Tag: newport beach

Sailing Off the Coast of California

This Saturday, Heron and I went to Newport Beach where we met up with some friends.  We were going to spend the day on our buddy’s — let’s call him Kent — sailboat.  Kent has this beautiful boat, and he has been sailing most of his life.  Back home, my buddy had a great power boat, but this was my firs time on a sailboat.

Honestly, I was worried that I was going to get sea-sick, and I was even more worried that Heron would get sea-sick, too.  The waves were large, and it was a windy day.  As we drove through the harbor, Kent told me to head up to the middle of the boat and start pulling a rope attached to the mast.  To my surprise, I was lifting the main sail, watching the canvas spread out open at the top — the wind filling and catching.  It was amazing.

I kept asking Kent questions.  “What do you call that first sail?”  I learned it was called a jib.  “What are those dials for?”  “How fast are we going?”  At first, I worried that I might have been annoying, but Kent seemed like he loved to teach about sailing.  He knew what he was doing.  And to my surprise, as we pulled out of the harbor and passed the jetties, he told me to get behind the wheel.

Suddenly, I was Captain Joe — at the helm of the ship.  I couldn’t really figure out, at first, how to keep the boat straight, and Kent wanted me to do circles around a buoy.  I was amazed that every small movement of the wheel could cause such major shifts in direction.  I was navigating all right, until I took a few sharp turns, and the boom came swinging hard back through the cock pit, almost nailing Kent in the head.  Luckily, he was prepared for that disaster and kept his head low.  When that happened, I thought to myself, “I’m sure glad I didn’t do that.”  But then Kent said, “You’ve got to keep the boat straight.”  I asked, “What happened when the sail moved like that?”  “That was you,” Kent said.  “Definitely you.”  So, I was at fault.  Kent was nothing but encouraging however, and I stayed behind the wheel.   Continue reading “Sailing Off the Coast of California”

Paddle Boarding in Newport Beach and Running with Scissors

I have been absent for the last two days on my blog, but I took some time to really enjoy all that California has to offer.  I went sailing on Saturday, and tomorrow, I’m going to blog about that experience, because it was so amazing and important, strangely, to my writing.

But today, I went paddle boarding with Heron and some friends.  We went down to Newport Beach, and we went into the bay.  On the way back, surrounded by hundreds of boats with names like Claire De Lune and All That Jazz, I looked out before me, and I saw the Saddlyback Mountain, the mansions plastered along the hills in Newport and Corona Del Mar and even Laguna Beach, and I remembered how amazing and wonderful and immense California is.  Whenever I need a moment of freedom, of nature, of something bigger than myself, the ocean, the mountains, well, it’s all there.  Today, I was lucky to be alive.  I was grateful to be living in a state I had been dreaming about since I was a kid.

On the way back, we stopped at a little shake and burger shack on the PCH between Bolsa Chica and Sunset Beach.  It’s a tradition now.  They have the most amazing shakes I have ever tasted.  Heron and I also ate some french fries covered in Feta, and I had a cheeseburger, and she had a veggie pita.  It was a wonderful day.

Now to change gears a bit.  When I came home from paddle boarding, and I wanted to do some work.  And just about twenty minutes ago, I turned the final page of Augusten Burroughs’,” Running With Scissors.”  Recently, someone who read my book and offered some advice for revision told me that there were a lot of similarities.  And now, as I turn my novel into memoir, I feel amazed, stunned, really, that someone had already written a book I have longed to write.  It’s a book that spoke to me in so many ways I hope I will be able to explain.  Continue reading “Paddle Boarding in Newport Beach and Running with Scissors”