Posted by: Blue Lou Logan | May 8, 2014

Opening Duck Dodge 2014: The Calm of the Calm


IMG_2510

The water of the lake

It was one of those work days when I just wanted to bang my head on the desk.  Urgent emails.  Interruptions.  No steady work flow and thus what didn’t at least seem like progress.  Everything was all laid out to join Dan on the Mirus
for the first Duck Dodge of the year.  Yet as much as I was looking forward to it I was fearing it, mostly because of the ruptured disc in my back and the inevitable, ongoing leg pain.

Waiting for the start

Waiting for the start

I was ready to get the Hell out at 5:00 sharp.  Zanne and I crossed Lake Washington on 520, unwinding to the music of Captain Tractor, and reached the marina in Fremont in good time.  The Mirus had seen some maintenance in the off months and looked remarkably clean.  Dan was mending the jib.  The last to join was the boat’s other owner, Brian, with whom we chatted about the game café he and his wife had under development in West Seattle.  We hauled ourselves and the case of Newcastle aboard.  As we got underway and raised sail, there were many questions.  What was the course?  Where was the wind?  All the boats milled about the Committee Boat, the Windswept, many donating liquor in official “Appreciation.”  The wind was out of the west…a bit odd.  Tho’ admittedly ‘the gimp,’ I comfortably took up the port jib sheet and cradled the big bottle of Sailor Jerry that seemed to kick everyone else’s ass.

Pretty

Pretty

Don't hit the...goslings

Don’t hit the…goslings

In typical Mirus fashion, we had what the Committee boat called “our own own private start,” but at least we weren’t the last in our class to cross the starting line.  The first leg headed north towards Gasworks, which meant we had a steady reach.  Rounding towards the Aurora Bridge, however, meant that we were not only tack on tack but also facing steadily diminishing wind.  We tried to keep the sails as trim as possible, watching the telltales, and trying to read the dead spots on the water.  Zanne took a turn at the tiller.  The lake turned nearly glassy.  Spinnakers flopped into the water.  Then the sun went down, and the wind essentially died.

Nearly sundown

Nearly sundown

Spinnakers in, um, 'light' wind

Spinnakers in, um, ‘light’ wind

Many boats had finished the race and were heading home.  Others, like ourselves, gave up:  only half the course, and certainly not two laps.  We got the outboard running, turned on the running lights, and dropped sail.  It could have been called a failure.  Nevertheless, I had returned to my happy place.  There was calm in the calm.  Sailing always keeps the rest of the world at bay.  Plus, there was a whole summer to come.

And my leg didn’t hurt the whole time.

I'm good.

I’m good.

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