After a breathtaking day of sailing for speed in brisk winds, the skies darkened with clouds and we wound up sailing for serenity on calm seas. As the wind picked up slowly the conversation picked up quickly.

Sailing for serenityBobby Joe and Nan Nay operate a cattle farm in Panguith, 8,000 feet high in the mountains of Utah. “We have 25 cows,” Joe explained. “They’re not for milking but for beef. It’s a rare French breed. We slaughter and package and wrap it ourselves for sale to the public. Some people drive 500 miles.”

Steven sailed before on his sister’s Beneteau and his father’s boat, but he yielded the helm to Joe, who had never sailed before. In calm winds rising to 5 and 7 mph, he did fine.

The Nays were on the fourth leg of a four-week vacation that sent them as far west as San Diego and east to Williamsburg. Nan plans the trips but sometimes they’re spontaneous. Joe said, “We’ve been known to get to the end of the driveway and turn right or left and keep on going. That’s why my license plat reads WER2NOW.”

By November it’s already snowed where they live. “We’ve had our first equalizer freeze,” Joe said. “It’s called that because crops grow at different rates at different times of the year, but the first fall freeze kills everything and makes it equal for everyone to start over.”

As luck would have it, the other couple on board were big beef eaters. We spent a few minutes trashing vegans as spoiled brats.

Sailing for serenityBeth and Steven Smith were from York, Pennsylvania, where she’s a massage therapist at a hospital and he’s a gun manufacturer’s rep. She was an FAA controller in the tower for ten years. “You’d think that would be stressful, and it was. Being a massage therapist should be stress-free, but it isn’t. The health care system in America is terrible to navigate.”

Getting a gun

Beth is thinking about getting a gun, since Steven spends a lot of time on the road in North Carolina. “Where we live in Pennsylvania, people come right in your house. I turned around one day in my kitchen and there was a guy stealing my purse off the kitchen table. I chased him but he got away. I was wearing flip flops.”

Sailing for serenitySteven said, “You have to leave your garage door down and locked. If you leave it open they’ll go right in and steal what they can off the garage floor. It’s for money for drugs.”

Since Joe is in the meat business, he also dresses and skins deer for visiting hunters. “One season we had so many carcasses left over that we started charging $5 to skin them and give the skin to the hunters. It got so they would bet on how fast my brother and I could do it. They would bet $20 or $30 that we couldn’t do it in five minutes. It takes us 20 seconds. There are certain points where you cut the carcass and the skin comes right off. Heck, it was worth it to them to pay $30 just to see it done so fast.” Steven said his father used to do that—by attaching the carcass to a car bumper and driving away.

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Sailing for serenity

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