Sunday, March 13, 2011

Banderas Bay Regatta

Some experiences seem to mark a point where you can say, “That changed my view”…or “That was the first time I knew”… or…, you get the idea. This weekend, it wasn’t the rare sight of the space station whizzing overhead in the starry night on its way to Argentina (Wow, is that thing fast!). And it wasn’t the juiciest, most tender tacos served up on a street in four years of Mexico travel (if you’ve been there, that’s right -- its La Cruz’s “Tacos on the Street”). No, it was the selection of a 9 year old to ride rail and tail sheets on a 46 foot sloop “Splash” in the Annual Banderas Bay Regatta. It was Henry’s time at bat to take a swing in a league a couple seasons early and rub shoulders with a teens-only crew half a foot taller than he. The Skipper liked his pluck, his eye contact, his gumption to ask, and that he had one race under his belt with his dad two weeks earlier in the La Manzanilla Regatta. 

Henry Wyatt, front row, with other crew members and captain, right

Splish Splash heading out of La Cruz marina to race
 Was it the team racing shirt? Was it the time alone without sister or family? Was it hanging on the gunnels and leaning overboard with a bunch of older kids just as excited as he was to be burying the rail? Was it the announcement over the radio that “Splash” had just crossed the line and a 9 year old was at the helm doing 7.8 knots!? Whatever it was, Henry Wyatt walked the dock a little taller that night. He ate heartier, a little quieter. 
Henry at the helm!

 He rose and dressed the next morning with no coaxing to report for day two of the race (although postponed by surge predictions from tidal waves caused by Japan’s earthquake). Some events line up like planets and splash a little extra light into a small spot of otherwise ordinary night. These momentary bright orbits will dilute and fade, but keep us looking up for whatever spectacular chance may appear again; it just takes a little plump and gumption and an eye trained in the right direction. 
A captain's congratulation

Memories in the making!

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