Yesterday we went sailing for the first time since the Spring school vacation last April. Took us all day Saturday to get the boat ready and I had to go up the mast with Terry's help (we use a boatsun's chair), and finish the work on the lights. Lots of fun dangling over the deck 45 feet up, the wind whistling around you, the boat rocking.
Had things ready by Sunday morning, loaded up food and drink and four friends and set off. The wind was 15 knots from the ESE--strangely enough for this time of year--and this allowed for a great heading of NE under a full genoa and main. I experimented with the self-steering vane and found the boat was unbalanced with the sails set the way they were. Finally, we furled up two thirds of the jib and put up the staysail. This balanced things nicely and the Cape Horn vane work great with just a little Tiller Pilot to keep us pointed in desired direction. Afterwards we had Terry's great lasagna and red wine on the seawall and celebrated a great day on the water.
Interesting, though, how paranoid we writers get about saving our stuff. I'm halfway through writing the last book in the Eye of the Stallion trilolgy (working title: The Time Drifters), and everything was on board the boat--the computer and the pen drives I save the back up copies of the book to. So, before we left the dock, I was careful to put one of the pen drives in my truck for safe keeping. Can't be too safe, you know. The worst horror of horrors for a writer is to lose anything he's written to some foolish oversight or accident.
Douglas Arvidson is a past winner of the WICE/Paris Transcontinental International Short Story competition. His short fiction has been published in Paris, Prague, and in literary magazines in the United States and he was recently invited to be a staff writer for the Prague Revue, a cutting-edge, online literary journal (http://bit.ly/1mMT6ZC). The novels in his fantasy series, The Eye of the Eye of Stallion, include The Face in Amber, The Mirrors of Castaway Time, and A Drop of Wizard's Blood. His new novel, Brothers of the Fire Star, was selected as a finalist in the ForeWord Reviews 2012 Book of the Year national awards and as a finalist in three categories in the 2013 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards: Action Adventure Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Young Adult Fiction. It has become part of the pantheon of Pacific literature and is now included in school literature programs. Brothers of the Fire Star is an adventure story set in the Pacific during World War II and concerns two boys of different races and cultures who escape the island of Guam in a small sailboat when the Japanese army invades. They must then struggle to survive as they master the secrets of the ancient Pacific navigators. Appropriate for young adults as well as adult readers, Brothers of the Fire Star is available on Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com (http://amzn.to/1j3axVk) and Crossquarter.com. Visit the author's website: douglasarvidson.com