ripples on night water

Today is a lay-day. The troops are largely at home, on the mend, nursing hangovers, and sleeping away the day. Last night was a good one.
Beat by heat and humidity, we retired to the J.R. for a few by 4:00. Much of the West End Mob was there; the WEYC committee was meeting in preparation for the upcoming Foxy’s Wooden Boat Regatta, and a few other folks had popped out of the background. Val, with hugs, warm smiles, and tall tales, was back in from delivery, looking for crew for the next one. The infamous Carter (who i’d often heard of, but never met) had recently flown in.
Spirits were generally high. The bar was flowing well. Ah, how wonderful is it when we three VI Shipwrights show up, and without word, our three regular drinks appear before us? That’s service! Matt from Smugglers (an infrequent visitor to the JR) showed up, with ideas for a floating bar in West End. James began spinning tales of late-night floating parties from “back in the day”; rafts of lifejackets and coolers, floating docks, decrepit hulks. Soon enough, the idea was formed that we should go sailing.
Feeling that two boats are better than one, i called up Spence and Stacey on La Buscadora. Spence’s Sonar had stayed tied up in the harbour since February 13, and he really needed a fire under his ass to get out sailing it. Still, resistance was great on the phone; something about work in the morning, needing his sleep, etc.
At about 10:00, James and Scott blazed off towards the boatyard to fetch our playboat, an Impulse 21 called “Canuckleheads”. Meanwhile, back at the bar, i endevoured to hold down the fort. Some while later, i see a sail approaching the JR’s dock, and it doesn’t look like the Impulse. It’s Spencer! Hooray! Scott motored out to La Buscadora and somehow woke up their sailing urges.
James appeared soon after, and there we had the makings of a fine evening. i popped back upstairs and drained the frozen marguerita machine into a gallon jug, grabbed a few cups, and rejoined the fray. Stacey had stocked the Sonar’s cooler, so both boats were now well-founded craft indeed! James, Scott, Roughy (the dog) and myself crewed the Impulse. On the Sonar, it was Spence, Matt, Scot, and Stace.
The wind was light, but building as we ghosted out of the harbour into the Channel. The moon just past full. The water flat and barely rippled. For two or three hours we two crews ducked and dodged, tacked and gybed, beating east, reaching over to the St. John shore, cutting wakes, sending laughter across the moonlit waters. Crews passed drinks from boat to boat. James and i, both too quick to sunburn by day, revelled in shirtless sailing. A moonburn! A moonburn!
Staggering on the foredeck, settting the spinnaker for the downchannel run home. Circling back to meet the Sonar. The last cap to the evening; a frolick aboard La Buscadora, leaping from the upper deck into the warm sea. One last setting of sail, to take us back to the dock. And homeward homeward at 3:00…


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