Sunday, September 15, 2013

Reflections for 2013

It seemed appropriate to reflect on the 2013 sailing season on this last weekend of Canadian summer.  While the sun has finally broken through and the first threat from tropical storms passed us without fanfare, fall is evidently on the way as the air has a distinct "chill" to it.

Yesterday was our final "official" sailing event, the annual sailing marathon around Amet Island, a tiny spot of land off Tatamagouche Bay.  As noted in previous posts, this race has a special meaning for, since I washed up on the Island's shores over 24 years ago, after a windsurfing experience went very badly one day in late May.

Eight boats joined yesterday's race, and excellent turnout, particularly given the dramatic way that last weekend's race ended.  An unexpected squall at the end of the race resulted in several torn sails, a a couple of knock downs.  Thankfully, no one was hurt and all boats eventually made it back to port.  The race is a memorial race for a fellow sailor lost while sailing several years ago, so it was even more important to make sure the race went off without incident.

The Forshner Regatta and that memorable weekend in May so many years ago, are constant reminders of how quickly things can change on the water.  They are also reminders of how fortunate it is to be able to enjoy hours on the water on a "good old boat" like Exploits.

Exploits had another successful race season, finishing 3rd in the weekend series, 5th in the Wednesday Series despite 2 first place finishes and 3rd overall in the Club Championship.  We also had another memorable cruise to the Bras d'Or Lake in Cape Breton where our sailing skills were put to the ultimate test on more than one occasion.  From a dramatic docking in Ballentyne's Cove during a massive rain event, to the 10 foot seas in Cape |George, we proved to ourselves that not only do we have a worthy boat, but that we are worthy of sailing her.

This year's season however is not about what we achieved on the water, but for the events that occurred off the water.

We celebrated the marriage of our son Mark and gained a fantastic new daughter-in-law Alison.  We also were privileged to participate in my older brother's wedding to a wonderful lady.  Despite our numerous jokes about weddings during sailing season, I would gladly trade a day on the water to celebrate seeing two people join in marriage and commit to a life together.

The brightwork will get done some day and I am sure we'll have many more successes on the race course and enjoy countless cruising hours.  However 2013 was perhaps our most successful season.  For certain, it will be our most memorable.