Opening Day is When I Say

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Most boaters in this hemisphere would say that opening day is sometime in the spring, likely the first weekend of May. For me though, opening day is a feeling more than a date. It’s the day that the low clouds and steady drizzle of winter part, the north wind blows, and you can actually feel the warmth of the sun. 

Saturday, March 11, was that day here in Portland- and I wasn’t the only one who seemed to feel that way. Oregonians are suckers for a little sunshine. Check out these people on the beach; opening day for sure.

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There were a dozen or so Lasers racing around. They knew it was opening day.

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I like the Laser sailors, they came and sailed circles around me and said hello, but I wanted some wooden boats to join me. Sadly, it wasn’t yet opening day for the junk that’s always at the dock.

I sailed with no destination in mind, reveling in getting whatever breeze I could catch and the fine feeling of being on a voyage with the miles ticking away under the hull.

Lots of salmon fisherman out in their aluminum sleds. It was opening day for them. No rubber rain suits, no Colman propane heaters. Just a beer, a smoke, and a rod.

Scores of kayakers were celebrating opening day by looping the island and watching herons fly to and from their nests.

After a while, I ran into my friend Bill. At last someone in a wooden boat.

(Full disclosure- I forgot to take his picture- this is him a few months ago on the Columbia). He was training for a new human powered aqua race from Tacoma to Pt. Townsend called SEVENTY48.

Finally, at the end of the day I was thrilled to see the newest Oughtred boat that I know of in the Portland area: Darren and his Caledonia Yawl Min Dejlige Pika.

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It was a pretty good way to wrap things up. Happy spring everyone.

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