Tag Archives: sailing

the dance.

31 Jul

“Trim.”

The whirl of the winch, the spin of the handle.

“Good.”

The sound of the waves rushing past, rapping the hull like a rhythmic drum verse; a pulse as we ride up the mountainous swell and surf down the other side, deep into its trough.

“Trim.”

Whoosh. Arms and hands a smear of gray as they spin around and around pulling in the ease on the sheet.

“Trim!”

“It’s me! I’m coming down, I’m coming down.”

A flap of the chute, a snap really, as it settles back into position. Full and bright. A parachute tugging its charge down a watery path.

“Trim.”

The early morning sun is starting to wake. She stretches her glittery rays up above her head tickling the high clouds and winking a soulful “good morning!” to the rolling waters of Lake Michigan.

The sailors pause a moment, faces angled to the east, embracing the golden warmth of the rays, drinking in the colors of the birth of a new morning.

A moment later, the chute, indignant that it be ignored in the face of a new day, signals its displeasure with a loud snap as it folds into itself.

Startled, the sailors return their attention to the roiling waters, the wind, the sway of their vessel.

“Trim.”

trim

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winterspring/summer

25 Jun

A photo montage of life to date.

 

 

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IMAG5460IMG_20150522_104841

 

petrichor.

23 Jun

A soft breeze blows gently.

It caresses my hot skin as though it were silk, whispering through the quaking Aspens that stand sentinel off of my front porch. My skin erupts in a cascade of goose bumps as the cool air rushes to catch up with the heady barbecue smoke drifting from the grill next door.

Rain is coming.

Perhaps it will bring with it booming claps of thunder and bright shards of lightning, baring off of their clouds as though running from the rain itself.

Perhaps it will blow south to Breckenridge, or perhaps north to Steamboat, Lake Dillon and our Rocky Mountains doing their best to redirect the wind, the rain, the lighning, the thunder, and the clouds that are shrouding Red and Buffalo in a fog of a brooding Aegean blue.

I recently learned that the smell of the rain hitting the dry ground has a name, an identity of its own.

Petrichor.

Somehow, the word, Petrichor, takes away from the scent that punctuates so much of the summers of my childhood in the Midwest.

Summer has a mythical quality that, at least in my case, stems from childhood.

The excitement of long days on beach, the sand, dusty and hot, between my toes and the chilling waters of Lake Michigan making my feet, my hands, and my spine ache with cold.

The shrieks and cheers of summer nights spent playing “Kick the Can” with neighborhood kids of all ages, our own little block party situated in the midst of our neighbors’ bushes and trees, all within 50 steps of the can, itself situated in the middle of the street.

The chorus of halyards as the lines sing their song against the mast; the gentle rocking of the waves as the harbor softly recites a lullaby and lulls you off to sleep.

Ice cream, Chocolate Chocolate Chip, dripping down your cone, down your hand and up your arm; a secret salty, sweet smack as you discreetly lick the drip clean from your appendage.

Petrichor.

Though the word is bit scientific for me, the smell, the identity of the rain?

It means everything.

red sky at morn…

18 Jan

Sailors take warn.

red sky at morn

Almost exactly 12 hours after this fabulous sunrise (as seen from the Inn at Keystone…) woke Summit County from its peaceful slumber, a cold front blew in bringing with it 40 mph winds with 70 mph gusts and two (yes, a measly TWO ) inches of snow. Alas, it made for a beautiful sight while it lasted.

chicago yacht club race to mackinac.

19 Jul

It’s not often that I feel homesick for the Windy City.

I am very lucky to live in an outdoors(wo)man’s paradise; in a little apartment nestled in a lush green valley, that’s cradled by tremendous 12 and 13,000 foot peaks. Heck, my humble abode even boasts a bubbling creek in the backyard and I often eat breakfast on my deck with the hummingbirds, as they zip in for a taste of the sweet nectar in my cheery red hummingbird feeder. On my “weekends”, I hike 14ers, hang out at the lake, and venture through the woods for a glimpse at the wonders of Summit County’s mammoth rock walls and brightly colored wildflowers.

But this particular week always pulls at my heartstrings and makes this homegrown midwesterner second guess her decision to move away from the great city of Chicago. You see, it’s Mac Week. The start of the Chicago Yacht Club’s Race to Mackinac, a 333 mile (289.4 nautical miles) regatta starting at the Chicago Yacht Club and finishing in the confluence of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron off of Mackinac Island, Michigan.

For freshwater sailors, the Mac Race is the pinnacle of their year. Crews spend the majority of the spring and early summer training for this 333 mile dash up through the deep blue waters of Lake Michigan. A dash that can be as quick as 24 hours and take as long as 80.

In our family, the legacy of the Mac Race began with my Dad, well actually with Blair Vedder. An avid sailor, Blair taught my dad to live and breathe the ever-changing winds of Lake Michigan, to be enamored by the cold fronts and summer storms that roll in off of the temperamental lake, and how to read the sails and the rocking and rolling of a hull like the fluidity and rhythm of his own body.

The Mac is a test of patience, a challenge of the wits, and the best adventure a boat lover can experience. The race is highlighted by moments of adrenaline fueled drives to survive; where the excitement that’s pumping through your veins is all that’s keeping you alert and moving lightening quick on a deck that’s pitching and bucking like a bronco stung by a bee. There are other moments (sometimes days) of extreme quiet where you crave a bit of movement in the air. Just enough to see the speedometer reach 0.01 knots and if you hit 1.00 knots, a round of cheers ring through the quiet air from your fellow crew members and the boats drifting around you. The race is punctuated by the scent of pines trees wafting through the air as you make your way down the Straits, the feeling of elation as you cross under the Mac Bridge, breakfast with the sunrise, and dinner with the sunset.

Sailing and boats have been part of my life since I was just a few weeks old. I’ve spent nearly every summer enjoying the cool spray of Lake Michigan on my sun-warmed skin. I’ve fallen asleep to the soothing rocking of Slapshot as she settled comfortably into the deep waters of Lake Michigan with her shrouds singing a calming lullaby as they rang against the mast. And I’ve completed the Mac Race three times. And while I love the cool summer air and scent of the Earth as I hike through Mother Nature’s masterpiece, my summers on Lake Michigan are never far from my heart.

Fair seas and following winds to all the 2014 Mac racers out there. To the crew of Slapshot, I have a brown drink on order for your finish.

Track Slapshot’s progress here! Boat name Slapshot 124

mac 14

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twenty-seven.

6 Aug

twenty-seven.

Giordano’s, ski tip, and sailing, oh my! Thanks to everyone who made my big day so special. I am one lucky girl.

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SLAPSHOT.

16 Jul

SLAPSHOT.

Congrats to Slapshot’s motley crew for their exciting Mac finish! Wish I could be up on the island to help you celebrate!

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