A SAILBOAT NAMED GWAIHIR

SERENDIPITY

solingWe named our little sailboat Gwaihir, the wind lord. Really, she was a wind lady. Her name was pretentious for such a tiny boat, but I thought her name would be lucky. She was a 16-foot Soling. She had a centerboard and drew only 16-inches with the board up. I told people Gwaihir could sail on a wet hankie.

When my husband had time and felt frisky, we took Gwaihir out through Sloop Channel and Jones inlet into the ocean. The ocean is so huge and Gwaihir was never meant to sail the seas.

Even a 3-foot roller looks like a tsunami when you’re on the deck of a tiny sloop. My then-husband was a madman on the water. He would sail through thunder squalls because he liked a challenge. His father had been equally insane, so I guess he came by it honestly.

As for me, I piloted her through the salt marshes and canals off Long Island. She was perfect…

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