Blues in the Night
by: Jennifer Jenkinson
It was a bright sunny afternoon with a fresh breeze blowing from the northeast. The small sloop was making a series of very short tacking maneuvers as it made its way gingerly up the narrow channel.
The forest marched down the steep rocky hillsides to abruptly meet the sea below on both shores. The tiny but sturdy craft was tossed precariously by the rip tides created in the close waterway. The sole occupant reset her grip on the tiller and brought the sloop around in yet another tack headed toward a little niche in the eastern shoreline. She was kneeling in the boat's compact cockpit watching carefully ahead for any telltale clues on the water that dangerous rocks lay just out of sight below the surface. She held her course on a starboard tack until she was just past a rocky spur which broke the forest cover and actually spilled over into the sea.
When she was about eighty yards from the shoreline she abruptly swung the boat head to the wind bringing it to an almost dead stop in the water. After loosing the sheets on both her jib and mainsails, she quickly scrambled to the bow and let her anchor line out till she felt the anchor touch bottom. She then expertly continued to pay out enough of the line to properly set the anchor, allowing for both safe swinging room as the wind might shift and the expected change of depth as the tides came and went.
She had been so occupied with the business of sailing her small sloop, that she had not noticed that she had an audience. A tall slim young man in blue jeans, T-shirt and black leather bomber style jacket was sitting on the rocky spur smiling with open admiration at the sailing skill of the woman skipper on the neat little sloop. As she stood from securing the anchor and started to lower and tie down her sails, he arose and quickly walked back up into the trees behind him. So she never knew that her arrival had been noted.
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