Beetle Cat

Today I went out for a sail in a craft from my childhood.  She was built and raised in New England, until it was time to travel elsewhere.  I  raced her as a teen and sailed her pregnant while each daughter floated in my belly.  Beetle Jen and I have history.  She traveled south as I went west.  It feels good to reunite in warmer waters.  And, wow, recently renovated, Beetle Jen shines classic at sea.
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I sailed her with my dad, like always.  Out of channel’s protection, the waves crested over four feet at times, the wind speed strengthened.  We were delighted to have a reef in her sails. My camera was put away and I wondered if an afternoon sail was too risky.  I thought of sleeping Olive, coloring Betty and Lucy.
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I have a hard time with being a risk-taker as a mom.  It’s only been in the last few years I’ve started wearing a life jacket.  I can’t ever remember wearing one as a child, dangling my legs over our wooden sloop on deck’s low heel side.  In contrast, I can’t ever remember my girls NOT wearing one, even on a dock.  So on this day my dad and I wore life jackets and kept a close eye on waves watched from water level, dryly seated on Beetle Jen‘s planks.

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There’s familiarity in her lines, her grains, her color.  There’s love in her restoration, her rigging, her memories.

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Heading in, it was so lovely to float beside four manatees at play, slowly rolling a grey flipper as if to wave.  Pelicans sat atop mangroves framing the shoreline, the pilings bookending the boats.  We didn’t see any dolphins today; rare.  Maybe the waves were to high, the wind too strong.  Maybe they went home to babes, held close to their heart all the while at sea, like me.
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~Smooth sailing to you and yours in the days ahead.

2 Comments

  • Earth Mama says:

    Ohh the image of manatees playing and the opportunity to glimpse a few dolphins seems so lovely. Your recollections and descriptions of your boat are so beautiful. Thanks for sharing! I feel like I was right there with you. I often think of how there were no carseats, or seat belts, when I was a kid too. I guess they weren't too safety savy back then? Dunno.

    :)Lisa

  • I feel refreshed just reading this and looking at the pictures. Not to mention it's just a lovely little story. xo

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