Friday, 22 February 2013

Winter Sailing

I am in Vancouver this morning, visiting at my Mom's place. Later today I will head out for a weekend of sailing, and general misbehaviour, with my two friends Chris and Chris. This is something we do every year, and have done for about the last decade.

Winter sailing, that is what we call it. Or at least that is what I call it. We three, and sometimes if my brother Peter comes along, we four, gather together at Chris' boat. We spend Friday evening in Horseshoe Bay, eating and drinking our way up and down the street that fronts against the aforementioned bay. We spend our evening telling bad stories and jokes, eating things not on our diet, and generally getting into middle-aged man mischief.

The next morning, struggling against hangover and ice cold dampness, we arise. In some cases, if we are very lucky, the wiser Chris who drinks far less than the foolish amongst us, will arise ever so slightly earlier than we and will begin an English fry-up breakfast in the galley. Then, with coffee splashed into oversize mugs, doused healthily with milk and suger, we clamber about the central table, folded up into place, and devour what Chris hath wrought.

Breakfast takes some time, usually enough time that by the time we are done we need to go to Starbucks. You might think we go to Starbucks for the coffee; you would be incorrect. I personally head to Starbucks for their washroom; it's large, it has running water, it has a flush toilet. It's even heated! This year may be a challenge. Although the Starbucks certainly has wheelchair access and handicap handles, it is up a steep ramp from the dock and that may take all three of us to handle.

Once breakfast is done, the arguing begins, usually en route to Starbucks. Where will we go? Most years we go to Gibsons. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, Gibsons is only a couple of hours away with reliable winds and generally easy water. Sometimes Howe Sound surprises us, but mostly it is predictable.

Secondly, Gibsons has an excellent marina, one with a heated bathroom and showers. It's easy to get into and out of, with a ramp that is somewhat less steep than the slopes of Mount Everest.  And of course there is Grandma's Pub. The only problem this year is that Grandma's is down three flights of stairs with no elevator. The two Chris's might have their work cut out if we decide to go their this year.

So we might do something different this year. The wonderful thing about all of this is that there is no requirement to do anything at all. It's not like the ocean, wind and weather are going away.

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