Thursday, December 18, 2008

If I Had a Boat

My fellow retirees from the Mighty Absurd Refreshment Syndicate had a lunch meeting last week in New Jersey. They sent me a photo. They are looking good. Some of them even look younger than when they were working with me at the Mighty Absurd Refreshment Syndicate 8 years ago. Retirement seems to be treating most of us well.

I didn't go to the meeting. Today I went sailing instead.

What a superb day for sailing. Why can't all winter days be like this?

If you painted a picture of this day you wouldn't need gray paint like last time. You would just need several tubes of blue.

I sailed a fine reach out of Bristol Harbor towards Poppasquash Point, straight into the early afternoon sun. Following the streak of the sun on the water. Color it yellow.

Once I rounded the point the wind increased a bit, there were actually some waves, and I sailed close-hauled for a while towards the distant skyscrapers of Providence glimmering in the sunlight, 12 miles away to the NNW. A bit of a hike-fest to work out the quad muscles.

What a day. Day 94 of Laser sailing this year. Perhaps the last such day given the weather forecast for a 3-day snow storm starting on Friday, and then all kinds of festivities and fun family activities associated with the Winter Solstice, Yule, Saturnalia, Chronia, Sol Invictus, etc. etc.

If this is the last day of Lasering in 2008 it wouldn't have been a bad place to do it, in this crossroads of Narragansett Bay where four arms of the bay come together. I started remembering all the places I had sailed around here this year...

Stretching to the south is the eastern passage of Narragansett Bay and 10 miles away is Newport, where I played bumper boats in April in Ironman No More, duelled with Mr Fast in July, and raced with the Newport Laser Fleet in November At Last.

Someone sailing up the eastern passage from the south is faced with three choices here...

To the northeast is Mount Hope Bay, My Bay, and I couldn't help thinking of the day when I sailed with my son from Bristol, under Mount Hope Bridge and into My Bay, the one and only Diana and Joe's House of Only Orange Shirts 78th Sail of 2008.

Upper Narragansett Bay a favorite place for solo practice in the summer, stretches away to the NNW. In the distance I can see Barrington, the site of our district championship this year, where once, just once, this Blind Squirrel found his nut.

And due north from this crossroads on the bay is Bristol Harbor, another favorite solo sailing area, and also the site for A Bit of a Yot.

What a year. So many sailing memories.

Then it was time to turn back downwind and sail back to the launch site. Is the last sail of the year. Who knows?

I do know that it was for days like this that I retired from the
Mighty Absurd Refreshment Syndicate.

The mystery masked man was smart
He got himself a Tonto
'Cause Tonto did the dirty work for free
But Tonto he was smarter
And one day said, "Kemo Sabe
Kiss my ass I bought a boat
I'm going out to sea."


jbushkey said...

And if I had a boat
I'd go out on the ocean
And if I had a pony
I'd ride him on my boat
And we could all together
Go out on the ocean
Me upon my pony on my boat

shameless self promotion:

Diana and Joe's House of Only Orange Shirts is now offering boating shirts for ponies just in time for the holidays!

Greg and Kris said...

My favorite Lyle Lovett song. I was playing that last week and Kris said, "That doesn't make any sense. You can't ride a horse on a boat." I told her may not be practical, but it certainly is possible. And besides, maybe she shouldn't be so practical, so literal. Maybe she should surrender to the dream of riding off into the sunset and sailing away. And why not do'em both? After all, it's a dream; a decidedly male dream, but a dream nonetheless.

Tim said...

I love those kind of days! I'm looking forward to next season.

6 more days sailing and by reckoning you have 12 days to do it in. It is possible but... not looking likely if the weather is closing in.

Oh so close...

I noticed that you have gone native. I could never understand why the yanks messed with the spelling of words like COLOUR.

Hey ho.

Carol Anne said...

Just something weird I noticed, and probably temporary so it will go away before anybody else can look ...

Over at the right of your blog, under "Recent comments," are comments that definitely are not recent, coming from Oct. 7-10.

I suppose it's just some strange glitch with Blogger, or perhaps it's just part of the bizarre things that happen with dial-up Internet.

tillerman said...

Yes Carol Anne, I noticed that that comments widget has been wrong for the last couple of days. As I recall it's not an official Blogger feature but came from a site called Blogger Buster. I must investigate more and find out if other blogs have the same problem, and I guess I should report it.

Tim, When I was a kid at school in England I was an excellent speller. After moving to America I got totally confused and could never remember which spellings were British and which American. To the extent that there's any consistency in spelling on this blog, it's because I use an American spell checker.

You are also right that the 100 day target looks very improbable right now. Will probably write a post in a few days whining about all my excuses for not making it.

O Docker said...

94, 95, 96.... does it really matter?

If you've made it this far, you've made it, in my book.

A note of thanks at year's end for keeping your beautiful and stylish pub open. This is quite a cozy little establishment - a great place to gather with the regulars and blow off some steam. The daily specials are always tasty and you brew the best coffee in town.

Fret not, you must have sailed enough this year to have learned what you set out to learn - about that little boat and about yourself.

94 is the new 100.

PeconicPuffin said...

If you don't make it to 100, fine, but go down swinging! Neither snow nor rain should keep you off the water. I'm certainly hoping for a solstice session tomorrow.

I tried to get on the water Friday, but it was too nasty even for the crew of knuckleheads I sail with (a photo is on the blog

Derek said...

When you first announced this goal last year, I thought it sounded like a fantastic goal. However, once I did calculations I realized how difficult it was, and determined it was not a realistic goal for me.

Regardless of whether you reach the number 100, I am very impressed. It is not the journey that matters, not the destination. Clearly, over the last year you have had some fantastic memories on and off the water which you were able to share with family, friends and your readers. Thanks!

I miss #43.

Derek said...

Whoops... I really messed up that quote. But you get the point!

Anonymous said...

Congratulatios, Tillerman. 94 Days, you are 1 day ahead of me. I had 86 days on the 1st. of July before Constellation was damaged in the freak storm at the Butte, well lets try to race each other to 1oo days! It was 60 degrees and about 6-10 knots here in New Mexico today.I have 952 days on the water since Jan. 2002, this rate may diminish with my new work as I will have to travel alot. Merry Christmas and Good Sailing in the New Year!.....Zorro

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