During the recent US election, one candidate made much of the virtues of small towns, "real America" as she called it. I'm quite partial to sailing on small lakes in small towns myself; but I suspect my my reasons are somewhat different from those of the "real America" lady. (I wonder what happened to her?)
The good things about small town small lake sailing are...
- If you're on your own sailing in cold conditions you have the comfort that if something bad happens it won't be long before you drift into some nearby shore.
- Small town folk are looking out for you. Before I launched, some guy at the ramp came over and chatted to me about my plans and was obviously somewhat concerned for me until I told him in answer to his questions that yes I would be wearing a drysuit, I did have 25 years experience of Lasering, and yes I have sailed a Laser on the ocean. He still looked at me like I was nuts and hung around for a while while I was sailing. Then when I returned to the ramp after sailing there was another guy there who looked even more concerned. He told me he had been "counting the time" when he saw me capsize in the middle of the lake and was swimming for a while before righting the boat. I wondered how long he was going to count before dialling 911 and causing an incident like the one Greg had in DR 1.
- Fresh water freezes at 32 degrees. So you know that you can't sail if the water is colder than that. At least it's some kind of check on the lunacy of some crazy old geezer trying to squeeze in 100 sails before the end of the year.
The bad things about small town small lake sailing are...
- When the wind is blowing across the short axis of a small lake, and when it's coming over houses and trees, and especially when it's a northwesterly, it will be crazy gusty and crazy shifty. There will be random slam dunk headers and other nastiness. Stuff that's evil enough to cause a capsize even for a dude who has sailed 86 times already this year and who never (well hardly ever) capsizes. Thank god for my efficient new drysuit.
- Fresh water freezes at 32 degrees. I noticed that while I was derigging all the water on the Laser deck froze into a nice thin smooth sheet of ice. Hmmm. 14 more sails to go to 100. Will I make it?
Prior to this request I was unaware of Mr Polamalu's existence. I have since learned that he plays for one of those American football teams and is quite good at something called a "blitz" which I think means that he goes and knocks over that handsome white chappie holding the ball. It is also reported that one of Mr Polamalu's hobbies is "growing flowers" and that he hasn't cut his hair since the year 2000.
Anyway, I'm always happy to oblige Mr Polamalu's fans, so please note that there are two images of the young lady with the 43 painting on her chest in the sidebar today.