Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

Wednesday brought somber clouds with occasional rain showers. A welcome respite for islanders who are suffering from an El Nino-induced drought. It was not quite as fulsomely welcomed by our sailors who faced cool waters with variable winds. The upshot of the day was a minor collision with a moored ocean-voyager at the culmination of our classes. Our instructor spoke with the owners and relayed a damage report to us. Our Commodore and I motored out with apprehension.

And then it happened …

We have all read of blue sea voyagers when perusing our copies of Cruising World or World Navigator. Today was my first “in the flesh” encounter with sailors who have crossed the seas and returned to help us coast huggers move beyond the small stuff. What could have been an exchange of insurance documents (yes, we are covered) quickly transitioned to their desire to support our neophyte  sailors and the joys and learning experiences of voyaging. Where others would focus on vessel defacement, owners John and Loren considered gelcoat scrapes as life marks (even though their boat is absolutely beautiful). I was frankly entranced by both, later reflecting that sailing offers that rare chance to meet the best of folks who brush aside minor issues to focus on the truly important. Needless to say, the Commodore and I could have hung onto their toe rail for hours!

We reluctantly returned to shore knowing this encounter will remain with us for years to come. Thank you John and Loren for sharing your perspective on life and living.

“L’Il Ollie” is based in Oak Bay, Victoria and we hope our paths will cross again. Safe passage and our heartfelt best wishes go with you and your worldly wise crew …

L'Il Isle

(The vessel is adorned with the dark blue canopy).

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