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.