[Public-List] An honourable duty

Michael Connolly via Public-List public-list at lists.alberg30.org
Mon Sep 29 07:33:02 PDT 2014


----- Original Message -----

From: "Gordon Laco via Public-List" <public-list at lists.alberg30.org> 
To: "Alberg 30 Public List -- open to all" <public-list at lists.alberg30.org> 
Sent: Monday, September 29, 2014 9:38:32 AM 
Subject: [Public-List] An honourable duty 

Good morning friends, 

On Saturday SURPRISE performed an honourable duty.   A few weeks ago, the 
widow of a good friend asked me if I¹d take her and her sons out to scatter 
her late husband¹s ashes in the Bay he loved to sail. 

At the appointed time they arrived at SURPRISE and after chatting a bit we 
cast off and headed out.  The day was lovely with a light breeze from the 
north west.  We reached away for about an hour, mostly in silence but 
occasionally talking about sailing with John.   When we got to what I 
reckoned was an appropriate spot, we hove to.    John¹s sons are performance 
sailors who used to tease their father about his preference for his heavy 
displacement full keeled yacht (not an A30) and expressed mild surprise at 
how docile our boat was and how easily she was Œparked¹ with her headsail 
aback.    I took the opportunity to point out that I reckoned fin keels are 
just a fad that will pass as people remember how superior Œnormal¹ keels 

I carefully pointed out the leeward side to our friend¹s widow, and with the 
help of her two sons we opened the box containing his ashes.  At the last 
moment she could not bear to lose them all, so we quickly found an 
appropriate receptacle in which to save some.   Each of the three family 
members said a few words, then with all three of them helping, John¹s ashes 
were put over the side. 

Standing back a bit and minding the boat, I happened to glance to windward. 
There I saw what I can only describe as a wondrous sight.  Hove to, SURPRISE 
was fore reaching a bit and the usual boils of gentle turbulence were rising 
in the form of a wake stretching to windward and aft from our starboard 
quarter.  Deep in the water we saw spirals and twists as John¹s ashes 
swirled in our deep wake after coming under the keel.  We were awestruck by 
the drama of what we saw as well as the unexpected beauty of it.   We 
watched in silence as SURPRISE slowly worked herself along leaving the great 
white swirls beneath the surface, which we could see sinking as they 
expanded in dramatic, slowly developing curves.   After a while we cast off 
the weather genoa sheet, the headsail popped over and SURPRISE gathered way 
and sailed away. 

Farewell John.   
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