May 14, 2012


Growing up on an island in Malaysia gave me many opportunities, but sailing was not one of them. Perhaps I was too busy practicing flute or eating Asian street food to pay attention to the fact that there was an ocean outside my doorstep.  We all know how GREAT I am at noticing details (Andrew's Note: I.....ok....nevermind).  The ocean was a non-event for me as a kid.  It was there, we went to it.  And there were jellyfish.  Loads of jellyfish.  So many, in fact, that when I got baptized in 5th grade (in the Indian Ocean, no less), I was more concerned for the state of my legs/jellyfish situation than I was worried about the actual baptism.  Priorities of a 5th grader... ya know.  (No, I think your priorities were pretty straight!)  After being dunked underwater I didn't wait for the clapping or the preacher to give some words of wisdom, I booked it to the shore.  God may have me but those jellyfish sure as heck don't.

Then there was the peeing incident of 3rd grade (Hereafter referred to as "Jellyfishgate").  Chris, my punk brother, decided to get himself stung by an armada (swarm? gaggle? (grumpus)) of jellyfish.
We were with my grandparents that day, eating a very delicious picnic on the beach.  Then he decided to get stung.  If you've ever been stung by a jellyfish, you'll know there is one reason you don't want to get stung, and it has nothing to do with the fact that your leg feels like it is on fire.  Nope, when you get stung by a jellyfish the best solution to fix your predicament is urine.  Yep.  And we all know where urine comes from don't we?  (NOT ME, I don't pee (......) ).  My grandfather proceeds to ask my grandmother, my 3rd grade self, or my 3 year old sister which of us would like to pee in a cup so that we could POUR THE URINE ON CHRIS'S LEG.


At that point I got really interested in counting watermelon seeds.  (Don't make eye contact, don't make eye contact).  Lindsey, again.... she's three, kept eating sand, and Granny gave my Papa the "eye".  Lucky Chris got to experience a leg doused in Papa's urine.

Good times.

(In the interest of full disclosure, peeing on a jellyfish sting is an urban legend/old wives' tale that does the victim no good whatsoever.  I'm pretty sure it was made up by somebody who really had to pee and could find no alternative but to tell some poor jellyfish sting victim that it would do him some good....nevermind that there was a whole ocean to pee in and fish do it all the time)  

Moving on.

This past weekend one of my band students families invited myself and a few of his friends to go sailing on their 30 foot Catalina.  And this isn't like Wii sailing, this is legit boat + ocean = awesomeness sailing.  As many of you know, my philosophy regarding my band students in these last few weeks has been simple.... go all out... no regrets.  Hanging out until 8:30 PM in the band room having silly conversations?  Yes.  Yogurt shop stops at 10:30 PM?  Yes.   Deep conversations after school... (which they refer to as "Real 'T's")?  Yes.  Anything and everything to soak up the last few weeks we have together?  I'm in.  (Meanwhile I manage the house, sell the cars, make dinner, tend to dachshunds, approve home showings, watch One Star Wonders on Netflix, and play Jelly Cannon).

So when I was asked to go sailing, I was excited.  I've never been sailing.  Will there be jellyfish?  Who knows?!  So exciting!  And, as a plus, I get to hang out with some pretty awesome people.  Can't be a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon.  Very quickly though, I realized that I'm not quite up to snuff on my sailing lingo.  Evidently, watching the Food Network's Ina Garten episode on cooking for a sailing trip would not.... in fact... help me navigate (!!) my way through this new adventure.  (She did learn, however, that Jeffery likes boats and you can make a fine napkin holder out of sailing rope from the local sailing store that everyone has...)  My knowledge to this point... was in fact.. the following:
Contrary to popular belief, these are not the actual terms for parts of a boat.  There is actually a whole slew of terminology used on a boat.  Here are a few of my translations for the above picture:

Flag – does it have another name? (Standard :-)
Big Pole = mast
Small Sail = jib
Pointy End = bow
Parking Hook = anchor
Brake = center board or keel
Back End = stern
Pole that holds the sail up = boom
Big Sail = main sail
Thingys = battens

You get the idea.  Moral of the story?? I'm clueless.  But... never fear!  I happen to be with a couple of experts.  Meet the crew!

First up is Stephen Moll.  Captain and Expert.  Calm and confident... Stephen let each student and myself have a go at steering the boat.  He is very trusting and an incredibly great teacher - not taking over when we were heading straight towards another boat rather than open water and all that.  His remarks?  "You might head a bit to your left."  Meanwhile, I'm thinking "Holy crap... I'm on a boat!!".  Its amazing how A.D.D. you get when steering.
Second up is Nathalie.  Nathalie is a Junior in my band, plays piccolo, and is a ball of energy and fun (and her name contains a "th").  Love her so much!  I get the privileged of meeting with her once a week to just hang out and talk after school for 2 hours.  She is awesome and have I mentioned that I love her so much?!  Anyhoo... she got to steer the boat first, which I consider a wise decision due to the fact that she drives slower than my grandmother on the freeway.  In other words, she was the LEAST likely of our group to crash the boat.  A wise decision on Stephen's part.  Nathalie did great and got us out of the marina and into open waters.  Well done!

Other members of the crew included a few guys who will be the student leaders for my band next year.  Nick (Stephen's son), Kyle and Brendan.  

Yes... they voluntarily posed like this. (It's how they tend to stand)  Yes, they will rule the world someday.  DON'T question it.  
These guys are AWESOME!  Not only are they great friends, but more importantly they are mature Christian young men seeking God in their lives and are respected by their peers.  Such an amazing thing to see in high school men.  So proud of them! 

We had a blast.  Here are a few pictures of the afternoon:

Nick, the captain's son, was the point man for the trip.  He and his Dad did a LOT of work to get the boat ready for sailing.  They also did a great job of fixing things that I messed up... like spilling fruit juice all over the deck... or bleeding all over the deck.  MY BAD.
Nick is great, he will be the student conductor of my band next year and is very funny.  He is an incredible leader in band, seeks God in everything he does...  and was the first student I've ever had to have put my tape dispenser in jello.  I got him back... as is evidenced by this picture:
Jello... anyone?
"my heart will go on.... and... on"  Way to get your "Titanic" on, Kyle.
Kyle, is my drumline captian for next year.  He is one of my best running buddies and is the person I'd make an alliance with if everything turned all "Hunger Games".  More importantly, he reminds me a lot of my brother, Chris and I very much respect him. 
Yay for Kyle.

Meet Brendan.
This is Brendan.  Brendan is a pretty accomplished young man musically speaking, but more importantly, he is unique... and I love that!  I trust his judgements and opinions more than most, and as you can see from the picture above, he is pretty awesome & funny.  

Nathalie and I napping on the deck.  I think the boys were working.  We were 'working' on our tans???  Bwa ha.  (Or working on connecting your freckles...)

These two... so silly.
Nick, the dependable leader...  and I.

Beautiful Nathalie and I.

Kyle, my right-hand man..... and I.

Myself and Brendan... so proud of this guy!

Great friends...great fellowship.
 So much fun spending an amazing day with good friends.  Words can not convey how much I will miss each of these people... they mean more than I can express.  I can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday than sailing, talking and just 'doing life' with these incredible students.  I am so blessed to have had each of them in my life!

On a side note... Andrew was not invited on this particular adventure due to the lack of space on the boat.  Sorry husband.

(Ok.  In my defense........I have been sailing before many times.  I know what a "tack" is (which was NOT on your list up there), I can hoist the mains'l, and I can batten all the hatches.  I even had a pirate beard for 6 minutes before you made me shave it, as evidenced here:
All in all, I feel as though I am much more qualified to rescue everyone in a sea based rescue than you are.  That is all I have to say about that. 

1 comment:

  1. Looks like a fabulous time! Glad no brave souls were lost at sea! She's a fickle mistress . . .