i love the drive down to the boat yard. three months i've been doing this, and it's becoming a habit drive. i lean into the curves of the road, knowing where it will take me. i wait for the glimpse of the stone bridge, just off the exit. i can only sneak a quick look, but it's enough.
i get ready for the drive, packing up the duffel, stopping to fill up the tank and get coffee, then heading out. the light is a little different each week. now, later in the season, the sun has that noonday weight to it, and i worry that i'm running late.
the leaves are starting to change. coming down the highway, i see green, green, green - and then one red branch. brilliant scarlet maple, all the brighter because it's the first to turn. next week, there will be more red, and oranges and gold.
the roads get narrower closer to the boat yard, and then it's thru the light and onto the local road. just as i come around that last turn, gauging where to pull off, i see the glint of sun on water, the promise of a good day. and by the pier, swarms of fish roil the water, swimming in M.C. Escher-esque paths, fins flicking past the surface, trying to round up breakfast.
it's just me and the Cap'n today, and that's okay. it's good. i'm nervous, because 35' is a lot of boat. but it pleases me that he trusts i've learned enough to be able to do this. and of course, everything falls right out of my head once i get on the boat. there's always been someone else to pick up where i leave off, so i've never had to completely rig the main by myself. trying to remember all the bits and string them together, i get lost. the Cap'n is patient, and we get set only a little slower than usual.
and the day is gorgeous. it's warm, and sunny, and there are scads of other beautiful boats out with us. it's a shorter sail than earlier in the season; we both get tired a little faster, and the launch doesn't run quite so late. as it turns out, we don't get the last launch, and paddle back in. actually, the Cap'n paddles, and i watch the water turn shades of violet, reflecting the creeping twilight.
i crawl into the car, flip on the radio, and head home, tired and happy to have pushed myself to do something, to have gotten out of my head for a while.