Portent of change

We went to the St. Lawrence River late Saturday night. The plan: sleep in on Minuet, eat breakfast out, put on the sails, and take 'er out for a spin. Robert's chest has finally healed enough from his fall out of bed a couple of weeks ago to make sailing feasible. Ana was eager to get out on the water, too. We took Q the sailing cat, and Lucky to see how he would do on the boat.

It was very, very windy Saturday at home, and I was glad we decided to wait until the evening to go to the boat - it was too windy to try to control huge, heavy pieces of fabric. A hot, humid wind was blowing briskly when we woke up Sunday. By the time we got back from breakfast at Bella's, there were whitecaps in the bay.

Side note: The food at Bella's was excellent, as usual. Ana had french toast made with banana walnut bread - luscious. To me, breakfast out means eggs, so I had spinach feta quiche with salsa.

We hung out on the boat, getting up our nerve to put the sails on. Robert and Ana took naps while I worked on my grad course. By 3:00, the wind had calmed some, and Ana and Robert installed the mainsail. It was still too windy to try to install the huge genoa headsail at dock, so we started the engine and headed out.

Once we were well out in the bay, I took the helm while Robert and Ana struggled with the headsail. There were a few tense moments. Robert kept telling me to go to the right, so I would adjust the heading to starboard. Turns out he meant to go to port. There are sound reasons for boat lingo, because if you use it, everyone knows what part of the boat you are talking about and what direction you are supposed to go towards. After the sail was on, I kept the helm and sailed her for a while. The air was deliciously cooler out on the water. It was windy enough to be challenging for the first sail of the season, and our skills were rusty enough to result in an interesting moment or two. I think we heeled over briefly at the sharpest angle ever experienced by us in this boat. She did not capsize, not even close. Lucky started yowling down in the cabin at that point, and cushions and bags rearranged themselves, heading for the floor.

As we sailed, the river looked and sounded strange. Empty and quiet.

Very few powerboats were out on a glorious June day, in an area where powerboats far outnumber sailboats.


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