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July 14, 2008

Ahoy There! Mom Goes For Her First Sail

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Ma_sailiing_2My mother is a nutjob.   That's right, you heard me...a nutjob.  I know it, she knows it, everybody knows it.

Take the amount of nagging your mother has ever done, multiply it by ten and that will still be a fraction of how neurotically anxious my mother can be. 

To say she worries is kind of like saying the Pope prays sometimes.  And being her only child, I get the pleasure of bearing the brunt of all that "caring" attention.

That's not to say I don't love her, because I do...but she's a nutjob.

That said, I have found ways to set strict boundaries where she's, concerned and as long as those aren't breached we get along just fine. In small doses.

However, my mother, who is afraid of water, went on a sailboat for the first time last week, and I'm here to unequivocally state how very proud I am of her for facing her fear. 

Let me give you a bit of background. 

Last year, for the first time in a couple of decades, I went on a trip with my mother. (See nutjob statement above.)  She, my stepfather and I took an overnight jaunt to Newport, Rhode Island.  We toured the Vanderbilt playgrounds of the rich and famous and had an all around surprisingly good time.  Surprising to me because I didn't come home bald from ripping my hair out.

Sail_boatsIt was so successful in fact, we decided to make a return trip this year. Out of the blue my mother announced she wanted to take a sailing tour of Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay.  My stepfather and I chuckled and said we'd believe it when we saw it, but danged if she didn't make liars out of both of us.  Last week, the three of us went sailing on the eighty foot Adirondack II

The day we went was made for sailing with a brisk breeze and a sun kissed, blue sky.  We arrived for our tour several minutes early and just long enough for my mother to figure out where the life vests were and determine that one of the crew on the boat, Abby, was a lifeguard.  She took that as a good sign even though she had to be convinced that she didn't need to put on the life vest unless the sailboat hit an iceberg.

Garrett, our other crewman was a slightly built young man who along with Abby could handle the boat's four sails with the best of them.  Our Captain was Captain Chris and he handled the boat with the confidence you would expect for a safe yet thrilling ride.

The thrills came after we passed an assortment of million dollar yachts and other sea craft to pull out into the bay.

As soon as the sails were raised and the boat tilted into the wind, the crew warned us that we would list depending on the wind's direction.  Basically what that meant was the whole boat would tilt to one side so that More_masts_2the passengers on the lower side were almost parallel to the water.

Think one of those Tilt-A-Whirl rides at the amusement park except on the water.

It was a shock for Mom and a bit of a jolt for me as well.  At least until I got used to it.  All I had to do was lean back against the cushions of the seat and go with the movement of the boat.  The spray from the water gently cooled my skin as the wind whipped through my hair and reminded you why Newport was and is a summer sailing capitol.

At an hour and a half, the sail was much too short for my taste. Mom enjoyed it as well and though she's not running out to buy a new pair of deck shoes, she no longer cowers at the idea of a pleasure sail.   More importantly though, Mom and I had a bonding moment over the crystal waters of Narragansett Bay.  It just goes to show you're never to old to prove a thing or two to your daughter.

By the way, if you're going to Newport, check out where we stayed, the Beech Tree Inn.  It's a bed and breakfast that serves up a luscious morning meal, has beautiful rooms, is off the beaten path, and is pet friendly.  I've stayed there several times and I've never been disappointed.  My mother now insists on staying there and even has her own favorite room.

Let see what else she has up her sleeve for next year.


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