Himself didn’t have to paddle out very far before the wind filled the sails with a snap. It startled us all as we looked up.
“Mind the boom!” Himself hollered as the sail began to swing towards my daughters. With wide eyes they watched as the boom quickly came at their faces and then they awkwardly ducked under it.
“It’s called a boom?” Daughter Two said.
“Yup, and can you guess why?” Himself responded. Daughter Two shook her head while she looked over her shoulder and watched the sail with deep suspicion. She clutched the hull with white fingers. “Because if you don’t move out of it’s way…it goes BOOM when it hits you in the head!” The kids and I laughed. Nervously.
“And then it knocks you both out of the boat, and unconscious, which is another good reason to be wearing a life jacket.” I said in a low tone to Himself. He begrudgingly responded with a conciliatory nod.
“The wind seems to have picked up.” Himself noted. He smiled.
As we began to beat and tack across the lake we got into a rhythm. With every swing of the boom the children and I would cry out “Oh ohh ohhhhhh!” rather comically as the boom shifted.
It didn’t take long before we were moving at a fairly rapid clip. It made me a bit nervous. After all, I didn’t have much in the way of sailing skills, so we were relying heavily upon my husband to ensure we were safe.
I looked at the kids. Eyes squinted against the wind that was blowing in their faces, and hair snaking wildly, they seemed to be enjoying the thrill of the speed. Their gleeful little faces made me relax a little.
As we neared the far north west end of the lake it was time of come about. Himself carefully began the turn. As we changed direction the sails flailed as the wind tried to catch them and then with a crisp snap and a loud crack, the sails pulled taut as Himself guided the tiller.
“Oh ohh ohhhhh!” The four of us groaned as the boom quickly swung past. We giggled.
Now that we were facing back towards camp I could see from this perspective just how expansive and beautiful the property was. Heavily forested, I could barely make out the top of the main house. I could see campers diving into the lake from the fishing dock. It looked like the Navy Seals were in canoes with the motor boat zig zagging around the periphery. Even on the far side of the lake with the wind in my ears I could hear the voices of Bobbo and Muddy as they barked out orders to the Navy Seals club!
“Look!” I yelled to the kids as I pointed towards camp. They nodded and smiled as they took in camp from this distance. I felt very blessed to be part of it. So much beauty, so many wonderful people, so many cool new adventures for the kids and myself!
In my happy brief reverie I glanced back at Himself. He had that stern look on his face again. I felt the pinch of nerves return. I gave him a querying look. He nodded and then glanced down at the tiller. That’s when I saw that the tiller was badly cracked. A small rusty screw lay exposed in the midst of the gap. It must have happened when we came about. Himself was attempting to hold the tiller together with two hands, but with each gust of wind, I could see that the angle was widening. I wasn’t sure that we would be able to make it safely back to camp before it completely snapped apart.
“Hey guys!” I said to the kids in an excited voice. The turned to look at me. “Let’s go swimming!” I pasted a huge goofy grin to my face.
“Now?” Daughter One asked confused.
“Yup. NOW!” I yelled as I heard the tiller splinter apart.