The Great Sailing Adventure – Epilog:

As I think back over the past 12 days I have to wonder: What should you expect when you take a family of seven people and cram them into a smallish 40 foot boat for nearly two weeks? A “National Lampoon” style family vacation with big ugly old land yacht? A “Captain Ron” style sea cruise with pirates chasing us? Perhaps a Robin Williams style RV movie with a disaster at every corner where the RV, (boat,) winds up perched precariously on a rock. Of course not!

Skookumchuck

Skookumchuck under Sail


How about cooking smores over the Bar-b-Que, something we have never tried before. A tradition of reading Samuel Cooleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” for all to contemplate those famous phrases, “Water, water everywhere and all the boards did shrink; Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.” How about moments of triumph when we had to work as a team to reset the anchor on a windy night. Just a note on that adventure: We were comparing notes the next day in Birdseye Cove with another sailing crew. They had weathered the storm in Genoa Bay. We had considered going there that evening. The other crew told a story of gusty winds that shifted from minute to minute in direction and intensity. Several boats drug their anchors and they spent the night fending off drifting boats.
I for one achieved my primary goals. One was to give my son, Glen, some good solid experience in piloting, (the art of getting from here to there without running into the hard spots around the edges. Also to give him experience handling a large boat in the tight quarters of an anchorage or a marina. Finally to have fun with all three generations of the Dinsmore family. We did a good job of that too. We even managed to include our daughter, Renee, and her family, Neil, Georgia and Mathilda by a Scype video call. Could we have ever imagined such technology in 1974 the first time we came to the islands in a sailboat. Yet the technology of the boat itself has changed very little. Certainly the GPS has taken a lot of guesswork out of piloting. Still we relied principally on paper charts. Exactly the same charts I brought with us the first time we came in 1974.
I am proud to say that after twelve days the whole group, including Aunt Cathy, was still speaking to one another. There moments of stress; like when we couldn’t shift the transmission or when the boat was heeling more than some liked. I trust that those memories will fade, and the moments of joy and satisfaction of a memorable and satisfying vacation together will remain. We all stretched our comfort zones, some of us stretched a lot. We learned to work together as teams. We had Port and Starboard watches. Each team was on watch for two hours and then off for two hours. Some of us were having so much fun we helped out the other watch in our off time, but we had to respect their right to make the decisions and work the boat.
Will we do it again? Yes every chance we get.

2 Responses

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  1. P.S. Photo credits go to Glen and Barb. I downloaded them from Barb’s Facebook page.

    Gary

  2. I wasn’t so much worried about the hard spots on the edges. You can see them. The hard spots that are too close to the keel are much more troubling!

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