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Last Days of the Chicago Sailing Season, the Sweeter for it

Took some older folks out sailing this evening from a Church group, they were in from around the country and I did it as a favor.  Though I always love taking people sailing, always so special and memorable for them.  And sailing myself – I am always looking for an excuse to go out.  6-8 knots, enough to move, cruised out of the city under sail out towards the red and white water intake plant which I tell people who ask that it’s the International Clown Hotel.  Some buy it.  Most don’t.

The crew tonight started off slow and were a bit uncomfortable, but later loosened up and started telling stories and joking – something special happens when you’re on a boat, in tight quarters.  It’s always great bonding and nearly always not just fun but extraordinarily fun.  I had a blast.  They started out not so helpful – but I’ve learned through the years as a captain that you often simply need to ask people to do something and they cheerfully do so.  I eventually had people steering, grilling, and getting food and serving drinks so I didn’t have to do it all.  Was great.  So many stories from the guys about trouble they’d gotten into as teens – most often I find women do the talking, tonight was different as the men dominated the conversation.  One fellow managed to shoot him self high up his leg near his groin.  Another set a street on fire.  Yours truly drove a pizza delivery guy’s car around the block and spent the night in jail for his efforts.  Some threw apples and water balloons at passing cars.

After I dropped them off I cruised slowly back to the buoy and just hung out, savoring the last days of my boating season in Chicago.  It was a spectacular, crystal clear fall night with the sky still lit, a full moon shining brightly, and the city lights stark against the painted clouds.  I emailed, texted, stared at the city, had powerful, positive energy flowing through me and was so so grateful to be fortunate enough to have a boat and be so thrilled with life so often.  Such an amazing city and country and planet we all live on.

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