10.01.2012

Sailboat for a lake

Sailing. Miss it. There's just something about being out on the water in a boat that goes nowhere unless you provide the propulsion. Rowboat, sailboat, canoe, kayak, even an air mattress! Nothing to disturb the peace and quiet.

In the 15 years we've owned our lakeside cabin, we've seen exactly two sailboats, tiny 8-ft. boats like an El Toro... until the weekend before Labor Day. We were sitting on our deck, talking with the friend we'd invited out for the weekend, and through the trees I spotted a large moving spot of white. "Sailboat!" I called out, as I grabbed my camera and waited for the boat to come out into the open. I focused, snapped a few pictures, then zoomed in on the sail insignia. It was a Lightning, a one-design boat that Dave learned to sail during a long-ago summer in the Tri Cities. Our friend Dick owned the boat, raced it, and he was an excellent sailor. When he was in college, he lived on Lummi Island and sailed to Bellingham every day to attend classes Western Washington State College. I got my turn on this boat, too. We spent a few weekends at the Ecker family home on Lummi, and Dick always brought the sailboat with him.



The Lightning is a great open cockpit boat for a lake. It's trailerable, is 19 ft. and stable, has a heavy centerboard for stability, and carries a lot of sail for its length, so it's fast. It carries a main and jib, and can be rigged to fly a spinnaker, too. Older boats are wooden, newer ones are fiberglass.

It was awesome to see a Lightning on our lake, and I hope it's a permanent resident.

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