“The mast stuck in the bottom when we flipped. That’s why she didn’t self-right.”

I thought about it for a moment and said, “That’s great, we ran aground in 25 feet of water.”

“Gotta be a world record,” Jim said.

Tony asked, “What caused us to flip like that?”

“It’s called a broach. We tripped over the keel when she turned sideways.”

“It happened so fast,” Tony said.

“Think about it like skiing behind a boat and you make an abrupt turn. You may be facing a new way, but you’re still going in the same direction. Now shove the flat side of a four-foot keel straight down.”

Tony nodded, and with solid ground moments away, he glowed in a new color. Sun flushed pink.

We went silent again. I gazed at the approaching shoreline. Tony futzed with his jacket zipper. In a few minutes, we were edging up to the dock. I jumped off and tied the bow and stern. “Gotta make a call.” I walked over to the payphone,  dug a quarter out of my jeans and dialed home.

Linda answered immediately. “Hi.”

“Hi,” I said in a weak voice.

Silence.

“Something’s wrong, you okay?”

“I’m okay.”

“What happened? Something’s not right.” I stayed silent.

“Steve, I love you so much.”

“I love you too.”

“I’m here—you can tell me everything.”

I hung up the phone, walked to my car and got in. I looked back at Jim and Tony preparing to pull May Flyer out of the water. I drove away without saying goodbye. Jim would call tomorrow, probably at 6 a.m. •SCA•

****

Steve and Linda’s love of sailing began during a weekend sailing school with their three boys. It became their passion after exploring the Florida Keys on Ablest, their Hinterhoeller designed Shark 24. On September 27, 2013, Linda lost a 10-month battle with kidney cancer. Steve keeps her memory alive with stories of their life’s journey and traveling adventures spanning 45 years.

 

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