Carried Away

February 3, 2011
By , Limerick, ME
Dad unraveled the dock rope and thew it in the swaying boat. Then he went to the stern and disentangled the other rope repeating the step. It was a long and lengthy process of preparing a sailboat to travel if you didn’t know how. It wasn’t long at all for my Dad. It took him twenty seconds at most to set sail. I would watch him pace back and forth untying thin strings and pulling long ropes. It was amazing how much he knew just by growing up on an island.

Today was a glorious day. The sun was a bright, yellow ball of warmth hovering over the clouds. The lake water was wavy and bumpy with little hills. The wind was mild, but strong enough to move the sailboat. Perfect day for sailing. Guess what my brother was doing on this beautiful day. Sitting on the comfortable couch wasting away watching ESPN on T.V. Real productive.

As my Dad raised the mast I grabbed my life jacket and hopped in. My Mom was already in the Barney patiently waiting in the back. I climbed up to my special seat in front of the mast. It was raised above where the people actually sit. Just like siting on the hood of a car, except the hood is raise three feet above the driver’s seat. It wasn’t an actual seat but the front of the sail boat.


We recently bought our purple sailboat two years ago. Since it was purple and small we call it the purple Barney. We named it after the children’s show on television all the little kids use to watch. I thought it was an awesome name! Mom wasn’t exactly in full approval at the time we got Barney, but now she begs to go out in it.

As we set sail for the first time in a month the wind unsuspectedly blew harder. The wind swung us around making us turn very hard. This was very hard on the rudder. My Dad faltered letting go of the wooden tilter. The tilter was a thick, round stick connected to the rudder. It steered the sailboat. Without the rudder and tilter, we were in God’s hands. Hastily, my Dad picked himself up and repositioned himself. We started tacking so we wouldn’t be blown away by the wind again. (Tacking is when you sail into the wind.) I was positive this unlucky event would occur again. As the wind slowed down my Mother relaxed her violent grip on the seat. I managed to hold on to the mast staying on the sailboat. There is no railing on the front of the sailboat. I could’ve rolled right off!


After twenty minutes of silence and relaxation, the wind picked up again. The small purple Barney rocked gently back and forth. I was ready for it this time, but strangely enough, it calmed down once again. “Weird” I thought.


This time it wasn’t just silence. My Mom quietly chatted with my Dad about small things. I sensed a strong wind. The waves grew bigger and the wind howled. I warned myself It was about to happen again, but I brushed it off thinking it was going to die out. It happened unexpectedly again! I was mad at myself for not saying. The wind gradually grew stronger on one side of the main sail. The tiny Barney swung around harder than ever. The rudder broke from the pressure of the water. Our only way to get back to the dock sunk to the bottom of the lake. Gradually the rudder disappeared in the water sinking. Without the rudder there is nothing to steer. The only spare oar we had happened to be back at the dock from our last row boat outing. Since, it was in the middle of November, we eliminated the idea of swimming back to the dock.


My Dad whipped out his phone and called my brother. Brian, my brother, happened to be at our cottage also on the lake. At the cottage we left our old motor boat. Since my brother is slow, we waited thirty minutes for him to drive the boat three hundred feet to get us. Apparently, ( That is sad considering we can see the cottage from where we were stuck.) Once Brian, our savior, arrived, we tied a rope to the mast. Carefully we were towed back to the dock. To this day we still haven’t found the rudder. So for now, our sailboat is defective.





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