Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dirty Duck

On the second day of the US Laser Masters in New Bedford last weekend the winds were more challenging for the race committee with some big shifts before the third and final race causing one start to be abandoned, much moving of marks, general recalls, and other non-productive activity. But we did fit in three races in spite of all the waiting around.

As per my discussion in (and the very helpful comments to) What Would Ben Do? I was trying to be aggressive and to break my old conservative, play-it-safe habits...

  • I was daring and bold on the start line; but sometimes I was out-dared and out-bolded by the boats around me.

  • I boldly delayed my entry into the starboard tack parade at the windward mark, and daringly tacked under starboard boats near the mark. When it worked, it worked. Then there was the time I couldn't lay the mark and had to gybe around. Needless to say this lost me a few places.

  • I was bold and daring in fighting for the inside position at the leeward marks and, perhaps because I was usually trying to out-bold and out-dare some of the fleet tailenders, I usually succeeded.

So what did I achieve for all my aggressing and bolding and daring?

  • My one good finish was not quite as good as my best race on Friday.

  • My two bad finishes were not quite as bad as my worst race on Friday.

  • That guy beat me twice and was now ahead of me in the standings.
Hmmm. Maybe there's some other problem with my sailing?

I skipped the Saturday night regatta dinner at the yacht club and went home as my son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter were still at my house.

My two-year-old granddaughter Emily must have missed me because I was the center of her attention all evening. "I want to do something with you Grandad," she was saying before I was barely in the door. Hmmm. I needed to rinse my sailing clothes. Emily likes to play with hosepipes. So I let her spray water all over my sailing gear (and occasionally me) and she was deliriously happy.

I was even chosen to be the one to put her to bed and tell her bedtime stories. So I told her about when her father was a little boy and how he and his brother used to ride on my Laser sitting in front of the mast. And how we went camping in France with the Laser and the boys sailed on a lake with me. And how when her father was seven I bought him a green, wooden Optimist whose name was Dirty Duck and how he used to sail that all by himself.

Her last words before she drifted off to sleep were,
"Maybe one day I can have a dirty duck?"


Mal Kiely [Lancelots Pram] said...

Quack! I think the old salt water runs in your familys' veins, perhaps? That's a good thing.

Mal :)

Anonymous said...

Maybe. Maybe not. Just to be sure I am planting subliminal messages about sailing in the infant girl's brain while she is still too young to remember how they were placed there. By the time she is eight she will have an uncontrollable urge to spray neoprene with a hose-pipe and beg her father for a dirty duck.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps more subversive, get her to consider naming her soon-to-come pram the "Black Duck"! :-)

Anonymous said...

that is so adorable i saw emily's photos shes a little looker isnt she? beautiful. its great you get to spend time with her, i took my grandaughter camping just last weekend. SHes a doll, you are a lucky grandfather.


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