We all have moments that become pivotal in our lives. Setting us on a course that sets us on the journey to …….
Mine was learning to sail around the age of 9 years – well 8 years if you include the first time I went sailing. In what appeared to be a very slow gaff rigged, slow sailing boat.
Being shipped off to boarding school at a tender age. My father was a merchant ships Captain.
The school had a lake with a mixed fleet of dinghies. I learned to sail first in a Cadet – a small but lively dinghy you could race. Of course, we did with some success.
The school also had quite faster ‘Enterprise’s ‘ which provided a very pleasant afternoons racing, not to mention quite a workout…
Progressing to 420’s a much more modern design and an impressive workout. I preferred to helm, flying around on a trapeze whilst fun was a sure way to get soaked.
On leaving school, the opportunity to sail diminished somewhat until a friend who Ocean sailed invited me to crew on a Contessa 32, suddenly sailing became serious, a superb yacht with great handling characteristics, a rather steep new price back in 1979. A vessel still going strong today..
When sailing wasn’t possible I played grass Hockey across London for over 25 years…it was a different level of energetic playing from September until April with tournaments across Europe in the summer, my favorites were trips to Hamburg and Amsterdam, although I did arrange one to Lyon which was a little different.
On moving to the USA in 1999, it took me a little while to rediscover lake sailing.- Lakes here are much larger , with commensurately larger sailing boats. It’s way more fun and convenient.
Sailing over the weekend, a pastime that is both enjoyable, exciting, fun and yet very calming. The winds were as always very variable, around 10 mph gusting to perhaps 20mph – sufficient to heel our boat, driving her forward quickly.
The question is – how long can you keep the cocktail upright?
On a more peaceful run down the lake we talked about ‘Those Moments that stand out in your life”
We still own ‘Stiletto’ but have added a rather more salubrious Catalina 28. ‘Quinley’ has many more creature comforts as our ages march onward. A galley, showers, a wheel, bimini, open transom, inboard diesel power, hot and cold pressurized water. all manner of instruments. Recently new sails and a bowsprit…
When we reached work moments, some were amusing. I was asked to write them down. So here are a few. Let me know what you think ?
During college days we, that is the student committee – I was Social Secretary, liked to produce lighthearted pranks from time to time. Being Social Secretary it fell to me to help create, vet and often implement said pranks..
We often had outside groups visit the college for talks, or demonstrations or even just to visit.
This particular day, the Women’s Institute was coming for some reason, the day was warm and sunny, so the night before we decided to ‘decorate’ a crab apple on the lawn just outside the main house.
When the coach arrived the next morning the ladies were confronted with a new strain of ornamental fruiting tree – “The Spaghetti Tree” was fully covered with over 20 lbs of the very best spaghetti, soaked for 10 mins and boiled until soft enough to adorn the tree. The tree was also attracting a large colony of birds who took particular liking to the delicious fare.
Many pictures were taken of this phenomenon as a sign explained the tree only fruited once every 12 years !
This spurred on to more things horticultural, so a few weeks later yet another plant was discovered , this time outside the refectory a paving slab had been pushed up and a new strain of oak tree had emerged – Quercus australis inverta was indeed a site to see, this Upside Down Australian Oak Tree had it’s trunk buried in the ground with a full compliment of roots spreading out to a height of 5ft.
Some years later I came across this amazing tree…the Andansonia
As I have time I will add more such escapades.