?`s and ANNEswers

Ten minutes to write. Less time to read.


I’ve never been a devotee of sailing even though Earl has tried hard to convert me over the years. But when the mast breaks and falls off the boat during your first sailing lesson, he’s working against overwhelming odds.

Still . . . Earl convinced me to participate in a regatta in St. Maarten’s that simulated the famous America’s Cup races. That meant a racing boat, no motor on board, and everyone given a job to make our boat cross the finish line first. I opted to be the bartendress.

Let it be noted that racing boats do not have bathroom facilities, which made my job easier as most of the women declined a beer. The men were less cautious.

I approached this race with the idea that I only had to endure the next two hours, and it would be over. I wrapped myself in a towel, found a place to sit near the cooler that was the bar, and prepared to clench my teeth. The captain and his two mates gave instructions while one woman, who seemed more anxious than I, became seasick. The countdown began.

Even though one of the mates explained the course and the competition, I didn’t understand a thing other than we would be tilting (This is not the technical term.) at a fifty degree angle. That’s pretty precarious from my perspective, so I made sure to hunker low and hold on.

Perhaps it was the wind, which was light, or the Caribbean waters, which are enticing, or the comradery of group, which was instantaneous.  (Sailors are like that.) Or perhaps it was because we won the race. Because, in spite of my trepidation, I had a great time aboard the Canada II.

Yes, Earl, I’d do it again.

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