A visit from a sailing mentor - Obi-Wan Kenobi and Princess Leia

Others may know them by Pete and Arlene. When I first started sailing Sweet Sixteens I would watch Pete and try to imitate his style of sailing. It would be blowing hard and Pete would sit on the seat (not the rail) and sail without effort as though he was one with the boat. I on the other hand would be on the rail along with my crew fighting to keep my Bada Boom (name of my sweet sixteen) upright. Then on light wind days Pete would just sail away from the fleet as though he was making his own wind (no pun intended) while we sat and just drifted. That is how I came to call him Obi-Wan. Hed would just sail as though he had the power of the force. Pete and Arlene are spending the winter in Florida just south of us and came for a visit on February 23, 2008. Pete is a world class sailor and has been the National Champion of the Sweet Sixteen Fleet several times. Pete has never missed a Sweet Sixteen National competition since it's inception. Pete will celebrate his 80th birthday this year in August. Pete taught me a many of the hard to learn skills of racing a Sweet Sixteen in difficult conditions. Pete was the one I always had my sights on and there were many times that he so far ahead of me that I could not read his transom. Arlene has always been very sweet and kind to me and very accepting of my antics. She is a wonderful lady and we truly enjoy her company. Pete and Arlene brought us our trophy for the Spring series of the Jacomo Sailing Club. Lana and I placed 1st last year but left Kansas City before the awards banquet in the November. Pete and Arlene made a formal presentation and said some very uplifting statements as the presentations were made. The beginning of the day did not look well for sailing as there was a front passing over the area and storms were expected. We all hung out in the cabin as the showers came and went while watching the weather radar on the computer looking for a window of opportunity. The front passed and we slipped the dock lines at about 2:30 for a sail on the bay. The winds were robust as Pete took the tiller. He had the rail in the water in no time and had Mary Rose on her lines making top speed close hauled across the bay. It was fun watching Pete sail Mary Rose and Lana was his crew and I just enjoyed the company and the sight of seeing the "Jedi" sail our boat. We went into the municipal marina for fuel and then back to our dock. Backing Mary Rose can be a bit of a challenge due to her full keel. We also had a cross wind that kept her from coming about. We made the dock and Lana handled the dock lines and brought Mary to a perfect soft landing. We made her fast to the dock and then went for dinner at a local water front restaurant. Pete and Arlene spent the night and went to church with us the next morning before heading of for a visit with Pete's brother. It was a blast and they are planning a return trip next month for another sail on the bay. May the force always be with you Pete and Arlene. Come back soon!


Unknown said...

Carl & I are enjoying your sailing blogs. Hope we get the opportunity to go on a sailing venture with y'all.
Our love to you and Lana
Take care
Gerri & Carl

CaptainDon said...

What are you waiting for???????

Don and Lana