and Pim lived on a boat larger than several of the dwellings Linda and I had occupied.  Elaine sailed the oceans, we “sailed” in gravel pits aboard a Styrofoam boat with a large hole in the bottom.  Elaine was a licensed ships Captain with a capitol “C”… I possessed a North Dakota driver’s license circa 1962. 

Intimidated??  OH YEAH!

We grabbed one of the O’days docked at the pier.  Somehow I was the first at the tiller; must have been a moment of gallantry or something.  I managed to sail out of the channel keeping the crew and vessel intact.  (Fear focuses the mind.)  Out on the bay we found the most perfect day there could ever be.   Sunny skies, warm but not hot, a light chop, and most importantly, a robust westerly with no calms.  Perfection that meant screaming reaches clear across the bay on one tack.   We took turns at the helm, hiked out as far as we dared, tacking and gibing, with big grins and loud hoops we tore up the bay all afternoon.  Tired, drenched, and happy we were eventually forced to sail back to the dock.

The last time I saw Elaine we were relaxing on the Sea Breeze Patio when she asked me if I remembered that sail we took so long ago.  I said yes, but before I could say more, she told me how intimidated she was asking me to sail with her.  As I continued my very good impression of a deer in the headlights, she went on to explain that compared with all my sailing experience (Ha!) she was the novice!

We laughed long and hard when the truth was known!   Neither one of us could remember the original discussion, but it really doesn't matter.  We had shared a special time together and were friends ever since.

 I miss you Elaine.

I know when the sun is out and the wind is up you’ll be with us on those screaming reaches on Boca Ciega Bay.

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Fair winds my friend..