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sv Lorelei
07-10-2008, 08:05 PM
I had promised our neighbor's daughter who is in our youngest sons class a sail today. The forecast of 10-15 gusting 30 and seas of 2 plus seemed a bit much for a first time sail on Lorelei, so we once again hooked Caer Bannog to the back of the truck and headed to Haddam Meadows on the Connecticut River.

Tying in a reef at the launching ramp we got her in and piled into the boat. With Liam (10) once more at the helm, Harrison (14) on the front thwart doing foredeck and Jess (10) beside Liam we headed out on the river nearing low tide. I took up my usual position as rail meat on the center thwart.

Just north of the launching ramp, perhaps 200 yards up river is a sandbar which at low tide forms a very nice beach and after several tacks into the NW breeze and some interesting heeling, we finally ran her ashore on the sandbar. The peanutbutter and jelly sandwiches were broken out, juice boxes passed all around (I had water, I had to maintain the illusion of command) and the next thing I know the kids are splashing around in the water.

Oh to be that age and able to build "nests" out of milfoil and float atop them as they drift down the current. I was the parental observer and after a good intermission we once more headed up river.

Opposite the next upriver daymark there is an island. Perhaps 300 yard long maybe more. Beach along one side. Once again the captain was implored to stop on the inviting sands. Where we once more cavorted in the surf, explored the woods inshore and noted the deer tracks leading up from the water and into the primordial trackless interior of the island.

Shortly thereafter we beat to the North side of the island to a wider expanse of water. Time was growing short though and we finally relented in our upwind, upriver journey. We pointed her bows downwind and downstream and screamed down river.

The boys and I had a great sail today, if somewhat spirited. Under reefed main and sometimes jib, we gave a little girl her first taste of sailing. I doubt it'll be her last. We found clams, snails and plenty of pastoral scenery. Enjoyed a mid week, more genteel, river than the weekend holds, and were once again impressed by Caer Bannog's willingness to take us anywhere we wished to go, be that beach, dock or channel.

Sometimes we get to see the magic. Today was one of those days.

Milo Christensen
07-10-2008, 08:31 PM
Bravo. Bravo.