We had just gone under the Burlington Bridge, sails up and motor chugging along to get us through before the bridge lowered again. On the Bay side, we finally cut the motor once clear of the channel and hoped that the very slight breeze we finally found might get us somewhere eventually. We watched a motor boat whiz by not too far off on the way to Lake Ontario with a doughnut-tube bouncing along on a rope behind it. Empty (the doughnut, not the boat), with a dark blob in the boat's wake.
We put the motor back in the water (sails still up full, as the wind didn't really seem to want to play with them anyway) and turned ourselves around. It's a dark blob we're heading toward, no flailing arms or legs, but definitely not a buoy either, as they don't come in black (at least not in our bay). Mike has retrieved the binoculars for a closer look, and after a moment hands them to Matt.
"Is that a balloon?" they ask, whereupon we decide to continue our rescue attempts anyway. After all, this is an ideal opportunity to practice the Crew Overboard maneuver with multiple characters in our little drama (or comedy). And the closer we get, the more obvious it becomes that our rescuee is indeed a balloon, and likely had absolutely nothing to do with that passing motor boat. Which would explain why they didn't even slow down.
As we head toward the bridge and Lake Ontario, Mike decides to put up the extra boom to provide more support (and airflow) to the jib. I haven't seen this done before, though I had heard the tale of when Mike and two of his friends figured out the trick. So there's Mike, trying to get the end attached to the jib, while keeping the other end on the mast. It slips and heads for the drink, though Mike retrieves the boom before it falls completely in the water. Me, on the way to see just how this whole 2-boom system works, pause long enough to say, "Oh, that can't be safe," to the great amusement of Ashley and Matt.
Later, as we heel over just a tad vigorously, we hear a gentle thump from inside the cabin. Mike looks in and sees a couple of oranges have rolled off the table onto the floor. In a moment of Zen-like serenity, he calmly states, "That's just where they go sometimes," which totally tickles Ashley's fancy.
When Matt gets the chance to helm the tiller, he takes to it with great enthusiasm. He's eyeing up landmarks, checking out the wind gauge and getting a general feel for the boat. And he's learning how quickly the wind can change, and the extent of sensitivity of a rudder under sail. During one such unexpected course change, there's Matt with a fantastic litany of "Crap! Crap, crap, crap!" No worries; we've all been there. He got us back on track easily enough after that.
There was some mention of Matt in drag at one point, of neither Matt nor Ashley having any shame, something about having seen all the parts before. Ashley biting her tongue to keep from swearing like a sailor, but really, if you can't do that on a boat where most of that language came from, where can you? And swimming in a freezing lake where each successive person to jump in claims in a less-than-sincere tone that "The water's fine," "That's bracing," "It's a little brisk," and an overall sentiment that it was just frigging cold. Followed by a second dunking after a snack, where Ashley calls out that "the current's changed." Meaning that it had somehow gotten colder as the day progressed, despite the 30 degrees C of the day, and the humid-ex that raised that to something closer to 40.
All in all, a really fun day.