Camp with the Grandkids

Well, most of the grandkids come.  Grandma, or “Mamie”, makes the minimum age 5 y/o so there are two toddlers and two newborns not ‘aboard’.

Camp includes sailing and Sunday was the first day of full activity.  First order of business was to file into Walmart (where they were astounded that there were seven children in one family?!) and found proper sized PFD’s (personal flotation devices) for all of them.  Let’s see, princesses, Cars, chartreuse and violet, … this one’s too big for you… No, I know you like Lion King but it’s still too big for you…  It cost us some time on the water today, but safety first.  They only ‘think’ they know how to swim.

“Permission to come aboard?” seven times over as both safety and tradition are taught.  Isaiah would take the helm of the 22ft Catalina.  At eight y/o, he is the first to volunteer and this is his second year.  Mamie bends on the genoa jib with the ‘Donate Life’ logo while four of the girls take direction well and remove the mains’l cover.  The motor revs and away we go.

First thing to look for on the water is the wind and while searching for how the other boats are tacking the storm to the south is immediately evident.

Danielle hauls up the mains’l and jib and the wind fills both immediately.  We set off on a nice starboard tack.  Isaiah is good at the helm until everyone else is up on the bow.  Then, he wants to join in the fun.

You see, Mamie has them all convinced that the bow is the place to be.  Its all up front and nothing to ‘interfere’ with one’s view.  And in good wind the water splashes up over the bow and feet, legs and the rest can get wet and even drenched if the helmsman steers through another boat’s wake.  But all that weight forward makes the boat a plow today rather than a fine lady cutting through the water.  And the effect on heel makes Lifeline difficult to steer properly.  I have to be the ogre again. “Hey, stop all that shifting around!”  “I’m going to be doing a Luke-overboard drill in a minute.  Luke, get your legs back up here and scoot back!” “No, no we aren’t going swimming today.”  “Does anyone else want to steer?” “OK, that’s it, I need two people back here right now.”  I’m such a Captain Bligh…

The storm sort of sat there over the city to the south and the lake became the funnel for the updraft to feed it.  Sails work wonders when the air is parallel to the surface but air rising straight up isn’t much good over the canvass.  It was a time to steer for the channel and drop the canvass to the deck.  The mood aboard was somber for multiple reasons.  But the sand was through the glass and the last grain dropped none-too-soon on this trip as the rain began to pelt us from the leading edge of the storm.  Good thing we’re nearing the docks.  Thunder was heard rumbling across the water and that meant lighting was somewhere in the neighborhood.  Lifeline’s electrical isn’t all that reliable of late but I didn’t need any help from Mother Nature’s power plant today.

Ice cream.  That’s plan B after a shorter than expected sail.  And we watched the wind and wet from beneath the tin roof of the local creamery and were glad to be safely ashore.

2 thoughts on “Camp with the Grandkids

  1. Shu-Shu

    Thanks for sharing this link on FB. I love reading your thoughts. Another memoir may be in order?!


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