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Saturday, July 21, 2007

July 21, 2007-My House Has A Spinnaker On the Floor

Like all good for’d hands Marco gets a little bossy now and then; when he yells to “Slack the blue halyard” sometimes it seems unnecessarily loud and commanding.

But we put up with it because we expect the for’d hand to have a bit of swagger. How could he be otherwise when his only domain is that constantly moving pointy end and he has to be the athlete on cat’s feet doing his magic under the very eyes of the whole crew? When your bowman gets to know his part of the boat and his confidence starts to grow he forgets how he might sound; he just gets into it; he tells us what he wants, and we do it; the blue halyard gets slacked.

And in fact we love it as the teacher always loves it when the student begins to surpass.

We are watching our crew grow bolder and become more confident. Pierre has to teach a new tailer each week it seems and he has the pattern down. Jennifer rules her pit and her hands fly over the sheet stoppers like the artist’s fingers over the keys of a well known piano. After the practice today I was saying, “Not too bad, just one small hole in the kite to repair” and Tobias dug his hand in his pocket and out came a zipper pull and he said, “Not quite, here is another repair for you.” I showed him how it goes back on the zipper of the number#3 bag and I know a little more of the mystery died away for him. Bob has even brought his own personal tactical computer and together he and I drilled holes and to mount it on Wings. You know they are feeling at home when they want to drill holes in your house.

This is the way the members of our new crew come to know Wings; not as we know her but a maybe a little better than before, and this is the way they become part of our family.

Tonight the crew has gone home and I wiggle my toes in the cool nylon of our spinnaker which is stretched out on the cabin floor drying out. Most people wouldn’t want their house to be the inside of a racing boat with all of its untidy clutter but as I reflect on a good day’s sailing and where we are now with this crew and I look across the cabin at Judy curled up on the settee with a cross-word puzzle and there is music on the stereo and some rum in a glass by her side, I have a warm and comfortable feeling.

All in all this feels pretty good.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Singapore

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