829 Southdrive

829 Southdrive

A New Jersey state of mind

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Eight years ago today, we lost the man smoking the
cigar at the helm.  But yesterday the man in the 
foreground, my Stepfather, crewed for me in my
boat.  It was the first time in well over twenty years
that we had raced together.  It was a refresher
course for me on how to make the boat move no
matter how little wind there actually was.  Bob hasn't 
raced a boat in ages, but you never forget something
that you understand so well.  Kinda like riding a bike.

In light winds yesterday, we had a decent start, were
second around the windward mark, and put a ton of 
space between us and the rest of the fleet.  
We would have retained that second place had the 
race not been called due to the time limit.  We got
within a hundred yards of the finish and the wind 
completely vanished.  We kept urging the boat 
about, but made no progress toward the line, like 
there was an invisible forcefield.  I equate it to the 
dream I have once in a while where I'm running as 
hard as I can but I can't move forward.
It was just like that.

During the race, we had a few good conversations,
and at one point I mentioned that Sunday the 15th 
was the eight year anniversary of Jim's death.  Bob
said how he really missed my Dad, and I agreed. It
got a little quiet for a moment. 

My Brother and I are so fortunate to have had two 
Dads, who were friends before my parents' divorce, 
and for so much longer afterward.  Two mentors for 
sailing, and more importantly, for life.  Lucky


  1. Anniversaries of the passing of family members always makes me a bit sentimental and contemplative. Good thing you were out on the water.

    1. No better place to contemplate and reflect. Monday will be full of that while dragging a lure astern and blasting the ipod on my cockpit speakers. Then a quick stop at Krowicki's for some sweet white corn and Jersey tomatoes, and home for dinner with Baywife. Life continues to be good.

  2. that sounds like it was a good way to remember him.

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  4. And where are you now? Hopefully, On the water, in the wind, and with your family. Just like every picture I have seen on this blog. Sailboats and family. Your Dad is at peace, knowing that the tradition continues. Love ya, old friend.

  5. I have had many experiences where the wind was not as strong as the current and forced me to abandon races I could have finished. So I can say I feel that pain. But I have never been able to sail as an adult with my father as you have done this weekend. So, I have to say I will never experience that intimate joy. You are truly blessed.

    A father is neither an anchor to hold us back, nor a sail to take us there, but a guiding light whose love shows us the way.

    1. I should have added that I've had the penultimate opportunity of racing on my youngest son's boat on a few occasions. On his boat. The experience gave me intense joy. You gave Bob a huge gift.

    2. Yeah Doc, the current was a huge factor, more than I can remember in recent history.

  6. Regrets, Baydog, that I am only just reading this post now. We have been away for over a week. Would that I could have responded on the anniversary day.

    I remember clearly, and sadly, the day that I learned from you that the great man had passed. But the day that I recall joyously was the hot summer afternoon on the Eastern Shore when we celebrated his life and the contribution he made in his last years to the restoration of that glorious ship. How fitting a final accomplishment that was for a natural born sailor!

    You are truly fortunate and blessed to have had another great man step into your life when he did. I find it an incredibly moving coincidence (if it was) that you asked Bob to crew for you on that special day. A son and two fathers in the same boat, one living and one gone. Sharing, at one moment, the sound of silence.

    1. No doubt he was there with us, Mojo. If I can clearly see the Barnegat Lighthouse while sailing, his remains are close by.

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