Monday, March 14, 2011

Things Jews Don't Do Part 9

It's been a while since I've posted an entry under the category of Things Jews Don't Do. If you'll remember there were previous stories about my chainsaw adventures, my NASCAR driving at the Richard Petty School and my yearly camping trips to the High Sierras. Although, as my darker-skinned, fellow-member-of-the-tribe buddies have pointed out, Ashkenazis may not camp but the heartier, sturdier-built Sephardim do.

Last week I chronicled the story of my older daughter's science fair project. This week, under The Fair and Balanced Sibling Blogging Act, I am compelled to write about my other daughter, Abby. That's Abby pictured above, navigating her 9 foot sabot. For those of you who are landlubbers, Jew and Gentile alike, a sabot is a small sailing craft. It has its own mainsheet, a jib, a rudder and a host of other nautical features, I could not begin to describe.

This particular sabot has its own captain. She's also the first mate, the crew and the only passenger. I have been dropping Abby off at sailing camp in Marina del Rey for the past two years but have never really seen her in action. Abby likes to do things but she doesn't necessarily like to have her parents watch her do things. Until a couple of weeks ago, when my wife convinced her to take part in the camp's annual sailing races and that we would be coming to watch the spectacle.

Watching her navigate the high seas all by herself made my heart swell. And of course when I say high seas I am referring to that calm inlet of water just south of Tony P's Dockside Grill.

Nevertheless it was exciting. Particularly the last race of the day, when Abby scooted out (I'm not sure that's the right phrase) to a big lead. She tacked around the big orange buoy and was headed for the finish line in first place. The nearest racer was 30 fathoms behind her (I know that's not the right terminology). Abby was headed for a sure victory. And as any parent knows there's nothing a kid savors more than victory over her peers.

But Neptune, Lord of the Seas, had other plans. Suddenly a microburst of thunder and rain kicked up. The wind was clocked at 30 knots, dangerous for even seasoned sailors. Abby fought valiantly, but the front of her boat torpedoed into the water and capsized. She went in the drink. As did almost every other kid on the water for that race.

I lept to my feet ready to dive in after her. But the sailing camp instructors assured me there would be no need for that. Abby valiantly flipped her boat back on its side.

She didn't win the race, but she was the first kid to swim to the rescue boat. And that should come as no surprise, because if Mark Spitz, Lenny Krayzelburg and Dara Torres have taught us anything, it's that while we may not be cut out for sailing, we Jews know how to swim.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

I saw the Swimming Jews at the Hollywood Bowl in '98. Still one of the best concerts ever.