With the summer cruising season upon us, I am anxious to get out on an extended cruise. But there is still so much to do. That "List" never seems to get shorter. But the last few weeks it feels like progress has been made with the completion of the "holding tank" problem and the addition of the Magma BBQ. Each of the last several weekends, the trip to the Marina involved work and no play.
The second weekend in July promised to be no different, until my newly promoted Chief Engineer suggested as we got to the dock- "Why don't we just sail today."
Music to my ears!
|Corleto and her crew as she heads out into Howe Sound|
We cast off and set sail for waters nearby. This would act as an occasion to exercise the crew. We practiced our tacks and gybes. Otto worked flawlessly as we tested him with both motor and sail. We worked on our communication and did not play ourselves out. Both days were glorious and good for the soul. This is what I had visions of when I bought Corleto back in February.
Things that were so difficult on those early cruises, like sail trimming, keeping a steady helm, hoisting and dousing sails were becoming more relaxed and efficient.
|Charlene on the helm in English Bay|
On that Sunday, in a stiff wind and bumpy chop, she scurried up to the bow and had that working jib down and secured so fast, you would have thought she had crewed an America's Cup boat. You could not wipe the look of pride off of my face after seeing that.
Coming into the dock, again her skill impresses me. She keeps those eyes sharp and anticipates the boat well. Stepping off the "fat" part of the boat and onto the dock she has that break line cleated in seconds. As couples go, we are not the "show".
After the engine is shut off and my stern line secured, we engage in a congratulatory embrace. The exchange celebrating how far we have come, in today's outing, and on our greater cruising journey. There is still much for us to learn together and we know it will be all in good time. For now we accept our boating victory- a good daysail, time on the water, together. This is our end of voyage ritual, one we borrowed from a more experienced couple we observed weeks ago. It is one we will carry into our voyages of the future, no matter how long or how short.
With Corleto snug in her berth, we treated ourselves to a nice hot meal prepared on our new marine grill. We sat back, enjoyed the view and enjoyed the trappings of boat ownership. With our first trans Straight of Georgia passage on the horizon, it was good to have crew moral at a high.