Relearning to Sail
An unusual sight confronted commuters over the Coleman Bridge. As the Navy warship Laboon exited the Yorktown Naval Weapons Station, it passed the Navy’s cable-laying USS Zeus just below the Coleman Bridge, off Yorktown. The Zeus was coming into Cheatham Annex after a six-month deployment in the Atlantic. The stark white color of the Zeus makes it look like a hospital ship, but the giant sheaves on the bow and stern reveal it’s a spy ship.
After that died down, two couples from Ohio and Utah went sailing. Betty and Jack Bell of Utah brought their son Jason, who was in the area working for Anheuser-Busch on IT issues. Betty said, “Jason has six children, and among all our four children we have 19 grandchildren. Well, 18 plus one on the way.”
Hurricanes were on everyone’s mind. Betty said, “The youngest grandchild was born in the middle of Hurricane Ike in Houston. When everyone else was driving out of town, our kids were driving into town to the hospital. She’s nine now.”
Many of them live near the Bells’ home in St. George, but others are scattered around the country. “We hold a family reunion every year, and the next one is in Topsail, South Carolina. The reunions are always an adventure. The grandchildren all get along well together, but it’s a challenge with all 28 of us in one place.” I suggested that with relatives like that, who needs friends?
Return to sailing
Dale and Dawn Grygier live near Lake Erie and had vivid memories from years ago. They alternated telling the story.
“We live in Vermilion, Ohio, which is famous as the largest small-boat harbor on Lake Erie. We took out my father’s Pearson 29 and got caught in a storm. Reefing the main was nothing like yours (which rolls into the mast). I tried to reef it before the storm hit.”
Dawn recalled, “My father bought the Pearson in New York and sailed it up the Hudson River, across the Erie Canal and down the Sandusky River to Sandusky Bay. That storm was ten years ago. We weren’t on Lake Erie actually, but in the bay. We tried not to sail on Lake Erie.”
She and Dale took turns on the helm, coping with shifting winds that finally settled into 8 mph westerlies. They relearned the close reach, beam reach, broad reach, and how to turn the jib sheets. She tended to sit and he stood. She said, “You know, I can’t see. If I run into anything, it’s not my fault.”
Let’s Go Sail
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