Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bump....Comes To Annapolis

What a wild ride last night!  It was the opening race for the Wednesday Night Series in Annapolis & the winds were pretty intense--gonna say at least 25 knots sustained, 35 knot gusts, with threats of thunderstorms & a tornado watch.  Call me crazy--hells yeah--with about 60 other boats!  Actually, that was what was so jaw-dropping to me. I had never been out for a Wednesday in Annapolis--only White Rocks with my grandfather & the West River.  The West River has a lot of boats but holy crap, Batman! Annapolis was insane!  Just getting ready for the first race & getting the watch set with the guns from the RC, I had an opportunity as did the rest of the crew to really take it all in--I think most of us hadn't realized how many folk were out there along with & Spinsheet taking pics & video--it is a big-ass deal.  And here we were, up from Pirate's Cove, competing with the rest of the J-30 fleet--adrenaline rush! 

We worked our asses off & didn't even fly the kite.  At one point we dumped the main & were only using the number 3 jib & we still were able to clock 7 knots on the tacktik...crazy!  And we didn't finish last--WOOHOO!  I gotta say, it was a rush!  And, as we were rounding a mark, up comes a J-105 who attempted to squeeze us out--my skipper is yelling at the other skipper to hold his course--at first I thought he was ignoring us, & then she got a bit more insistent--we all had to laugh--"Bump... comes to Annapolis!"  Welcome!  And fireworks too (a huge lightening storm overhead as we crossed the finish)!  Great to be with my crew & back on my boat--I will miss them at NOODs, sailing instead on another J30--competition.  But, as always, looking forward to the rest of the season, flying out of Annapolis.

Check out  They usually broadcast the Wednesday Night Races & there may be a glimpse of us there or on Spin Sheet  I am posting a picture taken by Spin Sheet last year during the Miles River Race.  Very light air--NOT like last night.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Green Sea

Green Sea--Milton Avery, 1958
OK, I admit it--it's April & I'm already in sailing mode.  Big weekend coming up with NOOD--for those out there (few to be sure but who don't know: NOOD is not nude sailing(although I know a few who do)--it stands for: National Off-shore One-design Regatta). Annapolis ain't off-shore but the regatta sort of marks the opening of the racing season--Wednesday night series notwithstanding.  There are 3 main regattas--last weekend in April--NOOD, Screwpile in mid-July, & Annapolis Race Week during Labor Day weekend.  Of course throw in the North Americans, or mid-Atlantics, or Miles, or, or...but these stick out.  Last year didn't get to do NOOD, nor the year before.  This year is different--

But I'm not writing only about sailing (although it is hard not to), I'm writing about how this time of year always makes me so happy--not just because the weather is better, or school's almost has everything to do with my hobby & the fact that I share it with Xing Fu--this time of year brings us back to center--I think we are both happier.  It is like coming home.  My late grandfather (George Fisher) whose birthday was April 18th, would understand. I've spoken about him in the past--sailor extraordinaire--self-taught & unapologetically obsessed. I think he'd approve--and I know he'd be so happy to know that his granddaughter is about as sailing-obsessed as he was. Dare I say it?  More so....

But it also has to do with water--the beach, waves--all of it--coming home.  Mebbe it has to do with being a water sign--Cancer, but I always reach a sense of inner-calm when I'm on, near, or in water.  Been reading a book recently entitled The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells & the main character seems to have similar feelings about being near water be it ocean or bay. Howells writes beautifully about the ocean; about water--she captures the imagery beautifully.  (Even if this is a teen book--I admit it--I'm enjoying the revisit to awkwardness just a little bit.)

"And with the wide gray skies and the metallic water all around me, I felt myself disappearing into the immediate present, into the wind and the bay, the flapping of the sails, and the voices of my uncle and my father.  ....breathe deeply, and unwind like the sails unfurling from the masthead."

Tomorrow I'm back out there....


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Make Me Smile

Children play in the park, they don't know
I'm alone in the dark, even though
Time and time again I see your face smiling inside

I'm so happy
That you love me
Life is lovely
When you're near me
Tell me you will stay
Make me smile

Living life is just a game so they say
All the games we used to play fade away
We may now enjoy the dreams we shared so long ago

Oh, my darling, got to have you
Feel the magic when I hold you
Cry sweet tears of joy, touch the sky

Now I need you more than ever
No more crying...we're together
Tell me you will stay
Make me smile


We will be seeing Chicago in August--I hope that they play this song.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It's On!

So much has gone on recently in so many facets of my life.  Of course, my brain has been hooked into sailing--Wednesday night series down on the West River starts tonight--I will be on a non-spin boat this week & next I'll be up in Annapolis on my regular ride for the AYC Wednesday series.   My brain has been so hooked by sailing that when I was at Bed, Bath, & Beyond with BFF(A), I bought sailboat sheets-printed with charts & sailboats--Xing Fu said something about "charting those waters" & then turned bright red last Saturday night at BFF(J)'s house.  Cracked all of us up.  But seriously, I can hear my son saying to me when he comes home Thursday from Florida & seeing the sheets, "Obessed much, mom?"  Guilty as charged.

Also, spending more time with Xing Fu's children.  It was a weird feeling to drop my own child off at the airport (first time traveling alone--I stood at security until he got through--at least his gate was D1, closest to security) & then take on three others.  It was an intense weekend but not in a bad way.  I've been reading a few books lately, one called Stepmonster by Wednesday Martin has been pretty interesting. Not sure that I agree with everything that I'm reading (only a third through it) & I'm not a stepmother in the true sense of the word, but I am the woman in their father's life & that has an entire raft of potential pitfalls, etc.  I think we are going about it all in a very good way so far--carefully, talking about all of the possible outcomes as best we can & he tells me that his kids like me--very good, so perhaps one of the most difficult situations in family-life will work out for us.

Another part of all this has been that all of our kids are away this week & we've been spending a lot more time together--it's been good--in some ways better than when we were last at the beach--for whatever reason, we have covered a lot of ground & looked at some of our sticking points--it has made us closer

And I have the week off--WOOHOO!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Beautiful World

Bad blood, I could crawl right out my mind
It's a long day, long day when the sun won't shine
But it feels like, fussing and fighting is all we do
Lord knows I can't get enough of you
Bad blood, I could crawl right out of my mind
Ah girl, it's a new day now we can make it shine

Listen to the birds sing their song
Listen to my heart beating strong
I just want to feel like I do when I'm with you
It's a beautiful world

The darkness, it ain't so deep
So I reach and I reach and I reach, Higher
set me free
Ah girl, it's a new day now we can make it shine

Listen to the birds sing their song
Listen to my heart beating strong
I just want to feel like I do when I'm with you
It's a beautiful world

--JJ Grey & Mofro 

Xing Fu & I saw this band last night at the Recher in Towson.  Meaningful because the last time we were at the Recher we saw TR3, well over a year ago.  In other words, at that time he was my Music Buddy--platonic through & through--how things have changed...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sailing Lightbulbs and Other Stories

This past weekend was full of so many different experiences--it is hard to believe that I managed to cram it all in.  Of course, the bestest was being back out on the water with my boat--we were out practicing for the first time this season & as I've said so many times before, it was like coming home.  I was HUGELY nervous going into this Saturday because it had been 6 months since I sailed & that long since I flew the kite.  In fact, I was having very vivid dreams up until Saturday that I would fuck up royally.  I'm sure these feelings were spurred on by the fact that during one of the last major races of the season, my performance was less than optimal & I injured myself pretty badly (blood all over the deck).  I had hit a mental & physical wall during that race & it was creating high anxiety now.  But, as things go out on the bay, we had no wind for a good portion of the day so it gave me a chance to ease back into that mode--shake off the cobwebs & focus on what I needed to do--if we ever launched the chute.  Even if we never got airborne, it was just great to be on the water with some of the folks I've grown to enjoy being with--both on & off the water--but we did get wind later on--predicted to fill in about 1 PM & sure enough, (Seamus was right, you ole' dog!) I flew.  And for once I figured out what worked--as our coach said--he watches for those lightbulb moments & there mine was!  What an AMAZING feeling!  And for me flying the kite is one of the greatest feelings--watching it fill to capacity when you first launch--there's just no feeling to describe it--

Part Two is all about the inevitable moving forward of blending our families.  Xing Fu asked his youngest if it would be alright if I went with him to a game.  His youngest said that was fine & so, of course, I met the ex as well.  Nothing too notable--everyone was polite & solicitousAt one point his youngest was talking to a friend & they turned to stare at us--I was on display.  That was definitely a weird feeling--both for the ex & for the friends....hadn't really experienced that before but I think all went well--another hurdle passed & onward to the next.

We also managed to get a bit of geocaching in at Cylburn Arboretum--this time my son went with us.  Another fun afternoon spent traipsing around the woods--& even though we couldn't find one of them, it was a great bonding experience for the three of us--blending on my side this time.

I'd have to say, this was one of the good ones--

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


It's coming!  Most of you out there probably know EXACTLY what I'm talking about.  And those who don't...mid-April starts one of my biggest loves (besides Xing Fu)..sailing!  I admit it--obsessed...guilty as charged.  Right about now my brain is pretty-much only thinking sailing.  It has been a looooooong winter & thankfully this coming Saturday I will be out on the water--practicing & getting ready for our first regattas at the end of the month.  Last Saturday I helped clean & get the boat ready for its exodus from being on the hard & back where it belongs--and where I belong---on the water.  It is really like coming home--there is always a part missing when we put the boat away for the season & I'm no longer out there.  The longing--interminable.  But the wait is over--just being back down in Annapolis with the rest of the crew last weekend was so great.  Time to get out the foulies, check that my gloves & hat are in my sailing bag, & Keens are somewhere nearby.  Prolly need to pick up some warmer shoes for the spring though--Saturday looks to be only around 58 degrees....still,  TIME TO SAIL!!  WOOHOO!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Husband, Please!

Life certainly has a way of throwing curve balls (for those of you celebrating Opening Day)!  It has been a very interesting few days.  I think I will need to rename my blog now because an elopement has occurred & I can no longer say "Baltimore single mom's forays into dating" now, can I?  Yep, Xing Fu will now be referred to DH...boy this guy's name has gone through a lot of incarnations(Music Buddy, Xing Fu, DH).  Surprise!!  Could I possibly say no? 

"Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place." - Zora Neale Hurston