Before long we had the boat unlocked and made ready, a pull, two on the motor and the engine started easily. It idled quietly as I finished the last of work to push off. My friend finished rolling up the sail cover and stashed it in the cabin as I undid the lines. I question, was she ready, an affirmation, and I pushed back as I stepped aboard and set the motor in reverse.
In the early morning light, the sun muted behind the widely scattered clouds we headed out of the marina. A few fishermen, a kayak, were all to be seen. Even over the sound of the idling motor the early morning seemed to make us talk quietly. The things we talked about were minor, little things, smiles, laughs, I could see some of the tension begin to ease from her frame.
Before long we were beyond the point as I had her move to the tiller a quick lesson, the bow moves opposite of the tiller, tiller towards trouble, keep the windex atop the mast pointed at our bow and I'll raise the mainsail. She joked that I had a lot of confidence in her, I told her of course I do. The sail was raised and we fell off on a broad reach while I moved back to the tiller. Killing the motor I raised it out of the water. Another offer of the tiller, keep the bow pointed in this direction and I'll bring out the jib. More joking about trust while she handled the tiller like an old pro the jib was unfurled and we picked up speed.
We sailed back and forth this morning in the light winds. Conversation was as light as the wind, a few minor discussions about what I was doing with the lines on the boat, how to convince her to sail upwind, downwind, across the wind. The wind stayed steady enough and the fishermen were sleeping in that I braved shooting the channel between the shore and the little island this morning. It was nice to see her smile again, to watch her put away some of the things on her mind if only for a little while.
After a bit I asked her if she'd like a swim, she jumped at the offer and I made a line ready and tied it to a flotation cushion. I hove the boat to and threw it behind us, lowered the swim ladder and warned her to stay close to the line while she swam, the wind was fairly light and variable and I wasn't sure I could keep the boat hove-to for long, if we started moving again to grab the rope and that way I could leave her behind. She swam some, the wind played it's tricks, I kept putting us back in the hove-to to keep us fairly still in the water, the next time I'll just anchor. She had fun, before long she was climbing back aboard, a hand offered, accepted and she was soaking up the sun once more.
We sailed a bit more, while the wind was lasting. I had been single handing the sails all morning so that she could enjoy her day. I offered to let her try her hands with the lines, just to feel the wind, to see what she thought. I think she had fun for the bit that we sailed on with her on the lines.
Time waits for no one it seems. Before too long our time was up and it was time to head back. Moving her back to the tiller she pointed us into the wind as I furled the jib. Lowering the mainsail I tied it to the boom and put out our fenders. Into the marina we went and she was soon stepping off the boat onto the dock to hold us tight to the side by our lifelines as I set the springlines.
Were we successful? The smile she had as she left seemed to tell the tale. There will be more days on the water for her. I'm glad she accepted the offer. A low key, yet very fun morning sharing something with a good friend.
Till my next adventure.