I'd first spotted her by nearly stepping on her while she was suntanning on a cool late winter day. Then, I came up on her snoozing between dock platforms, nested just on the hinge, eyes closed, not a care in the world. And then just the other day I found her scooting out from under the dock near my hull. She spotted me and turned to watch as I calmly squatted down, careful not to drop anything and scare her off. I wanted a photograph or two.
|Lucille patently lies in wait observing me slowly as I take a few photos of her .|
|Rather bored, she eyes me one last glance before tucking into the lake and swimming around the hull.|
She was quite patient to watch me. I didn't scream or flail my tools at her, I calmly set my affairs on the dock and began taking photos of her looking back at me until she decided that this was a good first meeting and she went back to checking on my hull. I think she likes the Alberg and knows I'm the skipper. This may be a good thing and it might scare the bee-jesus out of me one day if I don't see her and end up stepping on her. The lake has this breed of water snake, complete with dark chocolate square marks (a vibrant looking skin) and they have their God-given role in the ecosystem and so I intend to run defense for Lucille. I nicknamed her Lucille as it simply came to me she needed something more appropriate then "that damn snake...."
The meeting was long but not as painful as some. Yacht club meetings tend to be a loose assortment of Roberts Rules and Roberts Ruses, as we haphazardly move along, with grunts and votes, and sometimes passionate discussions about appliances, heaters, cleats, poorly cared for yachts and decisions about money, always that last topic. The hour was late as I followed my flashlight down to the water and aboard "Charlie" Dock where Nautica awaited on the end berth. No Lucille in sight this evening. I held the flashlight in my left hand out of suspicion that I might instinctively protect myself with my right hand and possibly carelessly throw my flashlight into the water out of surprise. Yes, I think about things like this when walking in the dark. Nearly stepped on an eight foot Cobra in Somalia years back as I scuffed along in my flip-flops headed out of the blasted out airport terminal toward the wood-line of the parking lot. Something suggested turn your light to the right, I did, and there it was stretched out headed across my path. Immediate stop and reassess priorities. Whew.
The Berg was delightfully cool this particular evening and sleeping was quite comfortable. Before heading to the v-berth I made my call home and savored one of the Cigar Club choices from which I subscribe. It was a nice thing to be able to sit aboard, have a cigar with a bit of Bushmills and reflect on the great bit of work around me. The red lights of the galley and instrument panel area lent themselves to providing a soft glow to the salon.
As I cast my eyes about the cabin, I was very happy with the progress I've made over the past months. The balance between work and sailing has tipped in favor of sailing more and more. But the frustrations and joys of working problems gives a certain ownership to the vessel that only a skipper can appreciate. Others see the big picture whereas we see the details below and the struggles that went with achieving success on each item.
|Heading out to the larger lake expanse to find some wind.|
|A gentle morning wind was a nice greeting on this cool morning.|
After a great night's sleep aboard I was out onto the lake early. Motoring out for a mile or so the wind began to materialize and I spent a few hours tacking across the lake and enjoying this light but refreshing morning sail.