Gaff Rigged Catboat

Day Sailing

By: - Jul 23, 2015


We struggle to pull the sail
toward the bow to insert
its ropes along gaff
then boom
hauling an inch
or two at a tug
Then attach the nine rings
to grommet safe holes
to climb along the mast
reverse the  twist
of the pin remove the pin
in order to stuff the hole
into the U shaped fitting
replacing the pin and twisting
with fingers and pliars

An hour and a half later
a dozen pulls flood
the engine wait then
a few more warm it up
which had started first pull
three weeks previous
after nine months
in storage

Then he doesn't  feel well
asks me to steer
have to stand and use
toes and ball joints
because I cannot see
through the badly furled sail
Nevermind dark cloud anymore
Only essentials are spoken
Better turn around
Yamaha eight quits again
requires more pulling
He speaks of heart attack
feels nausea hot dizzy
Peripheral sight closes in
keeping awareness
starboard and port
Curve back to the mooring
through so many partying people
wondering how to slow the engine
He reaches the boat hook
reduces the speed
Steer the big circular turn
into the southwesterly
Which buoy is it?
The big one
He steers up on it
I grab the blue lines
with the boat hook
tie down
hand over the radio
You have to hold this button
It's on sixty eight
This is Rachel
calling AYC launch
Looking for a ride

Have a good sail?
We didn't actually get that far
But we got the sail on
Wingaersheek's crowded
No ambulance but gives me
car keys which I manage
reclining being a foot shorter
unable to operate
the electric seat mover

Home where he agrees
to his wife to be driven
to the hospital with his book

Melissa de Haan Cummings
19 July 2015