A sailing "first"

I thought this morning’s wet, rocky and steep climb up Day Mountain was a challenge. It was nothing compared to what happened this afternoon.

We were invited to join a couple we know (I’ll call them Cathy and Scotty) for an afternoon on the water. It sounded fun and we were to meet them in the early afternoon.

When we got there, Cathy said we were going sailing (instead of on a powerboat). Again, since neither Joseph nor I had ever been sailing, we were looking for a good time.

It looked like this...

The dinghy looked like this…

We got to the dock were Scotty was waiting to take us on their sailboat…by dinghy. I didn’t know what that meant but, as I walked down the ramp toward the boats. I soon found out. If you don’t already know, and I didn’t, a dinghy is a tiny rubber something that just about fit the four of us.

That wasn’t the bad part. What was bad was my special problem: I can’t swim. If that little thing tipped over, three of us on board would have had a good laugh while swimming back to the dinghy. One of us would have drowned. I looked around for a life jacket…none were there. Of course, do you see how tiny the dinghy was? There was barely room for four people let alone a life jacket.

So there I was, in the middle of acres of water and scared almost to death.I prayed…to God, my guardian angel, my spirit guides, anyone who I thought would listen…

Then Scotty asked me to shift my position and move up. I just looked at him. I’m not sure if he saw the panic in my eyes and I didn’t care if he did or didn’t. I wasn’t moving. Happily, Cathy understood and quickly – and kindly – jumped into the space.

It got worse before it got better.

After a few minutes, we pulled up next to the sailboat. It was big…and tall. It looked more like a schooner than a sailboat; lucky me.

As Scotty tied the dinghy and jumped on board, the dinghy bounced around and I thought for sure that was when we were going to go overboard. More scared to death feelings. But, still, we stayed afloat. I didn’t see a ladder and wondered how we’d get from the dinghy into the boat. I didn’t have to wait long…and it wasn’t the kind of news I wanted to hear.

Sailing

Sailing

As soon as he settled himself, Scotty put his hand down and told me to grab onto his arm and told me to climb on board. I looked at him like he was crazy. Unperturbed, he explained that he’d grab my arm and hoist me up and I could climb over the ropes. “WHAT??? Are you serious? I’m wearing sandals….!”

Pulling into Northeast Harbor

Pulling into Northeast Harbor

It didn’t take long to for everyone to figure out that this wasn’t going to be pretty – especially not for me. I would have thought all that mountain hiking would have given me some kind of an edge. It didn’t.

I put my pride and ego someplace (and there weren’t too many places for them to go) and did my best to hoist myself up. With Scotty pulling my arms, Joseph, still on the dinghy, was pushing me up by my butt. It must have been one hysterical sight for all the seasoned sailors to see. My prayer was that no one on the dock or in another boat had a camera and my less-that-athletic ascent onto the boat wouldn’t be showing up on YouTube.

Once over the rope railing, and on my knees, Scotty told me to stand up and he’d help me walk to the sitting area. Was he crazy? I gave him an emphatic “no” and said I was crawling…and did just that until I got safely into boat. It took Joseph and Cathy about a half a minute to do what took me ten minutes and three people to do.

Once we were settled on board, Joseph opened up a bottle of wine, Cathy brought out some sandwiches and I opened the dessert I made, a  toffee saltine treat that’s sometimes called Christmas Crack. To my surprise, it was still dry – good thing it was in a Tupperware container. You know, I don’t take any drugs, but that day I might have wished the crack wasn’t Christmas crack. Just kidding…the wine was enough.

We jumped onto this dock

We jumped onto this dock

Happily, the rest of the trip was beautiful. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect and the water couldn’t have been more blue. We found an ospry nest – something I’d never seen – and seals. After a couple hours, Scotty turned back toward the harbor.

As we pulled up, there were too many other boats for Scotty to tie up at the dock. He said we could either jump off or take the dinghy back. What do you think I said.? Seriously. OK, not those two words…I was nice.

Joseph and I gathered our things while Scotty maneuvered the boat to the dock and Cathy called someone over to help us. Then, as the boat pulled up close to the dock, off we went, jumping onto the ramp.

We had a good morning, an interesting afternoon, and topped the day off with a drink at a local bar. By the time we got back to the cottage, we were spent. In what little time I had before falling asleep, I finished Savannah Breeze, giving it two thumbs up!

©AnnmarieKelly2014. All Rights Reserved.

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