BUMS ON BIKESSome years ago I had the unique experience of watching the limited showing of the live production of Bums on Bikes. It was a high school written , produced and acted two act play that my daughter (aka webmonkey) was involved with. I do not remember much about it except it involved a lot of high school kids riding around the stage uttering lines that I only half heard and understood less. But, My daughter was in it and I was truly the proud Papa.
I recently became a "bum on a bike". No, I don’t ride around uttering unintelligible lines, I don’t need a bike to do that, but I did buy a bike and I have become addicted to riding around the excellent bike paths that Bellingham has to offer. We are having the greatest Indian Summer right now and I have found myself counting the work days until the weekend so I can get out and just explore the area by bike. This morning I got up early, finished the last of my chores so I could get out on the path near the Bay during the early morning hours. I was great to be by the bay, feel the fresh ocean air and smell the salty sweetness that only the seashore can produce. As I rounded the north end of Boulevard Park, there she was and she stopped me cold. She was about forty feet long, sloop rigged and well outfitted for sea. She was alone, resting on anchor, in almost flat calm waters with only the occasional small swell that rocked her gently. Her dingy was drifting off the stern and I fantasized the crew snug below, rocked into sweet slumber by her gentle motion.
I spent a long time just watching her as a flood of memories came to me. The many soft foggy mornings at anchor I had laid wrapped in the arms of Morpheus on my own 38’ sailboat Katherine, or the Grampian 31 Nightfall, or the Columbia 26 Nicole. There is no way I can explain to those who have not experienced it, that feeling and sense of security that comes from being tucked away in a snug harbor, anchor well set, aboard a well founded boat. Of course there was no way for me to know what storms this boat had weathered to get to that spot. I know I weathered quite a few during my voyages. Any sailor with some sea time knows that every voyage has the potential for moments of shear terror. But, right then, right there, just for a moment, I envied the crew of that boat as they let her rock them ever so gently like a loving mother with a baby in her arms. Maybe that is why boats are always referred to in the feminine.
Then I rode on.