Saturday, July 18, 2009

Snuggling, asparagus, Pinot Noir, standing at the helm

It was cold last night. I battened down the hatches. Actually I battened up the hatches because I had to stand on our companion steps to slip them in place. I had nothing warm to eat. No soup nor chili nor even microwave popcorn. But as I dipped into the fridge to pull out the mixings for a spinach salad (brr!), I discovered a plastic bag with asparagus. I'd bought two pounds in Pentwater and only grilled up one pound. I broke the stems off at their natural breaking place. Topped with sharp cheddar cheese and microwaved for 3 minutes, I created a lovely little meal without leaving my cozy cabin. About that glass of Pinot Noir. It was from a box. Merlot and Cab can stand the restrictions of a box. Pinot Noir is too delicate, too ephemeral. Slush it around in your mouth after it's been boxed, it tastes like the box.

This morning it was still cold so I nestled in my sleeping bag with no desire to rise and shine. But born and bred of hearty Protestant stock, how could I justify lazing around? Why not write a serious blog? A heartfelt blog?

Since I'm snuggling in a double sleeping bag currently inhabited by only me, my thoughts are of Mark. Mark is my sailor partner. He and I bought Speakeasy 17 months ago and from day one, we've loved her and each another.

We love to sail, we love to lounge in the cockpit and let our Autopilot take control when the wind is lax. Last year Mark read John Barth's 500 page Sinbad the Sailor while I dipped in one book after another. What does that reveal about our personalities?

When the winds are up, we work in tandem to keep Speakeasy on a steady course. We divide the tasks according to our skills. I steer. Mark does everything else. He's 6'2", lithe and lanky. He can reach for lines any which way. He understands how that gasket fits into that spade around that winch and through that watchamacallit.

I steer. I stand at the helm. I point Speakeasy into the wind to raise and lower the sail. I give the call "Ready about?" when we need to tack (turn). Then "Hard to lee!" to turn Speakeasy's bow into the wind and start us on another tack. We've done a lot of that this summer. Occasionally we jibe. The command is "Jibe ho!"

When we're in Chicago, I'm good at guiding Speakeasy back to her mooring ball in Monroe Harbor. North Juliet 14.

But now we're on the road, so to speak. We're either anchoring or tying up at slips from Harbor to Harbor. As I blogged last summer, just imagine you're parking a yellow school bus without brakes and you're steering from the back of the bus. That's docking. I'm doing better this year.
I've even docked stern first!

So where's the heartfelt blog I promised? In between the lines!

We repect each other, we laugh. I'm trying to learn to whistle. Whereas Mark is focused, I skip around. Sure, I try to say,"To change the subject." But most of the time, the new thought takes over so quickly that I don't have time to transition.

Now I'm (new subject) off to the Farmer's Market!
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