Sailing with house guests
Sailing the York River is great fun with house guests. It was particularly interesting with Judi and Jack Barnett of Norge as they took out Klaus Roetsch and Donna Tell of Toronto. I paid my respects for the Blue Jays losing in the playoffs, but Klaus said, “They deserved it. They’re just not ready.” I mentioned that they must have a short boating season in Canada, and Jack quipped, “July 4th and 5th.”
Both couples are avid RVers. Jack and Judi have covered 38 states but are reluctant to try California. I asked if there was anywhere where they wouldn’t go back, and Jack said without hesitation Las Vegas. “It’s dirty and there are too many panhandlers. They’re on every corner. In fact, they’re on all four corners everywhere. It’s really sad.”
Love Las Vegas
By contrast, Klaus said, “I love Las Vegas. I took Donna there and she went out and gambled. I don’t gamble anymore because it cost me two marriages.
“We were there for the national rodeo convention and it was wonderful. The men are all young and stocky. The women are in great shape and beautiful. They were all so polite, ‘Yes ma’m’ and ‘No sir.’ The rodeo people are just magnificent. I asked a guard if this was a difficult week for security because there were so many people, I think 10,000. He said no, in fact it was the easiest week of the year in Las Vegas. Why? It’s because all the panhandlers are gone. The rodeo crowd does not tolerate panhandlers, so they take the week off.”
Klaus and Donna went to Las Vegas for an unusual reason. “We were on the road for months and wanted to fly back for Christmas. But the airline tickets were prohibitively expensive. Las Vegas had the cheapest flights because that’s part of the attraction. So I said let’s go to Vegas. When I went to store the RV the guy said it would cost $100 for a month, not $100 a day or week. And they kept it plugged in so the food in the refrigerator wouldn’t go bad. That was amazing.”
Boat becomes plane
Klaus used to own a 25-foot Sea Ray motorboat, “until it became an airplane.” What? “We were cruising along one day on the water at 25 mph when all of a sudden the boat went airborne. It went up into the air like a plane taking off. It started to bank to the right and then luckily came back down safely. We could have flipped. The boat hit a sandbar that sent it aloft. Later Donna and I talked it over. ‘You know what? We golf, we RV, we ride motorcycles. We have a good life. There’s only so much you can do in the summer. Maybe we should give up boating.’ So that was it. Goodbye, boat.”
Everyone enjoyed the sailboat as I caught up with the Barnetts about their life and friends. The wind settled down and eventually petered out, but the serenity on the water was a relief after two days of gusty winds following a storm front.
Let’s go sail
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