‘Twas the morning of high tide, and in the marina
The brightwork did shine with a hint of patina;
The burgees were hung on the yardarms with care,
In hopes of adventures that sailors would share.

The sheets were all snug on the fore and aft deck,
Awaiting their crew to come give them a check;
Laura in her parka, and I in my vest,
Tended to Ariel after long weeks of rest.

When out on the bay there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the deck to see what was the matter.
Away down the jetty I flew like a flash,
Hurdling dock lines, avoiding a crash.

The sun to the east and the tide ebbing slow,
Gave a glimmer to non-skid on decks all aglow.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a fleet of race boats, sailed by those with no fear.

The crews were there rigging, bright-eyed and well-fed,
I knew in a moment they were in good stead.
More rapid than orcas, they readied their rides,
And following orders while joking in stride.

“Raise mainsail! Now headsail! On halyards and sheets!
Trim backstay! More outhaul! Then fasten to cleats!”
Up the mast rose each main after its rhythmic haul,
“Now sail away! Sail away! Sail away all!”

As waves crested forth with their frothy ascent,
At just the right angle, boats surf their descent,
So seeking their course, the flotilla did sleuth,
Like silhouette shapes from Euclidean proofs.

And then in a twinkling, so easy to see,
A shift and a puff launched a few from the lee.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
The fleet spanned the waters of South Puget Sound.

Their fiberglass hulls shone from plumb bow to stern,
And dark carbon jibs eased and trimmed-on in turn.
A gaggle of sailors did scuttle the rail,
Prepping to put up the next fastest sail.

Their portholes did twinkle! Their winches so shiny!
Their masts were like pillars, their stanchions so tiny.
Each transom was shield-like, a half-moon or crescent,
Each freeboard slung sleekly in rays luminescent.

To tiller or wheel did each captain cling tight,
With legs firmly placed to keep themselves right.
Foul weather gear stretched and encircled their girth,
And their jolly demeanors expressed all their mirth.

Then their spinnakers set, what a sight to behold!
And I smiled just a bit, with emotions controlled.
With a wink of my eye and a twist of my head,
I relished the joy that their actions had spread.

Most spoke not a word as their journey evolved,
Though hard-fought, their contest would soon be resolved.
A close cross and hollers of “starboard” rang out,
But all smiled and waved, there was no need to pout.

Who knew chutes could sparkle on brisk winter days?
And soon they’d be finished with cheers and hoorays.
We heard someone say, as we watched with delight,
“Happy sailing to all, may your worries be light!”