The Pine Pulse... Fond racing memory: Soaked-to-the-bone sweatshirtsI officially gave up my nickname of “sponge” last week after my parents sold the sailboat we raced twice a week for some 20-odd-years on Lake Minnetonka. This slightly strange absorbant monikor was bestowed on me for my accidental role in helping to keep the other crew members high and dry.
By: Jana Peterson, The Pine Journal
I officially gave up my nickname of “sponge” last week after my parents sold the sailboat we raced twice a week for some 20-odd-years on Lake Minnetonka.
This slightly strange absorbant monikor was bestowed on me for my accidental role in helping to keep the other crew members high and dry.
Althought I sat high – on the side of the boat while racing upwind – if the wind was whipping, I was anything but dry.
Waves often and unpredictably smacked the side of the boat and thoroughly soaked me.
Being closest to the bow, I often blocked my crewmates from the brunt of what seemed to me like tidal waves appropriate for thrill-seeking surfers.
My fellow crew members appreciated my role most back-in-the-day when enormous sweatshirts were all the rage. I’m sure I absorbed a good portion of the lake while wearing one of those during the more exciting races. (Ever notice that lake levels have been lower in recent years?)
Certain members of the crew never embraced my move to real sailing “gear” in subsequent years. It was a win for me – it fit me better and kept me warmer. It apparently cut down on their entertainment factor quite a bit. They got wet too, which made the costly high-tech apparel worth every penny for me.
Of course, the water still spanked with the same force and it proved particularly fierce during the coldest, rainiest parts of the racing season – spring and fall.
Brrr! Nothing like jumping around a boat deck yanking on lines while damp and chilled-to-the-bone cold.
And I (mostly) loved it. I rarely gave up my position because it afforded the best views of the landscape and the numerous other racing boats.
I never grew tired of those views.
Every so often I would alter the perspective by hanging out over the side of the boat as far as I could while gripping the safety ‘lifeline.’ Or I’d hang my head over the side to see the world whip by upside down.
I also got the thrill of climbing around the mast every time we tacked, which proved challenging on more than one occasion. I’d do my best every time to step quickly, lightly and nimbly to the other side. It rarely looked that pretty, but I’d get the job done. Then I’d assume my position high on the rail and serve as lookout, reporting on the actions of the boats surrounding us.
And then I’d get smacked by another wave.
It didn’t get any better than that.More from around the web