Liberty is being free from the things we don't like in order to be slaves of the things we do like.--Ernest Benn

Monday, October 24, 2011

Undated Photograph

When, in the 1970's, was this photo taken?
I just emailed this photo to 2nd-Oldest Son and he confirmed that it was not his gray Laser, the "Silver Surfer". Judging from the odd number of the final digit of his sail number, he pronounced this hull to be my lime green "Lime Juice" (?). Whatever I named it truly escapes me now.

I have to accept my son's  judgment. He would know whether or not it was the craft in which he craftily forced me to capsize my own boat in order to avoid contact (when I was on starboard and ahead of everyone else but him) in some Wednesday afternoon race on the Lake Puddingstone. Neither one of us has allowed the other to forget that day.

But this photo has got to have been taken on Ledbetter Beach in Santa Barbara. There are a lot of possibilities.

It could have been the day I sailed out to the beginning of a two-day regatta and the wind was really light. On the way to the startline, I noticed that my masthead wind indicator wasn't functioning. So, noting that my beers were securely bagged in my cockpit and remembering that a wet mainsail in drifting conditions was an asset, I elected to capsize and swim out to my masthead. For some reason, I held on to my mast as I slid into the water and my right shoulder, (which had been my weakest link ever since I had retired from Church Slo-Pitch Drunken Softball League), dislocated. I don't remember much of the subsequent details: a launch came and plucked me up out of the water; some guy off the launch jumped on Lime Juice and rescued her by racing her for the day; I was grayish-green, (the color of my boat) when I was given a double-shot of Scotch in the Club's bar while Trophy Wife was fetched to drive me to the E.R. where my shoulder was promptly "reduced". Not my funnest day.

Or it could have been the day that Trophy Wife and I were racing in a two-day Laser regatta. In the last leg of the last race of the first day, Trophy Wife was next to last and I was last. She capsized. I asked her if she were okay. She flashed me her famous "I'm game" smile she still flashes to me to this very day and said "Sure!" So, I sailed by and only learned later what had happened. She had turtled; her wooden dagger board slid out and floated away; she followed Rule #1 and stayed with her boat; boats in the big keel classes raced by her with their spinnakers up; the fog rolled in; she was alone; then Trophy Wife noticed an 
anchored fisherman and she hailed him; he towed her and her disabled Laser in. I was suitably shamed. The next day Trophy Wife borrowed another daggerboard, which she bungeed to the mast, and beat the ever-luving shit out of me. When could I ever been more proud of her?

Or it could have been none of the above. It might have been any other of the many days we enjoyed sailing off that beach where I ran Doberwoman this very morning.

The key thing is that this photo is a treasure: a young man helping his old man of the sea launch his Laser.


  1. It doesn't matter exactly when this photo was taken. It was some time in the seventies. The fact that you gave us a few possibilities means that there were countless more times this same thing occurred, which is the important thing. Nice hull color BTW. After trophy wife beat the shit out of you, did you both race?

  2. Very cool. Also, I may be late to the game but I'm enjoying the name change. What made you change it?

  3. Aaah. The good old days before Peter Seidenberg introduced the Seitech dolly to North America and no Laser sailor, ever again, had to employ child labor to help him launch his boat without scratching its bottom.

  4. Even though I never have to employ child labor in launching Bluesette, I still sometimes scratch my bottom.

    The color of the boat must be considered in the context of the times - remember harvest gold or avocado green kitchen appliances, orange or lime green shag carpets, and "Vera" brightly colored towels and linens?

    Did Trophy Wife bungee cord you to the mast before beating the shit out of you? I think I read something about that in a Nordhoff and Hall book....