829 Southdrive

829 Southdrive

A New Jersey state of mind



Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Holiday Traditions




When it comes to Uni, no rice or seaweed needed.




I was so excited about the Pho, I couldn't see clearly.
You really get a good Bang Pho the buck there.  Sorry.








Great-Grandson of Russ.




Daughters in front of Russ & Daughters.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Friends!



\


Christmas Eve was never complete without this 
very book.  I will be reading aloud this evening.




With every new page, Santa and his reindeer would change looks.
Grandma was very creative and it kept things interesting.  

I could never understand how people had Christmas in Florida 
when there was no snow.  How could there be Christmas 
without snow, Charlie Brown?




Talk about someone finding their true life's calling
in their 70's.  She's right up there with Wyeth and
Rockwell as far as originality, if you ask me.





You can vote any way you want. But Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Just Because


Sublime.  I may not be able to sleep tonight. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Blue Blazer




Museum docent or NBC page, I had the look:  Blue blazer
with blue cotton oxford button down, and a striped tie.
Classic yacht club attire, and since it was after Labor Day, 
dark slacks- no khakis.  Hans was still in Good Humor man 
mode.  Hey, ice cream is a year-round treat.  We were no
doubt ready to go to a Christmas Eve service, and it looks
like Mom took the bottom strand of gingerbread man cookies
from the tree and hung them around the kitchen doorframe.
Dachshunds love gingerbread man cookies.




Foiled again!  They'll slip up eventually.  They're only human.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It's All About the Barnegat Bay




If you looked across the bay at this point and then to the right,
North about 200 yards, you'd see the familiar Beaton's skyline.
This Mantoloking family was, and still is in my mind, one of the
most familiar and recognizable presences on Barnegat Bay.
That lime green Penguin gave me and my Dad fits for several
years on the Bay and around Region II.  Those Lasers were no 
doubt sub-1000 in the hull number department.  And the Duck
Boat?  I wouldn't even venture a guess.






These brothers made mincemeat of the bay for years, and the 
skipper sails to this day in an E-scow.  He's won scores of
regattas, local and national.  I love the wooden deck on this M
 and how far forward the whisker pole was set.  I know they grew 
up in Manasquan, but I wonder where Billy got the red jersey.  
It reminds me of my school's colors, a school that was and is a
fierce rival of the Warriors in the next town over.





There must've been a big regatta coming up.  Skip, far right, 
provided the rig and the other skippers figured if they brought
the Rheingold, they could pile on for the trip. Who ever stacks 
M-scows on trailers?  Besides Skip?




And on the roof-top as well?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Should We Worry?




The man sitting in the Adirondack chair is playing games with my
head.  He'd taken a break from blogging just before THXG  and 
gone on holiday in the Caribbean.  He'd done this in the past, and
upon returning he'd posted stories of his experiences on the idyllic
 isle of Virgin Gorda.   He wrote about rum drinks, sailing Hobie
sailboats, and feeling fulfilled after sailing with Tillerwoman.

This year, he's been very tight-lipped about the whole vacation
thing and frankly, I'm a bit concerned.  I (we all) were expecting
a full, entertaining, and insightful report on the goings on down there
at 18 degrees 30' 17" N , and 64 degrees 21' 19" W.  

He and the other dude who I consider to be my Blidols (blogging
idols), have not been very fruitful in the posting department as of
 late and I wonder what this may mean.  Say it isn't so. 


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Went Down To Tuck The Boat In




Every year I say, "I'm gonna replace those crooked, cheap-ass
black registration numbers with some nice, fake, gold-leaf numbers.
I'll use a straight edge and tape measure.  Then next spring, we get 
down to the boat two weeks later than we planned,  to paint and 
buff, and have to go home early because the alarm is going off or
 some dumb-ass reason, and ...........  I wonder if anyone even 
looks at those registration numbers.





Telephone pole:  crooked.  Bay Rhumb and the next two boats:
plumb.  Fourth boat:  bow-down and will have frozen rain-water
at the bow 'til March.  It's already rained hard a few times and I've
had great drainage on-deck.  One thing I need not worry about
this winter. Sugarplums dancing now.  





The way home. Sunset in Cream Ridge, 4:45 pm. 
 Man, it gets dark early!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Don't Celebrate Too Long




A must win was won.  Now back to the grindstone.  If teeth had skin,
the Jints won by it.  Cheers to Big Blue for not giving up.
3 more wins and we'll talk about the "P" word.  Good night for now. 
There may even be visions of sugarplums dancing in my head.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Retrospect





9 years old and an E-scow veteran. Dad, time to pass 
me back my cigar.  And I hope you didn't goob it up. 





14 and already letting Mike the Jibman and my Stepmom 
untangle the spinnaker for the next race.  Because you know,
when you're fourteen you know everything and are responsible
for nothing.  





Hiking more than Jill but less than Mike.  Hey, he was heavily
recruited and she had the job automatically.  This is all tongue-
in-cheek of course, and points out how a kid who grows up 
sailing with his parents from the git-go can sometimes become
disenchanted with the glamour of racing sailboats morning and
afternoon every summer Saturday since Richard Nixon was
elected President of the United States.  





By this point in 1986, I had re-acquired my appreciation for
the grind of the BBYRA racing schedule.  I was such a big
guy that Bob decided to eliminate the fourth crewmember,
and since backstays were at that point a thing of the past, 
um well, we were good. And still a little heavy.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Rome Layover




Watch this only if you have fifteen minutes.

I've watched this program two or three times and there is no other
food show on TV that makes me want to get up and frickin eat
something as much as this one.  Tony Bourdain speaks my
language, and has for many years.  Every Single Effing Place he
goes makes me squirm and wish I were there.

This pizza guy, Gabriele Bonci, is someone I want to meet.  I want to
hug him, kiss him on each cheek, and spend the whole day with him.
He is so passionate about his craft.  His pizzas look extraordinary.
And the rice croquettes with the egg yolks? (sorry O Docker) They
look positively mind-blowing.  He's a big guy like me, and someone
with whom I can identify.  Really, I feel like I've known this guy
for a long time.  His place is not far from the Vatican.  I wish I had
known this in '05.

In June 2005, after an all-night flight from Newark and a quick
nap in the hotel, we made our way to St. Peter's Square to see the
Pope.  Afterward, we found the closest pizza joint to grab something
to eat.  They boasted NY style pizza.  I was too tired and hungry to
protest.  I should have.  And after seeing this episode the other
night, I would have agreed to venture a bit further.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sailing Jones




It's been only a month since the boat's been on the hard.  Forked
River is directly across the bay from Barnegat Inlet, then North 
a touch.  I haven't even winterized the head and pressure water
yet, and I'm already verklempt.  The State Marina wants their 
money for next summer though, and if it's not in by 12/31, we're
up Oyster Creek without a paddle.  At least the water is warm
from the power plant there.  Doh!




Winter is great.  I love snow and skiing on top of it.  I think I'm 
more in my element then because I can deal with extreme cold
much easier than oppressive heat.  But there's something about
Summer.  I grew up around a lot of cousins who taught me how
 to catch a crab in a net, how to seine for bait, how to dive off the
piling on the end of the catwalk, and how to get a hot dog on the
patio before they were all gone.  Apparently in this photo I hadn't 
learned that lesson yet.  But there was plenty of time for that.
I can't wait for Summer.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Infamous Day/All Things Gray




A relative of mine, of whom I was very fond, was a 23 year-old 
sailor on the USS Oklahoma in Pearl Harbor this day, 70 years ago.
When the three torpedoes hit, Marshel Moorhouse and his mates
scrambled up 5 decks to the supposed safety of the main deck.
During their journey, or upon reaching their destination, the ship
listed, then rolled over, spilling hundreds of her sailors into the
harbor.  "Pud" Moorhouse swam through burning oil slicks for
the better part of two hours before reaching safety.

Days later, he and some fellow sailors were commended by
Admiral Chester Nimitz for their brave and heroic actions.

Years later, Pop Pop neither chose to revisit Pearl Harbor on
any anniversary, nor did he care to rehash any terrifying memories.  
And he was perfectly fine with that, from what I gathered .   
  




We finally got our new French Drains dug after the Hurricane Irene
debacle. With two sump pits and a 5000 watt generator for an 
emergency, I'm confident we'll have no more water in the basement.
After the cement dried, the final step was to paint the floor, which I
started to do today.  The color was a no-brainer:  Battleship Gray.
(They actually called it slate gray)  Looks like Battleship to me. 

Painting the floor is the frickin' easiest thing to do.  No drop-cloths,
no worries about drips from the roller, and the inevitable millions
of spatter specks that come from the roller fall where?  To the floor.





I kept thinking about the fo'c's'le floor of the Intrepid and how if
it's good enough for an aircraft carrier, it's good enough for
my basement.  I may even paint my oil tank red with a brass top.





Even Putt Putt had a gray interior.  Shit, my Dad and Uncles
painted the oars gray as well.  Note the oar leathers fastened
 with brass tacks.  She wasn't always rowed; there was a 3 HP 
Johnson that moved me and my cousin through the gunners'
ditches that we explored every weekend like we'd never
seen any of them before.  Looks like 'Vision', Dad's Lightning,
was on the mooring ball in the background.  I was sporting my
white boating 'Stride Rites', and ready to row.   

Monday, December 5, 2011

Caption Contest



A well-worn NYG T-shirt will be sent to the 
reader with the best caption.  Sure-fire recipe
for no comments.  BTW, the T-shirt will be clean. 
Recipe.  Get it?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Go Get 'Em Tigers!



Princeton plays USC today in the first game, then UCLA and
UC San Diego go at it.  It's the second time in three years for
Tim and the Princeton Tigers to be in the Final Four.
Come on guys, we know you can do it!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Just Because




Sure-fire plan to get no comments.  "Here goes Baydog
again reliving his youth.  He probably had too many 
cocktails and went on Youtube."  And Charley, it was
well before midnight this time!  

Trivia question that I don't know the answer to:
How many classic bands had someone playing the
flute?  I can think of three immediately.  Include
the titles of some obvious songs in which these 
flautists displayed their talents. Hint:  I've posted
music clips from all of these three bands in the past,
although the flute may not have been present in all
of the songs. And there's no doubt there are more
bands than my immediate three. Someone may get
a prize, but I'll probably forget like the last time.

And sorry Mom for ending a sentence in a preposition.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Random Post




In this season of the onset of Presidential primaries and the 
attention that will be paid to popularity polls and the like, I heard 
the Gallup Poll mentioned the other day and immediately thought 
about my personal connection to that Ivory Tower of American
opinion research. Alec Gallup was a regular customer of ours 
for decades before I was able to say "ours".  He was a grizzly
bear of a man, but as kind and self-effacing as the day was long.
The Gallup Organization was started in Princeton in the thirties, 
and well after it was acquired in the late eighties by a Nebraskan,
with whom I am also familiar, and who insisted many times on 
smoking cigars in the restaurant by the way, Alec and his close
associates came often for lunch around 1 pm.  He did his best
to uphold the 3 Martini lunch, although if he made it past 2 it
was unusual.  Soup was the appetizer almost always, and 
entrees varied.  One thing I'll never forget was him asking about 
the accompanying vegetables on a given plate.  " I don't like sticks.
I don't want any sticks on my plate."  Julienne vegetables. 

My two favorite memories of him were these:  watching the 2000
vice presidential debate between Joe Lieberman and Dick Cheney
in the back of our bar, near the mens' room where our little TV was.
He was going back and forth between the private room where the 
Gallup Org. was having dinner and the mens' room where the TV was.
Sitting on a wine crate watching at the same time was Arthur 
Schlesinger, who was attending another PU function upstairs.
And then there was me.  Picking my nose.

The second memory is actually more meaningful, because it does
not involve politics, but flavor.  Alec was sitting at the bar waiting
for his dinner guests one night and decided to have some steamed 
clams to hold him over.  Upon finishing the clams, he asked Chris
to take the buttery broth in the bowl and pour it into a glass, and 
make a spicy bloody mary on top of it.  Chris asked him if he had a 
name for this drink and Alec quickly replied, "the clamdigger!"
This man was as old school as they come and I'm fortunate
for him to have known me, even if it was just as a servant. 


Sunday, November 27, 2011

OFD WKND '11




Sunset on Greenwich Cove, on OFD.  It's one of the many things
we do routinely that day.  Hors d'Oeuvres and drinks upon
arrival around noon, family photo around 3ish, then hem and haw
about taking a walk, then take the walk in staggered starts walking
assorted dogs, invariably winding up all together at the end of the
street down by the cove.  This year it was low tide, and the clams,
mussels, and oysters were all exposed for some neat beachcombing.




Gravlax, oysters, cheeses, smoked fish spread, tuna tartare,
dried fruits, olives, pickled herring, and candied nuts were out
for nibbling.  Every year someone says, "Next year we should 
just have hors d'Oeuvres and forget dinner."  Yeah, right.





Friday morning saw bagels just out of the oven with chive cream
cheese and the scantest amount of leftover salmon.  One look out
the back porch and we knew we'd been around the wine world
the night before.  Mojo lovingly refers to this photo as the 'class
 of 2011'. There were dogends in the ashtray, suggesting 
that we may have had a smoke or two as well.






On to Vermont the next day to recuperate from the
overindulgence of the day before.  We dressed loudly to
be easily seen by the local hunters, and ventured into
the woods to cut down fresh Christmas trees for $5
each.  Some of the garments are from the 70's.
Careful with that chainsaw, Grampa.....





Very funny.  Now put the saw away, Charlie Brown.






Four Wiener Drive.  She would have been
pissed if she were left at home.





Grampa felled his tree, then kept the top ten 
or so feet of it.  Ironically, after his tree was 
out of the way, the tree behind it was the best
specimen we'd seen all day.  




We came out of the woods about a hundred yards down the
road from where we went in.  In the process, we sank in a slushy
bog 'til our boots were filled with ice water and we had to kind of
chainsaw our way out to the road.  There was hot soup on the
stove when we got home though, and soon all hardships
were forgotten.  All that and a five dollar tree.  Priceless.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011









Travel safely and enjoy being with the those
who mean the most to you.  Happy Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

OFD '71



video


1971 was a weird year for me and my nuclear family,
 but come Thanksgiving, much was done to keep things 
as normal as possible.  And I'm thankful for that.  Don
became our family Father figure that day, and also 
was the consummate family videographer, way before
the word videographer became commonplace.  These few 
clips I'm sharing with you all are priceless to us and reveal
some very traditional goings on around our bunch on the 
most meaningful of days:  Thanksgiving. Way before 
Facebook, Uncle Don came up with his own acronymal
expression for Thanksgiving and spraypainted it (I'm
thinking it may have been Easy-Off) on the half-bow
window of his family room, nee garage.  What a 
creative place on which to declare the title of his 
holiday film!  Decades later,
THXG took the place of TGNG.  IKR?  LOL!




video



Lunch on the deck before the annual Thanksgiving
Day backyard brawl that would ensue well before 
the sandwiches were digested.  My brother and I were
literally inhaling our food, especially Hans to the right.
At one point I stood up to make a point, but was 
quickly told to sit the hell down by my cousin Mojo.
"If you're gonna talk the talk, you better
walk the walk",  he said.




video


And walk the walk I did.  Immediately after Mojo caught
the pass from Hans, I threw his ass down like a sack of
knob celery.  Then my long bomb to Julie, which burned 
Hans like a piece of Pumpernickel, sealed the game-
winning drive.  There's nothing like football on OFD. 




Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sailing Hats are Cooler




Helmets are for pointy and motorcycles.


Friday, November 18, 2011

The Root of our Family Tree




Celeriac, otherwise known as Knob Celery, has been
the root of our family tree longer than I've been around.
OFD  is when we all enjoy it in a salad made very much
like German Potato Salad.  In fact it's virtually identical,
except that the knobs are used in place of boiled potatoes.
And the keeper of the tradition (Mom) includes chicory 
leaves for garnish and texture.  They're tangy and add a
slight crunch.  They happen to be my favorite part.

It's a grotesque looking vegetable, with roots and knobs
protruding in all directions, and I imagine most folks are 
just plain scared to tackle the thing.  The stalks resemble 
celery, but are more tough and bitter than their cousins.
The prize is definitely the bulbous root.  The whole root
is boiled in salted water in its jacket 'til tender, cooled, 
and then peeled and cubed.  Next step is to toss the cubes
in a simple vinaigrette with thinly sliced onions and chicory
and left to sit, marinating.  Close to service is when
mayonnaise is folded in, although not too much, just enough
to coat all involved, and then salt and pepper to taste.


It's a cold side dish to an otherwise warm array of 
accompaniments (except for cranberries which I don't 
dislike but have never found a use for on THXG).
You'll find yourself raiding the fridge early Thanksgiving
Friday morning, in your underwear, eating it from the 
tupperware with a fork, alternating bites with tugs of 
cold milk straight from the jug. 

Starting to Give Thanks Early


Where do I start?  In no particular order of importance,
because that would be impossible to decide, I
present you two men.  Two men who have been in my 
life who, in somewhat similar ways, have influenced me
in their own subtle style.  I say subtle because neither
of them was ever brash or boastful, overbearing or
obnoxious,  but instead quiet, sensitive, sensible, and
responsible for the well-being of their beloved families.
My memory of them keeps me humble and focused
on being a good provider and a loving father.


video\


Here's my Uncle Don, Mom's big brother, in 1949 rowing
his scull on Carnegie Lake in Princeton.  Let's not get too
excited - he was a Yale man through and through, but he
was a Jersey boy first, and I think Grampa bought 'Geridum'
from somebody around there for him.  Please correct me if
I'm wrong, Mojo.  It's too late to call and I really want to 
post this.  You'll get your 15 minutes later.  Just comment.


video


Joseph George Jomo came from humble beginnings, 
not unlike so many from his generation.  He worked hard 
and became successful, and in turn provided extremely 
well for his wife and two children. He always made time 
for his kids.  My mother beams when she speaks of him. 
Don couldn't have had a bigger supporter.  
I've always wanted my girls to feel the same about me.  
I think so far I'm on the right track. That dedication to his 
family carried over to the next generation, and my 
cousins, brother and sister, and I have been fortunate
to benefit from his vision and generosity.  These two men
are always missed at the table, which has now grown
tremendously big on Thanksgiving Day.   

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Assorted Penguin Guano




Okay, maybe it does blow on Cooper River.  Just goes to show 
you to keep plugging even if you don't get a bullet.





Staten Island  Penguin racing 1973.





Dad and Jill sailing 8839 in the Port half of the photo.
The cunningham is a little loose for the start, no?





Some pointers ala 'The Penguin Patter-1979'.
A couple of collegiate sailing team announcements
as well.  It's always fun to see who's going where.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Influence


Often, children of sailors don't have the choice of whether or not to 
come along on the weekend for a day on the bay, often being 
dragged by their hair or threatened by not having computer access 
later that evening. We have a couple of dear friends that we've
known for 25 years who have embraced and come to love the 
sport of sailing through windsurfing and cruising on our boats during
the course of those years.  In turn, their 14 year old daughter has 
virtually grown up around us with our daughters,  all sailing together
summer after summer.  

This fall, Rebecca had a writing assignment for her ninth grade 
Humanities/English class, and chose to write about her experience
on Chesapeake Bay a few summers ago.  Thanks to her parents 
Meghan and Dennis, she got the opportunity to learn the basics of 
sailing, and then some, through the Annapolis Sailing School.
Following is her essay describing that experience and I have to say
I'm very impressed, and even more so, honored and proud to have 
made such an impression on our great friends' daughter. 





Most people don’t usually to go to school in the summer, but then most people don’t consider sailing school an actual school. I have to admit that before my vacation in Annapolis, I hadn’t either. I’d been in a sailboat before; the one my Uncle Dave and Aunt Ellen owned since I was a toddler.  My cousin Livvie and I spent time hanging over the pulpit, doing our reenactment of the famous Titanic movie scene. We would also spend the day popping in and out of hatches, and holding onto the cables as we jumped into the water at Tices Shoal. Still, I never imagined the actual sailing of the boat was really that difficult. Uncle Dave made it look easy. That was my first mistake.

The first days in Annapolis were miserable and overshadowed by dark hazy clouds that hung like mist around the marina. I was furious with my parents at the time. Why was I in school in July? This was a vacation, really? On top of that it was an awful day, especially for sailing. The air was still, sticky, and thick enough to choke on. I pouted like a little kid and stood glaring at all the boats as if it were their fault I was here instead of on a warm sandy beach. 
To my surprise I discovered that I wouldn’t even get to go in a sailboat until I had passed an exam. It really was like school! When I first caught drift of the exam, I began to get even angrier. I admit I was also a little nervous. What if I didn’t pass? Would I still be allowed to go sailing? The questions, nerves, and frustrations bounced around in my head for a few long minutes. Then the instructor came over and introduced himself as Mark.
He looked like a high school kid, maybe nineteen. I shook his hand glumly as he grinned excitedly. I dimly wondered where all the other students were. My mom told me there was supposed to be at least four other people taking the course along with me. Paying no attention to my thoughts, Mark led me to the “classroom.” I say classroom because it was really just a glorified shed. Inside were some chalkboards and a couple of desks that looked like they might’ve been there longer than Mark had been alive. Nevertheless, I got very acquainted with that room. This was especially true because, as it happened, I was the only student in my class.
First my instructor asked me what I knew about sailing.  I told him the truth. I said that I had been on sailboats all my life and that I knew what they did, but not much else. He seemed amused, maybe at my lack of knowledge? Anyway, he told me I was going to have to learn some basics about sailing before I went out and actually got to sail. He got started putting some notes on the board while I wistfully looked out the open door and into the shimmering Chesapeake Bay, the sun was finally out and I was inside a classroom. This was going to be a long summer.
As the days went on I found the class less irritating. I was even learning most of the things he taught me. First, Mark taught me all the names of everything on a sailboat. I learned which side is starboard, what a dagger board does, how to steer a rudder, and a million other things I had never even thought about before.
After I learned about emergency procedures (such as how to turn a sailboat around if someone falls off), we were almost ready to go out on the water. I only had to pass my written boating exam before any real sailing happened. As I sat in the classroom and watched the other sailboats drift by, the cross breeze filled me with anticipation. The clear blue skies and the wind were calling me; I felt even more determined to pass that test. 
Even though I was stuck in class for weeks, I wasn’t always learning. Some days were spent on my back lazily looking at the clouds as windsurfers and jet skiers zoomed by without a care in the world. More often then not Mark and I goofed off. We played hockey with a tennis ball and some old yardsticks we found, messed with the big expensive boats, and wandered into the Wet Dog Café to get some sandwiches for lunch. When the heat got really unbearable, we even jumped in the bay!
However, I was the happiest when I finally took my test and passed with flying colors. I’d finally get to do what I’d been itching to do; go sailing. Mark laughed at my enthusiasm as I ran out on the dock gazing deliciously at all the options.  Since I was a beginner, we used a laser, but that was fine with me. Lasers were cool little boats meant for fast paced sailing.
I suddenly remembered something my Uncle Dave told me about lasers. He told me that these sailboats have their own unique number printed on them. The numbers stand for the order in which they were made. The very first one started at number 100 and the oldest one my Uncle ever owned was number 802. I glanced up at the number on the laser in front of me, 49,264.
Mark rigged the sail. We got into our bright life vests and got busy setting up the various lines.  At first it was easy going, not too fast as we eased out of the marina. When we were far enough out, Mark pulled the sail tighter and we gain some more speed. I loved the howling winds and the salty smell of bay water. My body buzzed in thrill when the boat tipped so close to the water that my face was merely inches away. Even so, the bobbing of the boat and the constant sound of the gentle waves made me feel right at home.
For a few days, I focused solely on steering the rudder. It took some time to get used to the fact that rudders steer the boat the opposite of the way I moved it. So when I turned it left, the boat turned right, and vise versa. To practice, I spent hours just aiming and running over fluorescent little buoy markers. Soon, it was like riding a bike; second nature and I hardly thought about what I was doing at all.
For the next couple of weeks, Mark would control the rudder and I would jibe and tack. I was a little nervous about messing up all the lines, but since we were using a laser there weren’t that many lines to keep track of. I was thankful for that because a lot of the time, I struggled with tangles of lines and dealt with the jittery flapping of a loose sail mocking me. Soon I got the hang of it and I didn’t need Mark to tell me what to do. I even started getting a feel for where the wind was coming from and what I needed to adjust on the boat. Every time Mark and I returned to the dock we were exhausted, but happily satisfied with the days progress.
Even though I loved sailing, there were definitely days where I hated being out on the water. Some days the blistering heat blared down on us making us sweaty and wretched. Some days the air was so humid and still the boat would hardly move an inch. There were also days where the water was rough and unforgiving, the weather stormy and cold. I distinctly remember capsizing at least once or twice.
In the middle of August, Mark had to go back to college, and I was assigned a new instructor. Her name was Anna and I really liked her. We only got a few days to sail with each other, but we laughed and joked like long lost friends. On my last day, I was really excited to get in one more good sail before I went back home. The excitement was bittersweet though, because I was also sad that I wouldn’t be able to got out sailing whenever I wanted after this.
The wind was pretty good that day and we actually went out farther than usual. Unfortunately, as night approached the wind became nonexistent and we were left drifting inch by measly inch. For a while Anna and I just laid on the boat finding our situation amusing in a cynical kind of way. We talked a while laughing, as we stared up at the moon and listened to the black waves lapping against our boat.
Soon after, we got out the oars and began paddling the long way back. During the way, I found myself thinking about how amazing this experience had been. It had been such a frustrating and exhilarating summer full of new experiences.  I would not soon forget my time in summer school. Some nights when I lie awake in bed and close my eyes, I can still feel the rocking motion of the waves and I remember that summer on the Chesapeake.  


I'm so proud.