My fiance, RJ, and I were underway on our 32-foot Westsail, Sumna.
It was 10 a.m. The winds were between 10 and 15 knots out of the southsoutheast, the sun was shining,
and we were quickly sailing beneath the highway bridge and railroad bridge on the Thames River located in New London, Connecticut.
Our intentions were to do some long tacks out in Long Island Sound and Fishers Island Sound,
and then make our way to our heavy-weather mooring in Niantic.
There was nothing too significant during our four hours of traversing both sounds. RJ and I took turns at the helm.
My confidence in sailing continued to increase each time RJ and I would experiment with the running rigging,
the amount of main sail, raising and lowering the staysail in combination with the jib,
and just getting a feel for Sumna’s hull gliding through the water and reacting to our adjustments.
It must be noted that RJ and I were somewhat slowly letting go of our hesitations to take risks on and with Sumna. In many ways, Sumna was and continues to be our child together.
We had recently finished up a 17-month overhaul on her and had relaunched her in May earlier that year.
We were both so attached. That 17 months was filled with lots of hard work that we both did ourselves.
We Should’ve Had Breakfast It involved take-out food or bagged dinners, and a share of arguments and frustrations.
And there were lots of beers late in the evenings after our obligatory six or more hours of work on Sumna to celebrate our incremental victories or just as release. Mind you, RJ and I were both working full time.
We let our friends and families know that we would be committed to this project in order to make our dreams of sailing come to fruition. So yes, we were and still are attached to this vessel.
She was now a part of us as individuals and as a couple moving through this world. We had been learning every square inch of her.
On this day, we both couldn’t help but notice how very much alive Sumna felt coming up and over the small chop,
responding to each little tweak of the sails or slight movement of the tiller to port or starboard.
I found myself getting lost in the rhythms of it all—the movement of the boat, the seagulls calling out overhead,
We Should’ve Had Breakfast the swish of water against the hull. Her sails were aglow in the sunlight.
We had begun to turn slightly northwest to aim towards the Millstone stack in Waterford and take Two Tree Channel into Niantic Bay.
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