Saturday, November 16, 2013

Remembrance Day, Exuma Cays

Posted by Scot

Both yesterday and today, we sailed off the mooring balls we were on for the night.  No engines, no diesel fumes, nothing.  Just cranked up the mainsail, let go of the mooring lines, and then pulled out the jib once we were free, letting the wind push us back and off the shore, and sailing a gentle downwind tack out into the ocean.


As I sail along this morning, and adjust the jib based on it’s luff as I let it out, I can’t help but think about my Uncle Hal.  My dad’s brother was the person who first introduced me and my brother and sisters to sailing.  When I was about 7, we first visited Hal and his family at their summer cabin on Lake Huron, and Hal showed us the joys of dinghy sailing there.  It was in his Force 5 that I first learned how to adjust a sail to the wind, and to enjoy the hum of the water on the hull when you get the boat really moving.  It was Hal who taught me the word “stink pot” when referring to motor boats.  His love and enthusiasm for all things sailing was infectious, and kindled something in me that has been reinforced and amplified from then until now.


When Hal passed away last year, I was unable to make it to his funeral because of work commitments.  I regretted it then, and I still regret it now.  But today, sailing along and thinking about him, I can imagine how much he would have loved to be out here with us, watching the wind and adjusting the sails.  It gives me a moment to remember him, and by thinking about him here, where he would have been joking and happy, I imagine I make up a bit for not being there then.



  1. Great post Scot! I have had the same thoughts of how Dad would love to be hearing of your sailing adventures. I have the same memories of your visits to Red Bay and the hours upon hours of sailing, splashing, swimming and laughing.

    Do you have any recollection of my Dad sailing behind you with his 'sailing voice' saying "Trim your sail" - - I remember that all the time - that guy hated a luffing sail.

    So keep your sails trimmed couz and safe travels. Thanks for the post - it was great!

  2. Hi Maria. Great to hear from you! I definitely remember the sound of your Dads voice coaching us on trimming sails. It also occurred to me that he introduced me to my first catamaran, as well, on the Shark. He would really have liked it out here. Say hi to Paul and your Mom for us.

  3. Maria said it very well for me. Dad would have been as glued to your adventure as I am. Just remember... don't drag your dinghy behind the boat while sailing, he hated the gurgling noise. And, DON'T leave your sail flapping at mooring, he hated that most of all. As for regrets..... it was your dedication to your work and commitments that has got you to the point where you are able to have this great sailing adventure... I'm sure he would think it was worth it.
    Keep sailing and I'll keep reading.

  4. P.S. we still have the Force 5 sitting in the boathouse waiting for you to come take it for a sail. We don't have the Shark anymore but I now have a Hobie 18...... want to RACE!

    1. Hi Pete! Thanks for the comments. You (and Hal) would be happy to know that Sara and I are training a crack team of dinghy raisers and sail furlers, so we never drag the dinghy, and never have a sail flapping after we anchor (well, almost never). I would love to come back and sail the Force 5 again some time. Or the Hobie 18 - those things move!