Blogs > From The Bleacher Seats

A roundup of news on sporting events, people and places in Southeast Michigan by columnist Jim Evans.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Red tag sail on Lake St. Clair

I’m not a sailor.
Not even close. I own a kayak and that’s it.
But in my heart I am.
I am on Lake St. Clair with sails billowing and the wind in my hair.
I am in the South Pacific on water so blue it makes Nicole Kidman’s eyes look positively rheumy.
I am in the Caribbean with the anchor down as I sit on the deck reading something by Hemingway or maybe it’s Thor Heyerdahl’s Kon Tiki.
I really don’t drink alcohol, but I would have to add a sweating longneck bottle of Red Stripe to that idyllic scenario.
I am captain and I am wearing a hat like the Skipper on Gilligan’s Island. I am walking jauntily on the deck like Jack Sparrow. I am Master and Commander, much like Russell Crowe, only a whole lot poorer and way more ugly.
I don’t know when the sailing fantasy took hold. I have always loved the water from the time I was a little kid on Rainbow Beach in Chicago. I still adore it, be it Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula, the Les Cheneaux Islands in Lake Huron or Carlin Park on the Atlantic Ocean in Tequesta, Florida.
But as far as watercraft goes, once you get beyond canoes, rowboats or kayaks, I have never owned squat.
I just like the idea of sailing. Maybe it started back in college when I began listening to Jimmy Buffet music. It wasn’t his mythical Margarita that I was entranced by. It was the whole sailing theme. Even though I was less than half the age, I was entranced by “A Pirate Looks at 40.”

Mother, mother ocean, I've heard you call 
Wanted to sail upon your waters 
Since I was three feet tall 
You've seen it all, you've seen it all 

Watch the men who rode you 
Switch from sails to steam 
And in your belly you can hold the treasures 
Few have ever seen 
Most of them dream 
Most of them dream 

Yes, I am a pirate two hundred years too late 
Cannons don't thunder there's nothin' to plunder 
I'm an over forty victim of fate 
Arriving too late, arriving too late 

Maybe I haven’t arrived too late after all. Even on the horizon of 60, there’s a chance that my long-held fantasy could become a reality. The North Star Sail Club in Harrison Township is offering sailing lessons for youth and adults.
The club’s upcoming schedule includes Youth Learn to Sail (Beginner) and Intermediate; Advanced/Competitive Race Program; and Adult Learn to Sail Program.
An open house at the North Star Sail Club, 32041 South River Road, will be from 1-3 p.m., Sunday, May 18.
For more information, either call 586-463-2192 or visit
See you there. I’ll be the one wearing the hat like the Skipper from Gilligan’s Island.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home