In college, our friend Volus used to say that it was always sunny on Sunday.  Even if it was gray in the morning, the sun was out by the time church was over.  I found that he was right for the vast majority of the time.  This weekend was no exception.  Saturday was rainy, but Sunday dawned bright, clear, and beautiful.

Jon had hitched up the sailboat and packed the car Saturday night so it was all ready to go in the morning.  The day was beautiful and after church the kids played outside instead of in the firehall.  After the fellowship time (during which we discovered that people aren't used to our spontaneity yet - no one was ready to join us sailing this time) we headed down to North Park Lake, stopping for lunch first.


It's a little harder practically when I have a baby to take care of.  Last year when we went sailing with Noah, we had other people with us.  It definitely reminded me of that first summer sailing with Jonathan.  By now, Jonathan takes care of himself, so that was good, because Jon was in charge of the boat.  Noah was much more unhappy about the life jacket than he had been last fall, so I did a lot of nursing in the bows.


North Park Lake is the one where the boat ramp is on the other side of a tunnel from the main part of the lake, so we have to paddle under and to the other shore and then put the mast up.  However, Jon had never done it alone, and he was struggling against the wind.  So we pulled up to the near shore instead, which really worked just fine. 


There was a good breeze on most of the lake, and we explored more of it than we had ever before.  I told Jon that the wind would have been perfect if I had not had a baby to take care of.  Heeling over is just not quite as fun when there's another 25 lbs not attached to me that I have to hold onto.  Noah did have fun at times, peering over the side and trying to touch the water.


The lake is shaped rather like a J, and we went around the lower curved part first, then came back and tacked up the straight. We chased a goose up the lake; every time we came to the northeast shore, he'd honk and move further up, only to be disturbed again the next time.  Usually, there are barrels blocking off a section where the park rents out canoes and paddleboats, but they weren't there.  Jon thought they hadn't opened for the season yet.  So we took the opportunity to go up and see that section.  We passed the boathouse and discovered that there is another little dam at the head of the lake. 


Then we turned around and planned on enjoying having the wind behind us, so not as much tacking.  But I've forgotten the details of sailing with the wind behind and had no advice for Jon when a puff came up and heeled us over more than we'd like.  My gut reaction to a puff is to let out the sheet and turn closer to the wind, but Jon already had the sheet out as far as it would go, and the wind was behind us.  (We did not put the jib up because it was breezy and I wouldn't have been able to man the sheets anyway.)


Noah had fallen asleep, so I was able to enjoy the sail more, looking at the sky and the trees and the water.  Jonathan spent part of the time lying down on the bottom boards, resting and looking at the sky.


We were about 3/4 of the way back down the lake when another puff came up - this time it was too strong. 


Yes, folks, the Daleys capsized the Black Rabbit in North Park Lake again!  Noah, sleeping on my lap, was rudely awakened by being submerged in cold water.  I fell in under him and kept my eyes open, so I saw him submerge above me, but we floated again quickly.  He coughed a couple of times, but was fine, except of course he was still in the cold water.  This time, I did not panic, but just held onto the strap of his life jacket, knowing the jacket itself would keep him afloat.  He did not struggle, just held his body stiff and cried and cried.  But after that first dunking, his face stayed out of the water, so I knew he was safe.


Then I looked up and noticed that Jonathan was not even wet!  He was standing on the centerboard case, clinging to a side stay.  I was treading water, holding Noah's strap, not really sure what to do next.  Then Jon called out, "You need to get out of the water, it's too cold."  So I tucked Noah under the forestay and ducked after him and started swimming for shore, towing him behind and saying comforting words that were completely ignored.  We were only about 40 feet from shore, right in front of some fishermen.


Jon took Jonathan ashore quickly and Jonathan was already wrapped in someone's sweater by the time Noah and I got there.  Jon took Noah the last 10 feet and I walked out, breathless and shaking, mostly with adrenaline and not with cold.  One lady headed up to her car to get some tshirts and another sweater.  I took off our life jackets and then just held Noah close to me until she came back.  He did not cry once he was in my arms.   When the lady, whose name was Amy, got back, we undressed Noah and wrapped him in her sweater.  I was still not thinking about myself, so when Jon told me I had to take off my shirt, I was shocked.  It's one thing for him to take off his shirt, it's another thing for me!  But Amy had some extra tshirts so I managed to change without being too indecent.


Jon had swum out and retrieved the boat and floating items to shore while Amy was getting the clothes.  I think the only thing we lost was Noah's sun hat which was blue and blended in with the water.  Amy and her husband volunteered to drive the boys and me to our car, while Jon paddled the boat back to the ramp.  Jonathan was concerned that there were not any car seats in the car, but we explained that it was a special case and only for a short drive.  By the time we got around to the other side, we could see Jon still bailing.


They dropped us off at our car, I changed Noah into his own dry clothes, wrapped Jonathan in a towel, and returned the sweaters.  She said I could keep the shirt (I don't keep extra clothes for me in the diaper bag!)  After I thanked them again and they drove away, I finished getting dry clothes on the boys and turned the heat on full blast in the car as Jon had requested.  Then we saw him paddle up to the ramp.  I hadn't realized he wanted me to drive the car over, but once that got communicated, we headed over.


It was only after the boat was pulled up on the trailer that I felt cold and started shivering.  Jon had changed into his bathing suit before the sail, so his overalls were still dry in the car.  I had packed extra underwear and socks because often there is a little water in the boat.  So I changed into dry underwear, socks, and Jon's overalls, and then realized my jacket was in the car, too.  So I took off my shirt which had gotten damp from holding a wet diapered Noah, and just put on the jacket.  Finally warm and dry!


Jon and Jonathan finished packing up the boat and then we headed on up to the Costanzas' house for a church bonfire and fellowship time.  Jon dried my damp shirt in front of the vents and then put it on so he wouldn't only be wearing a bathing suit.  When we got there, I borrowed jeans, shirt and shoes, and Jon put his own overalls back on.


We had a nice time talking and playing, getting to know our new church people more, and got home late, thankful and exhausted from a full, fun, exciting, crazy yet safe in the end, day. 


P.S. The Costanzas like our spicy devilled eggs! 

Posted by Heather Daley on April 30, 2007, 8:11 am | Read 6058 times
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A bonfire is just what you needed!

Posted by SursumCorda on April 30, 2007, 9:59 am

I tried to send a trackback here, with no success. Actually, I think I tried three times. Once from IrishOboe by mistake, then twice from LUYH because I thought I'd messed it up the first time.

Posted by SursumCorda on April 30, 2007, 11:53 am

We also found out what happens if you forget to put in the boards that hold up the centerboard and then drive 30 miles. I think it is okay to still use, it has just been sanded down very nicely.

Posted by jondaley on April 30, 2007, 12:50 pm

I enabled trackback logging to see what the problem was, and it now works. There is a bug in the current (1.2) version of LifeType if trackback logging is turned off. I am sure it is a simple fix, but I don't know how to fix it, so I'll need Oscar to take a look at it.

Posted by jondaley on April 30, 2007, 1:00 pm

Whoa! I need to go sailing with you guys!
Hopefully these incidents will just be good memories in the future.

Posted by MichaelQ on April 30, 2007, 2:06 pm

Jonathan said that it was a lot of fun, and we should capsize every time.

Posted by jondaley on April 30, 2007, 2:34 pm
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