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The “Old Dog” Who Couldn’t Learn the “Trick” of Sailing

I have had a list of things I’ve wanted to do in my life. Having children and working sort of got in the way of some of them, although it didn’t bother me that those things did. The time was right to be a parent and a partner and it was a great time at that. When I started life over again two years ago after my divorce, I decided that what the hey? why not do some of these things I have only dreamed of doing?

I always wanted to learn to sail. My ex and I had power boats over the years but they are noisy and can be very bumpy.  I would look longingly at couples sailing into the sunset with a bottle of wine and I always thought how quiet it must be. Just the waves schlossing on the hull and your drink schlossing in your hand. Not all over you as sometimes happened in our boat.

So I signed up for sailing lessons. I took the classes and participated in the clinics where we actually went out into the Ocean. My very first time at the helm I learned what “in irons” means (You’ve lost total control of the boat.) I could never quite figure out why I thought the wind was going one way and the boat was going the other way, despite my spinning that stainless steel wheel trying to follow the telltales. I persisted, continued with the classes. Then we got to docking. We rotated our crew of six trainees to different positions as we pulled in and out of the berth in the harbor. Somehow, and I still don’t know what I did or didn’t do, when it was my turn to jump off the boat and tie it up, I totally missed landing on my feet. I literally (and quite painfully) landed on my head on the concrete pier. I can still feel the sharp pain I experienced just when passing that particular dock. Long story short, I wound up in the ER, had to call my wonderful daughter-in-law to come fetch me since it was shortly after the Natasha Richardson tragedy and I was taking no chances. Not only did she come, but also my oldest grandson and my son. For awhile all four of us sat in the ER together. All I could think as I was lying there  looking at my worried son was “So, this is finally payback for the umpteen hours I sat in the ER with you every time you thought you could fly out of a treehouse, tackle someone twice your height and weight and attempted stunts on your bike.” In the end I was okay but I haven’t gone back to sailing yet. It’s back on the list. Moved down a bit.

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