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Commodore's Corner

A Hot Day For Sailing
By Tom James
Posted: 2023-07-17T20:29:17Z

Moving along the lake in the sailboat at a good pace with a slight heel is a true joy. Seeing the homes along the shore with the dedication to charm and relaxation is a wonderful experience. While racing the boat there is always that moment of reflection regarding the surroundings.

This last month of heat, racing and adult sailing classes has begun to wear me down. Planning the Dock Feast for August 5th, King Series on August 19th and the final Poker Run on September 3rd is a long list of activities that wake me up in the early hours of the morning. At this age the knees begin to ache in the evening and the calluses seem to never heal and the demands and requests seem endless. The other day, just sailing down to C Point on a low wind day, I felt the sweat roll down my leg and drip straight into the boat. I had to ask myself why we love the experience.

It wasn’t until later in the afternoon that a small breeze came along, and I steered the boat right to it. The sails shifted as they always do right before a steady wind drifted to the boat and then like my dog being taken off the leash, the boat took off. I could feel it rise along the water and heel to the Starboard side. I grabbed my Heineken, leaned back placing a leg over the tiller for steering.

It seemed like a ten-minute ride up the lake and somehow, I forgot about the heat, the cuts and bruises and the hard work to get me to this spot. It is that moment when the boat is an extension of my mind, feeling the spray along the side, the pressure against the main and the tension along the sheets. Its true, I became ageless, feeling the same joy when I sailed along Gardener’s Bay as a child or heading out into the ocean to Antigua as a middle-aged man.

The water and the wind are sacred elements that we work to tame and yet there are moments in our lives that we cast our hearts to all of it and rejoice in the moment.

These blessed days lay right outside my door, the boat constantly rocking in its birth along the seawall. I hear it night and day teasing me to take another sail, another moment on Weatherby Lake and find myself lost in the joy of this lake.