I’m always happy to go for a long weekend sail under the guise of fiction inspiration. With Hurricane Matthew expected to circle back to the south after hitting the North Carolina coast, we headed out last Friday for a three-day sail.
Unfortunately, Matthew changed his mind at the last minute and headed due east instead. The southern Rhode Island coast got a taste of the far edge of the storm in the form of pelting rain and building winds. Nothing compared to what southern states suffered, but still no fun. We scooted back up the Sakonnet River early Sunday morning to the safety of our home mooring.
On the way, we spied the Oliver Hazard Perry tall ship nestled in the river, unfurling sails. Grabbing the binoculars, we could see the sailor/students up in the rigging on each of the yard arms, working the lines in this crazy weather more than 100' off the deck. You can’t see them through the rain in this photo, but it was incredible to watch them go. According to its web site, the OHP at 200 feet is the largest civilian sailing school vessel in the U.S. with 7 miles of rope and 20 sails encompassing 14,000 square feet of sail. Imagining what it took to sail an ocean-going vessel like in the early 19th century, I silently blessed whoever it was that invented roller furling for our modern rig.
So even with a short trip, I found my dose of inspiration.