Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sailing with DRG

When you’re a summer intern at Godine, you get some added perks. No, not just eating a lunch on the very busy and sunny Common. But rather, a trip to Maine! An island in Maine, no less.

This weekend I traveled north to David’s summer house on an island off the coast of Maine. A day with David in the office promised many surprises. . . so I was certain a weekend involving boats, tennis and lobster would hold even more exciting experiences. I was certainly not disappointed. Even though I’ve lived in Massachusetts my whole life and even used to summer on the Cape, I had never actually been sailing. And so, David set out to rectify that terrible problem.

After a light breakfast, a group of us looked at the water and decided that although there wasn’t much wind, we’d probably be able to make it to a nearby island for a picnic lunch. We set off (which involved much rigging and ropes and nautical terminology that went right over my head), and were barely crawling along, in an ocean that was near glass-like, when all of the sudden someone looked behind us and spotted low hanging dark clouds. Not only were the clouds incredibly ominous, they were also moving at light-speed. Within two minutes of having spotted them, the sea started to turn choppy. The entire sailboat tipped on its side. (Thank goodness I had thought to grab my book, which had just been lying on the deck seconds before!) The less experienced "sailors" were hurried downstairs and the true seaman took over the sails, wrestling to get the mainsail down as quickly as possible, lest the gale-force winds drag us over to the nearby island and dash us upon the rocks!

David remained at the rudder, calling out orders while I huddled below deck. After many minutes of clanking and banging from above, the sail was safely down and we were able to motor back to the home island. The ride still consisted of wild winds and pelting rain, mind you. When we arrived back, the rain had stopped and the sun was peaking from behind the clouds. All in all, the strange and sudden squall had lasted a mere half an hour.

I could not have fathomed a more "interesting" first sail, though I should have expected something monumental when I set out to sea with David at the helm.

[Kit Harris is an intern at Godine and will be a Junior at Johns Hopkins University this Fall, studying for the year in Paris and then Florence. "Oh, she exaggerates," says David.]

1 comment:

  1. Kit—Your first sailing story doesn't differ much from mine. Unfortunately I was on a much smaller boat with my very experienced fiance. Not only did he warn me that winds were on the horizon but he shouted to me to "lean over the edge of the boat." I was too afraid to hang precariously over the side to keep the boat from capsizing. We capsized in full gear—book too.

    We have been married 29 years and I have not sailed with him again.