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Somewhere our family caught the sailing bug, and every summer since 1986 we’ve owned a sailboat. In the summer of 1997 we bought our third boat, a 26 foot craft that the brochure said slept six. One of the reasons we upgraded was my crew. My father was 97 and my granddaughters were 14 and 11. We needed a bigger boat.
Fortunately the next year the sailors at our harbor decided everyone should learn how to use their vessel for serious cruising. We joined in.
With the bigger boat we started making a one or two week long trip north each year, into the wilderness islands beyond our old day-sailing waters. As the girls grew older, and other matters took their interest, their mother, our eldest daughter, often replaced them. I didn’t mind. She was far more useful. I no longer had to do all the cooking on our one burner galley.
I remember the start of one trip. It was the first day and we were heading up the lake with a fleet of a dozen boats. Late in the day we were caught in a sudden squall, heavy rain and wind. We started losing contact with the fleet. On this trip my crew consisted of my daughter and her youngest. They were both down below with the hatch closed. I remember yelling at them that if the boat started going in circles I’d gone overboard. As usual they ignored me. We were still a long way from our intended anchorage for the night when we heard friends on the radio in a nearby boat were breaking off and heading for a closer port. We decided to join them.
We made harbor safely but the granddaughter had had enough. She phoned her father the next day and he drove the three hours with my wife to pick her up. Fortunate for her, because that was our last stop at civilization where they could have made a connection. My daughter and I continued on for the rest of the week but I don’t remember anything else about that particular trip. They all start to blur together after a few years.
I do remember one trip looking out the window while at anchor and watching a bear wandering on the shore. I do recall eating dinner in the cockpit while a moose feasted not too far away. Then there was the evening we drifted in a quiet remote bay watching a half dozen young eagles practice aerobatics. There were the parties in out-of-the-way locations, the laughter and the magnificent sunsets, and some fearsome thunderheads. The eldest granddaughter even swears she saw a ghost ship in the middle of one night while we were moored on a rocky beach.
Of course there were also the far too-exciting times: when the steering broke two days from home, the two thunderstorms experienced in the middle of the lake, and the one wild trip when my crew had to make it back to work the next day and I vowed never to do something that stupid again.
So far I have drawn on my sailing experiences to write one short story. There are probably more plots lurking out there.
But now my crew and I are getting to the point when we wonder how much longer can we do this? Maybe it is time to part with the good ship Legacy and dig out the lawn chairs. But I really hope we will always have those memories.
Alexis is tired after a long day at work and her husband Alexander is being more annoying than usual. Their lives might not be perfect, but at least their relationship was something almost approaching normal, that is until his new toy landed both in an alternative universe.
How would you feel if you were considered to be the latest saviors of the land, with subtle hints of a slow and painful death as your ultimate reward? A married couple find themselves on a not-quite-typical quest. All they have to do is fulfill a ridiculous ancient prophecy. Their travelling companions: the priest, the protector, and the thief, are suspect, and everyone else seems out to stop them from reaching their ultimate goal. Of course, if they reach the end safely…
A tale of adventure and romance, filled with pitfalls and leering villains. Did anyone mention there might be hungry dragons too?
About the Author:After winning a Canadian Authors national contest with a ghostly tale, Ron connected with Champagne Books of Alberta to complete “The Dark Lady” high fantasy trilogy, followed by “The Queen’s Pawn” trilogy, and his fantasy detective effort represented by a series of seven novellas: “The Housetrap Chronicles.” His latest novel with Champagne, blending modern with Dark Age, is “Alex in Wanderland.”
Ron recently signed on with a second publisher, eTreasures Publishing of Florida. His first novel there is, “We’re Not in Kansas,” a near future thriller. A what-if trilogy, “The Toltec Series,” is nearing completion with the first book due out shortly.
In his spare time he reviews genre novels for an on-line magazine and is a member of several writing groups.
Ron lives in Winnipeg with his understanding wife and a large demanding cat. On rare occasions he escapes to his sailboat on Lake Winnipeg.
Buy the book at Champagne Books.