This weekend saw a lot of firsts for the Clarity family. First off, we cast lines on our first family sail for the season on Sunday evening! Sure, the mainsail still isn’t rigged, but despite crazy weather and crazy schedules, we were able to get this boat off the dock. I consider that a big win!
The first sail each year is an exciting one, for obvious reasons, and also because Claire’s experience changes so much in a year. She notices more, processes more, delights in more. In previous years, she’s been a busybody, not willing to sit for long while we’re underway and requiring a lot of maintenance (though generally happy). This Sunday was a preview to an amazing summer on the water. Claire was content sitting on the bow, watching the water slice by. She explored the boat with vigor, climbing the topsides like a jungle gym, all within the safety of the lifeline netting. And partway through the sail, she asked to go down below and happily read to herself in her cabin with the boat rocking as we motored back to the harbor.
We know they won’t always be this easy, but what a heartwarming introduction to the season!
This sail was also a big first for me because, somewhat proudly, yet also with a little bit of shame, I’ll admit that this was the first time I took the boat out of the slip myself (meaning I was at the helm while Aaron handled the lines), and the first time I docked it myself after we came in. I wish I had done this before, but to be honest, having control of a 37-foot vessel in such a confined space terrified me. It was time to bite the bullet, and now, it will get less and less daunting. And hey – I didn’t break anything!
Aaron also raced with Turning Point Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the National Offshore One-Design Regatta (affectionately referred to as the NOODs; insert obvious chuckles here). Claire, myself and my mom spent Saturday afternoon frolicking around the new Maggie Daley Park with seemingly everyone else in the world before meeting up with Aaron at the Chicago Yacht Club, which hosted the race. With Claire down for the night, I did some boat laundry while he settled in on the setee to watch the Hawks game. The poor guy was so exhausted that he passed out before the final buzzer.
Sunday morning saw an 8 a.m. call time for Aaron, but Claire and I tucked in for a lazy Sunday morning amidst some pretty impressive storms. I love how being down below during these always feels like you’re in the middle of a waterfall – though it’s loud, it’s surprisingly soothing. Once the clouds headed east, we hit the beach before picking up our wearied and worn sailor at the end of the three-day regatta. And as soon as we got back to Clarity, what did he want to do? Cast lines, of course! I swear, he’s part fish.