I have a few passions in my life and one of them is sailing. So will devote this blog to the subject. I visited California last
week and stayed with close friend Rossi in her charming home with its stunning view of the ocean. Other good friend Gary Swenson own ands runs the Ullman Sail Loft in Ventura and they take me sailing……love them for it. We go out on an fairly old racing boat, “Tonka”, a Peterson 34, so quite a big boat for three people to manage, especially as one, me… has forgotten much of what I learned! And sailing is hard work… Still we had a wonderful day out in cold, sunny, fairly breezy conditions, in a rather lumpy sea…Pacific Ocean. The day prior to this, the Harbour Master had posted the gale warning flag! And we saw a boat limping back into harbour – racing from the day before…dismasted…ie: the mast had fallen down and was now lying sadly on the deck of the boat. Other old friend Deke, who also works at the loft had been out racing on that gale force day, in his J 24…he loves it and seems happy to sail in anything. Not all sailors are quite as “gung ho” as Deke, but they are people who enjoy the pleasure and the beauty of sailing and the good it does to your soul. Gary has always been a the top of his game and has participated in many events and races. Here he is in earlier days on his Catalina 30 So Long IV, winning the 1976 Ensenada Race, IOR overall winner. He’s done a lot of that and I feel more safe and comfortable with him helming than anyone I know. Not much he doesn’t know about sailing, boats and the Ocean.
When I was married and living and working in LA, we owned and raced an Olsen 30….fast wonderful boat and won a few races with it then. Deke would often “drive/helm” the boat and “Flyer” was a little local star. It was very bare bones…the lighter the better when you’re racing, a bucket for the Loo and a couple of bunks. Cruising boat are wonderful and you really can make a home on them and I am tempted, but if you’re taking many of your domestic accessories with you, when you go out, it’s hard to race! Sailing on Flyer was fun and it would always take my mind off the angst of living
and working in the Hollywood film industry. The sea has a way of centering one and making you realise and accept our very small place in this tiny world of ours. It still has that effect on me, which is why I run to it when I can. I remember learning all my lines for the the one woman play I did about Vivien Leigh in Atlanta , buried deep in Flyer’s quiet interior.