On the Saturday before my most recent birthday, I had a lovely adventure. Two Toastmaster friends and I went down to South Haven, to take an afternoon cruise aboard the reproduction tall ship Friends Good Will owned by the Great Lakes Maritime Museum there, and manned by volunteers.
The original Friends Good Will was a merchant sloop commissioned and purchased by a South Haven businessman. However, she passed out of private ownership into the American Navy, then by trickery from their hands into the British Navy, (and back again) in the early 1800's. Her career ended when she ran aground and was burned.
Given my handicap and lack of agility, I was thrilled with how easy the new Friends Good Will was to board. I found a seat on a sail locker, with my back to the mounted field gun, along with other passengers in that afternoon cruise. The captain and her crew members wore costumes authentic to the era as they took us out of harbor under engine power.
When we were far enough out, passengers helped set the sails, and we cruised along the lake shore. Once we got beyond the range of power boats and jet skis, it was blissfully silent. Breezes were light, and the lake placid. All too soon to suit me, it was time to return to port. On the inbound leg, the captain let me try steering.
Now, I have an inkling of what my novel hero would experience on an extremely placid day of pleasure sailing. Why did I disembark?