Preview: A Grandparent’s Pleasant Memories

I’m looking back over pictures taken last summer. The photos that catch my eye are the ones of our grandchildren and Steve Stone’s kids learning to sail little dinghies, first in a sheltered cove at the head of the harbor and then a day later off onto the wilds of Eggemoggin Reach and over to an island for lunch.

For a boat-minded grandparent there are few sights more thrilling than watching the clenched-teeth grimaces of little kids dissolve into broad smiles as sheets are trimmed and squared away and little boats gather way under the command of an eleven year old.

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4 Responses So Far to “A Grandparent’s Pleasant Memories

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    Michael Naumann says:

    Dear Bill, those “Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of early Childhood” … work even for grown-ups: It is only 16 years ago when I first had the very same experience of your grandkids (and your own) you describe so beautifully, as I held the tiller of my first sailboat, “Sable” (the Aage Nielsen design of S&S). When the wind filled the sails and my sloop started to move “all by itself”, I thought to be experiencing a miracle – and that feeling of wonder and bliss never left me since. I was boatstruck. And I can recollect this moment as if it never passed. Those kids will remember, too, and they will thank you for the rest of their lives.

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    This article reminds me of the days when I was eight or nine years old, and my older sister, Missy’s brand new Weasel (a plywood, gaff rigged 12′ boat, built by, I believe, Palmer Scott in New Bedford or wherever) had just arrived.

    I loved sailing her in Wellfleet Harbor on Cape Cod, in the early morning williwaws, jouneying up, all alone, into what we called “The Cove”, north of “Henderson’s Island” (properly named Great Island).

    Once, later in life during a post-church gathering in our parish hall, a dream therapist had her audience close our eyes and picture ourselves at the happiest time of our lives. Guess what ! Mine was sailing that Weasel in “The Cove” with the williwaws puffing and making the little boat heel sharply and catching me off-guard.

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    Benjamin Cometa says:

    While I enjoy seeing the restoration of wooden boats, I have a Pontoon Boat (Suntracker Fishn’ Barge 21) as well as most of the other residents of my community in Georgia. Having said that, I would also enjoy seeing tips and maintaince articles on Pontoon Boats. Would you please consider adding such articles.
    Happy Boating,
    Captain Ben

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    Steve Stone says:

    I happened to be standing on the dock when the kids headed out that day. Sailing to the island on their own was a big step for these kids. The wind was just over the comfort level of all involved, and as the kids shot away from the dock, I saw tillers rocketing back and forth as they tried to get the feel and remember which way to push the tiller, and the big shiny expensive boats looked more like targets than obstacles.

    At the moment, it seemed like as big of a leap for the grandparents as the kids. And as the kids darted between the bright finished Concordia and Steve White’s VORTEX, the grimaces on Bill and Caroline’s faces matched the kids’, and said: “Geez, this sure sounded like a good idea at the breakfast table this morning.”

    After a couple near misses and accidental jibes, the little hands at the tillers got it all sorted out and those grimaces Bill mentions all turned to smiles, and off they went.

    I recall Caroline’s smile upon their return, and her comment: “Now I understand the reason for sailing schools.” No doubt, all cherish the moment now. Stella and Jack have been talking about their camp-cruise overnight last summer and are asking if they get to do it again this year. Thanks Bill and Caroline, and Maynard and Anne. I feel extremely lucky for my kids to be able to experience this world.