Speed, bonny boat, like a bird on the wing

Mary Anne's in California now (for a week; then she heads up to the Oregon workshop for a long weekend, then back down here for a couple months), and I had the day off today, so I headed up to the East Bay in the late morning. We chatted with David H. for a while, then picked up some food to supplement what we already had, and went to Lake Merritt for a picnic lunch. Then we got in a teeny sailboat and sailed around the lake for a couple hours. It was lovely—good food, warm sun, nice breezes, boat scudding across the water. I even remembered to put on sunscreen, though we'll see how well it worked.

(I hate sunscreen. Some small irrational part of me feels that as a native Californian I ought not to need it; I ought to be immune to the deleterious effects of the sun. A misconception bolstered by the fact that I never once got sunburned until I was maybe 10 or 12, and very rarely after that. But a serious burn a couple years ago ought to have larned me.)

Anyway, it was a very nice afternoon. I was a little tense about the possibility (however slight) of capsizing (even though one could hardly pick a safer place to capsize, especially since we were wearing bulky bright yellow life vests), but it was relaxing nonetheless.

5 Responses to “Speed, bonny boat, like a bird on the wing”

  1. Tim Pratt

    Funny! Heather and I went to Lake Merritt this afternoon and had a picnic, then took a pedal-boat around the lake. I wonder if we were there at the same time?

  2. naomi_traveller

    I now have both parts and all the verses to Skye Boat Song stuck in my head, and no one around to sing with. (the boy does not sing unless drunk.)

    Have you considered a Big Hat and Shirt? I can’t stand sunblock either and find that the combination works fairly well. They have some nifty lightweight shirts out now that are SPF 30. Plus, there’s the fun of hat shopping.

    I also hear growing a beard helps to prevent the dreaded chin sunburn, but I only hear this secondhand. 😉

  3. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    We were there from about 1:30 – 4:30, Tim — on the lake for the last two hours of that, in a white-sailed dinghy, an El Toro.

  4. Heather Shaw

    Heh! Exactly the same time!! We were in the park from around 1:30, maybe 2 and we were on the lake, in a beige pedal-boat, from 3:45 to 4:15. Not that we got very far — it’s very tiring to pedal for any length of time — but I did make a valiant effort to get down to the fountain in one corner.

    We almost ran into one sailboat and one kayak (well, they almost ran into us — a pedal boat doesn’t move fast enough to be a real threat). Next time I want a kayak — that looked way more fun and speedy!

    We must have just missed you on the dock! Funny!

  5. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    We spent the first hour or so tacking up to that fountain and then coming back out to the main lake, then went up (umm…not sure of the direction — from the boathouse, facing the water, you’d be going right), and then down the lake. We were probably down for most of the time you were on the water…


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