Saturday, July 12, 2008

Best of Styx, track 9, preferably rendered by Cartman

Last year, really just to humor my father, I climbed onto a sailboat for the first time. It was a refurbished Scorpion. And, when I say "refurbished", I mean that my dad had done some mediocre fiberglass work on the hull and patched the sails with large swaths of some old cut-up windbreaker. It's the sailing equivalent of patchy hobo-pants.

I sailed around a little bay in Lake Champlain for maybe two or three hours total over the course of a week. I had no idea what I was doing. I narrowly avoided banging my cranium with the boom over and over again. Eventually, I capsized the thing. Since I had no idea how to get the thing upright again, Lisa had to grab a rowboat to come out and rescue me.

Normally, that would have been it. I've never really been into boats. They bore me. Usually.

But the sailboat was different. There's something totally different about it. Something that I can't really describe. It's a giddy feeling. I love it.

This year, for vacation, my dad had bought a second sailboat. Instead of driving them both across the lake to camp, we put them in the lake about 2 or 3 miles away and sailed them there. I still really didn't know what I was doing, but I'd spent some time reading up on a book or two, so I knew quite a bit more than I had the previous year.

Well, the weather got kinda crappy and a snap storm caused a bit of damage to the Scorpion. With a lot of work and a bit of luck we were able to get the thing back together and got it back into the water with plenty of sailing time left in our vacation. I'd guess I logged maybe a dozen hours on the thing, all told. Not much, but it can still be pretty chilly on Lake Champlain that time of year.

But now back home in the Carolinas, I'm totally hooked. I just can't stand the idea that I've got better weather and no boat. So I bought myself one. And one for Lisa. I've already logged about five hours sailing my new "Phantom" and I can't wait to get it out there again this weekend.