Sailing down Memory Lane
Sailing on the York River brings back fond and funny cruises down Memory Lane.
Sallie and Dave McLain took his parents and their daughter and her friend sailing on a beautiful fall afternoon that felt like late summer. It was Dave’s birthday present, so he ran the helm.
Sallie recalled: “We were sailing at the family summer house on Canandaigua Lake, part of the Finger Lakes in upstate New York.
“Dave and I were new to sailing, but we knew something. All the boats got lined up for a race one morning. They jockeyed for position to get the start line correct when some guy in a big old sailboat came barreling through. We all yelled ‘Starboard! Starboard!,’ which is the racing rule for committing a foul. He yelled back, ‘Starbucks? Starbucks? Are you serving coffee?”
During the cruise we somehow got onto the subject of boats being clean and otherwise shipshape. I mentioned that I try to keep mine strack because it makes an impression on guests. Sallie was unfamiliar with the term, so I explained it as making everything right. Dave McLain Sr., who’s retired Army, said, “It’s an acronym. Back in the day, we tried to distinguish small infantry units from larger units such as platoons or companies. These special strike units didn’t fit any previous description. We came up with Strong and Ready Around the Clock. That’s STRAC.” Everyone learned a new term that day. The dictionary provides another similar definition, but Dave Sr.’s is equally relevant.
Let’s go sail
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