Final Sail of the Blue Bonnet

Before the board meeting on Saturday, I took the club’s Flying Scot Blue Bonnet out for what might be its final sail before it’s dismantled and towed in the coming weeks. Hauling it to the outer hoist in the midst of the falling tide, I reflected on my history with the club Scots that has spanned over a decade.

I remember sailing Blue Bonnet to the overnights at Heart’s Desire Beach during my first years in youth sailing before the campout was changed to a night sail. I remember other juniors tying their lifejackets with a long line to the transom and being dragged through the water as we sailed downwind back from Heart’s (lots of fun and totally worth a try!). Girls singing songs from Grease as they sat on the front deck as we sailed up the bay. Boys curled up by the mast step to avoid the spray from the waves. Skippering the boat during a match race and winning against another instructor captaining Banshee. Sailing back in the fog from Heart’s at night and being surprised to see Tom Fox’s boat pull alongside of us.

There were the less-than-pleasant memories: almost broaching because of the main sheet getting tangled on where the rudder attaches to the transom. Youth sailors almost falling out of the boat during a big gust as we attempted to moor at Shell Beach. Someone dropping the crank into the centerboard trunk and Patrick Lewis swimming under the hull to try to retrieve it. Cleaning bandaids, mud, and several gallons of jellyfish entrails out of the bilge for an hour thanks to three youth sailors who will remain anonymous.

While purportedly slow and soft in the hulls and deck, Blue Bonnet and Banshee have served me well for almost 13 years as I progressed from youth sailor to youth and adult sailing instructor to junior adult member to board member. Transitioning between the roles of cattle car, pleasure yacht, and camping gear transporter, these two Flying Scots have demonstrated not only flexibility but also great staying power, thanks to the hard work of the shore captain and numerous other club members’ efforts to keep the Scots afloat despite the best efforts of the youth sailing program.

What’s going to happen to the club’s current Scots? Rumor has it thatBlue Bonnet will be making its way to the Burning Man festival in the Black Rock Desert this summer as an “art boat”—I’ll be sure to get pictures and share them with the membership. (Banshee? I hear it’s destined to become a gopher-proof planter box up at Chez Blunk.)

I’m excited at the prospect of sailing Gib and Britt’s two Flying Scots that are in the process of being donated to the club, but Banshee and especially Blue Bonnet will always have a special place in my heart. Farewell, old friends.

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