Friday, August 04, 2006

Crew Looking for Boat! 

Under the encouragement of the boss lady from Chicago, who said when I get to Tampa, I should look into crewing on a boat for the mid-week fun races, I called the Davis Island Yacht Club earlier this week inquiring about that possibility. I was told to come on down for the Thursday night races - someone is always looking for crew. So, not having any idea what to expect, I drove down to the club, boldly strolled past the sign that said "Members and Guests Only", and into the clubhouse, where I confidently presented myself to a lady standing by a whiteboard. "I was told to come down here," said I, "and inquire about crewing on a boat." She nodded, picked up a microphone and announced, "Crew looking for a boat! Crew looking for a boat!" Not a second later did a woman call out, "I need crew!" Apparently, this kind of thing is done regularly. And just like that, I was aboard the 32 foot "Air Rights". I made sure to inform the kind lady who picked me up that my experience was limited and I was just looking to learn and have fun. She seemed to indicate that was fine. I was introduced to the Captain, and the other crewman. Pretty soon we were under way. The captain spent most of the time employing colorful language at high decibel levels, which turned me off at first, until the other crewman said, "Don't take it personally. It's just his way." The phrase, "mouth like a sailor" came to mind, and I relaxed into the role of landman, adjusting my attitude to that of a subserviant laborer, which provided the right frame of mind for me to enjoy the rest of the sail.

As it turned out, we could not even finish the race due to large amounts of lightning in the area and a quick storm that blew up. There was plenty of excitement to be had, however, between two boats colliding, another boat being overpowered by the storm and capsizing, and one man having to be wheeled off the dock due to injuries. The lightning was exciting, and I was grateful to get out of it when we did. The sailing was a lot of really hard work, more that I was expecting, having only crewed aboard the much lower stress level "Hot Flash" in Chicago. My muscles and hands are sore today, and my fingers are blistered from trimming the jib, which I have to learn how to do much faster to satisfy the Captain. It was a great experience all in all, I think, and one which I'll repeat. Much to my surprise, the Captain invited me to return next week and crew again. "It's the only way you'll learn," he declared. The other crewman said in his thick Irish brogue, "Once you get to know her better, things will go smoother. But you did real good tonight, man. Real good." The Irishman told me to report directly to him aboard the boat next week, and he'll show me all the steps towards getting ready to make sail.

We all shared a meal afterwards and there was much commiserating over the race. Captain asked if I was available for Sunday races, to which I replied, "No, I'm usually pretty busy on Sundays." He asked what I did, and I gave him a card. About a thousand looks crossed his brow at once as he comprehended the card's nature. Finally, he got out, "Well, I guess I understand why you're busy on Sunday's." This led to a discussion about the '28 Prayer Book, of all things. In his brief flirtation with religion, it seems he went to an Episcopal church that still used the old prayer book. Or maybe it was before the '79 had come out yet, it was hard to tell. In any event he said, "Well, we definietely want you to come back now. There's plenty of souls to save in here."

Me, I'd rather just concentrate on sailing (it is to become an escape from the office, after all), but the Lord will use me as the Lord will.



Hey ... that is very cool: Now you just need a catchy phrase:

"Jibbing for Jesus" has possibilities ...

By Blogger Reverend Ref +, at 8:31 PM  

Hey Ryan,
Good for you for getting out there and finding other experiences to round out your life.
Sometimes it takes a while to get a community going for yourself that sustains you outside of church.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:06 PM  

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