Sunny In Seattle—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond
One of my best mentors (and one of the people whom I respect most on this stone) has an expression for hollow editorials: He calls them 'Walking the Dog' pieces. You've seen the type: the writer has nothing better to say, so they craft some coy, witty, BS copy that somehow creates a marginal connection between walking their dog and the contents of their newsletter/magazine/newspaper.
Filler, folks, fluff.
I don't have a dog, but I'm happy to report that it's sunny and about 70 degrees in Seattle. There's a fresh, northwesterly breeze blowing at about 10-12 knots, zero humidity and the morning's rain shower was thankfully short lived.
The pavement was even dry by the time I laced-up my running shoes and went for one of the hardest/fastest/most-punishing runs that I have gone on in ages, trying—without success—and gain perspective and closure on the single saddest experience of my life as a journalist: Covering the Chicago Yacht Club's 103rd Race to Mackinac.
For anyone just tuning in now, two brave and well-loved members of our extended sailing family were killed in a MASSIVE storm that swept the fleet on Sunday, July 17 at approximately 2300 hours, EST. Windspeeds between 90 and 100 knots were experienced by some sailors, accompanied by strobing lightning and a freight-train-like roar; the stuff of ABSOLUTE horror and bare-soul fear.
Tragically, these conditions proved too much for WingNuts, a Kiwi 35, and Mark Morley and Suzanne Bickel, from Saginaw, MI were lost. Based on every fact that I have unearthed about this incident, Morley and his entire WingNuts crew took every possible precaution and exercised the appropriate and proper seamanship, including each individual crewmember wearing GPIRBS and tethers.
Mother Nature can be a cruel-hearted bitch. Any sailor who believes that he/she is always in complete command of his/her vessel is just wrong: When Mom Nature rolls the dice, the house always wins.
Covering this event—and witnessing its aftermath firsthand—was the hardest thing that your humble scribe has ever done in a professional capacity. Lake Michigan might be a freshwater, but I can assure you that its salinity levels have risen sharply due to tears shed, some of them mine.
Yes, the beat goes on. But not today, at least not here, mates. I apologize to loyal readers who wanted something meaty about current sailing events—I assure you that they are in this issue.
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