Last night, dark and rainy I fought the traffic into downtown Cleveland at rush hour. Yes, I grumbled the entire trip. Tagging along with The Grand River Sailing Club, 5 sailors and 1 potter (ballast) attended a dinner at Cleveland Sight Center.
I do not sail, my better half, Butch is the sailor and boat owner. I have tried to get my sea legs but the sea is not for me. I have tried, really! My very first trip out was a disaster, as pointed out by another boater who remarked how wonderful it was that my husband was taking a woman with cerebral palsy out for a ride. My memory of this first trip: Flailed about the deck and a week for the bruises to heal.
This year I tried again, it was perch season and I love to fish! Out on the lake, I prepared to tie the tackle on lines and puked...... unabashedly I might add. I watched the minnow bucket slosh across the deck and stuck my foot out to stop it. The minnows were puking too. I lasted 45 minutes, I looked at my husband with beads of sweat on my sunbaked face and said; See my face? This is 50 Shades of Green, get me back to shore, now. He coached me to look at the horizon. I coached him to turn the motor on or he would die. I spent the rest of the day casting from the dock while he sat next to me in a lawn chair drinking beer, telling me how great sailing is. I threw up on his deck shoes.
I do not belong to a yacht club I am president of the yak club, stained shirts for everyone!
All that said, this group that calls themselves the Grand River Sailing Club is a fun group of people that seem to have a great time racing on Wednesday nights, Sunday mornings and any time the wind blows. They throw a pretty great regatta every August to raise money for The Sight Center...... and have a non stop party.
We are not talking yacht club, we are talking sailing club. This means, do whatever you need to do for the love of sailing. Get as many people into a sailboat and on the lake as possible.
No tighty whities for this bunch...... more like they just showed up from a Jimmy Buffett concert, complete with cups of grog.
We were served a hearty dinner of lasagna, salad, garlic bread, dessert and beverages. A lovely woman entered to explain that wine was being served table by table and apologized the wine was fake this year but we would never know the difference. There was an audible "GASP" from the room of visually impaired sailors. This was my first hint the night would prove to be more than expected.
Hmmmm..... some who will be using public transportation to get home and they want real wine!
I forgot, this is the sailing club!
This jolly bunch of sailors from GRSC did a wonderful thing last night.
They presented the Cleveland Sight Center with a substantial check to support their sailing program.
We listened to visually impaired and blind sailors talk about how sailing has changed their life.
Sailors talked candidly about the first time holding a tiller. Feeling the wind brush the tips of their ears hinting which way the wind is blowing. The skippers who are trying to figure out ways to tap into the world of the visually impaired to make true sailors out of the enthusiastic group. The excitement expressed by these visually impaired sailors was the same I hear at home and after races.
One intrepid sailor, who won sailor of the year made it to the Blind National Sailing Championships this year.
The Brightside Trophy was awarded.
It was one of those magical nights when we all drove home on a dark rainy night knowing the sun shines a bit brighter in the world of sailing........