Memories of sailing are vivid but not always pleasant. While tacking downriver on the York with Doug and Stephanie Gwilliam of San Diego, David Rane recalled the time he and his wife Mary Beth went out on a skippered boat in Washington State.
“It was a howling wind and raining sideways, so I assumed we would cancel, but oh no. We had prepaid and had to go out. The woman skipper had us rocking from one side to the other, constantly. It was just a 25-foot wooden boat and the winds were spectacular. I was okay but Mary Beth wasn’t happy. The woman kept talking and talking. She turned out to be the first woman to sail solo from Japan to San Francisco and wouldn’t stop talking about it. We were trapped with her in our yellow slickers and waders. That was memorable.”
On another subject, Doug talked about a golf course he and Dave played in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. “Donald Trump built what he termed the best course in the West. Just before it was dedicated to go public, the course suffered damage from leaking pipes underground. Two fairways and holes fell away from the coast into the Pacific Ocean. So they had to go back and redesign the course by retrofitting what were now 16 holes into 18. It wound up a much shorter course and very narrow. Not the best in the West.”
I mentioned that I walk a golf course cart trail sometimes, and when I find a stray golf ball I toss it on the next green to encourage golfers that their shot was better than they thought. David picked up the theme.
“While on vacation in Ireland we played once at Ballybunion. It’s so awful that it looks like they poked a stick in the ground to make it a green. One hole is so bad that you have to shoot over a hill and hope for the best. If you hit the drive perfectly, it will roll down the other side of the hill toward the green. A caddie usually spots the ball from atop the hill. When there’s conference in town, they’ll quietly move one ball to the cup because then they have to buy all the caddies a round of drinks at the bar.”
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