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Decisions, decisions, decisions,

everyday we make literally hundreds of them. Some are big, then there are the small ones, “What do I have for lunch, my regular fare or should I try todays special?” Larger decisions might include whether to purchase a Ford or a Honda. Of course then comes the fun part, or the nerve racking part, depending on your personality, “Did we make the right decision?

yes, slightly pretentious for an eleven- foot, plastic hulled, lateen rigged, Mayflower sailboat by Snark. Looking back, she was probably the most pure fun boat we ever owned—easy to rig, took all of five minutes, easy to sail, this was good, as we were new to this game, and also easy to tow and launch. Many an evening after work we would run up to the nearest reservoir, throw her in and go for a quick sail. If I close

reservoir, we were assured of water, water was not always available to us as we live in a desert climate. We launched at the State Park so

Decisions By Daniel Cripe

The Story of a Sailing Family

Sometimes we get the answers

immediately, “Yes, I should have had my regular lunch and not the special, pardon me as I run to the head.” Well, that was immediate but most of the time it takes some time, maybe a few months, maybe a few years, but in our case it was a few decades. So here’s the story of a little

decision that lead to another decision that lead to… Oh, I forgot to mention that it’s not unusual for one decision to lead to another decision that leads to another decision and on and on and on. Well, this small decision lead us to the biggest decision we ever made concerning our family. On that fateful day came small

decision number one, we bought a boat. How, you maybe asking, is buying a boat a small decision? Well, it was just a small boat, just eleven feet of her. We named her America, 48° NORTH, JANUARY 2011 PAGE 60

my eyes and think back I can still hear the lapping of the wavelets against her blunt bow. What a fine way to begin this journey. For a couple of years we enjoyed

our little Mayflower, even tried to race her a time or two with the local sailing club on the lakes and reservoirs in Southern Idaho. She was fun, but oh, so, so slow. Wanting to take the next step to expand our sailing experience, along comes decision two, followed of course, by boat two, a sleek and fast Chrysler 15 foot Mutineer. Also, just a little later, comes child two but I’m getting ahead of myself. First we must talk about another seemingly insignificant decision, a camping trip. With boat two and child one, Teresa

and I went up into the Idaho mountains to spend a few days camping and sailing on McCall Lake. As this was high summer and a real lake, not a

our camp site would not be too far away, pulled the boat up on the beach, pitched a tent under the tall Ponderosa pines and set about relaxing on this most beautiful of summers day. Ah yes, nothing is quite so peaceful as a warm summer’s day in the Idaho back country! Fluffy white clouds floating by, a leisurely afternoon sail with just the right amount of wind to glide us smoothly over the blue of the lake. Here and there a few of the white clouds were tinged with just a touch of gray, but nothing to worry about as we pull our boat up on the beach and walk back to camp. A few, just a few more clouds began

to roll in over the distant mountains. Some even had a touch of dark gray around their bottoms. Then from gray to black the clouds did turn, so much for a relaxing afternoon in the Idaho back country, we were in for a thunder storm and, as it turned out, not your run of the mill thunder storm either. Oh no! We were to be on the

receiving end of the second worst storm to hit this area since the 50’s. Notice I said second worst storm, yes dear reader we also saw first hand the worst storm to hit the area but that would be a few years later and in a different boat, a story that we told in the April ‘94, issue of 48° North. Picture the following, gray to

black skies, winds 50-plus, rain more sideways than vertical, high waves, but at least we were ashore under the trees, tall, tall trees. Then the first lightening flashed across the darkening skies, followed immediately by the crack of thunder. So, picture the three of us huddled

in a leaky tent waiting this out. The storm eventually passes and we emerged to see just what has happened to our boat run up on the shore. Well, with the exception of the cockpit being completely full of water, an easy fix as I pulled the drain plug, all seemed well. More clouds gathered to the west as we push the boat out into the lake and headed for the launch ramp. Here we were to find major damage. The floating dock had been ripped free and lay at a angle across the ramp. In the water, next

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