Exploring Tarpaulin Cove

Tarpaulin Cove Light

Our week of sailing with my cousin and his family was a fantastic adventure!  After weathering a few crazy storms while moored in Red Brook Harbor, we sailed to Naushon Island, anchoring in idyllic Tarpaulin Cove.  Hannah and her cousin Sasha immediately jumped on a paddle board and made their way to the island in search of shells and sea glass.

Red Brook Harbor
Red Brook Harbor

DSC_0019 DSC_0096 DSC_0158I followed in the dinghy with camera in tow, capturing as many seabirds as possible before the sun went down.  DSC_0162 DSC_0200 DSC_0320 DSC_0251 DSC_0353The rest of the family joined us for a sunset dinner on the beach.  Above, my cousin Blake and his beautiful boat Calypso.DSC_0124 DSC_0303The next day, we sailed to Martha’s Vineyard where we spent a long, lazy weekend indulging in lobster rolls, ice cream, and our cozy bed at the Hob Knob.  And though we loved being back on land, our favorite moments of the trip were spent on Calypso and exploring Tarpaulin Cove.

Sailing Away

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Gay Head cliffs, Aquinnah

This Sunday, my daughter and I leave the boys behind and head east for a sailing trip with our Connecticut cousins.  We’ll make our way from Cape Cod to Martha’s Vineyard, then spend a long weekend in Edgartown.  I’ve been eagerly anticipating this trip from the moment we planned it and can’t believe it’s actually here!  I’m dying for her to experience the thrill of sailing – crossing my fingers that she loves it as much as my sisters and I do.

Menemsha
Menemsha

Two summers ago, our family spent a week on the Vineyard and the trip was by far my favorite that we’ve had with the children (the photos shown are all from that trip).  At one point during a fishing excursion my son looked at me and said, “Mom, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you so happy.”  And he was right.  You know you’re doing what you love when time slips away and your joy-filled soul has no room for worries.

Lucy Vincent Beach
Lucy Vincent Beach

My posts and photos from that trip are without a doubt my absolute favorites, so I am sharing them here, here, and here as many of you are new to the aesthete and the dilettante since I first posted them.  I hope you love them as much as I do.  I can’t wait to share with you what I discover this time around.  Until then, Happy Summer!

 

 

 

Summers to Remember

644_1108542276121_1303757050_330342_5091_nAnother summer has come to a close.  Looking back over the years, I am most nostalgic for the summers spent sailing with my grandparents in Canada.

My sister Kathy, Grandpa, and me at the helm circa 1976.
My sister Kathy, Grandpa, and me at the helm circa 1976.

  Our journeys always began in Penetanguishene, Ontario, where we would gather provisions and fish from the docks while our grandfather readied our boat, Mañana.  Our grandmother would stow bags of buckwheat flour, baskets of oranges for juicing and eating, peanut butter, honey, homemade bread, and cornmeal for crusting and frying catches of the day.  Milk was stored in the freezer (so delicious with its icy shards when paired with our peanut butter and honey sandwiches!) along with emergency meals for the days we hooked nothing but bottom.

Kath with our grandparents.
Kath with our grandparents.

Leaving port was always filled with excitement!  When the lines that bound our boat to the dock cleats were tossed on deck and bumpers were hauled aboard, we would motor out of the marina onto Georgian Bay.  I remember the smell of Manana’s diesel engine and the eager anticipation of cutting the motor and unfurling her sails.   How I loved watching land drift further and further away until it was out of sight!  This meant there was no turning back and I could finally enjoy the thrilling juxtaposition of our boat’s intimate quarters against sailing on open, unprotected waters.

Kathy in the hammock  and our cousin Robin on the canoe, soaking up sunshine.
Kathy in the hammock and I on the canoe, soaking up sunshine.

We sailed during the day, passing time with backgammon matches, boat songs and turns at the helm, then anchored at night, staying a day or two in one of the protected coves my grandparents had named after each of their grandchildren.  The moments of navigating our boat through the narrow, rocky passage ways to reach our secret coves were often fraught with tension.  I recall being confused at how they could yell at each other while anchoring but then be so calm and loving afterward.  They contended that it wasn’t “yelling” if you were on a boat – it was simply “speaking with urgency.”

Days were filled with blueberry picking (for my grandmother’s buckwheat pancakes), fishing, swimming, canoeing, exploring, and napping or reading in the bow hammock.  After dinner we would play cards or tile rummy and look over the next day’s nautical charts.  Many nights ended with time in the cockpit marveling at the stars while our grandfather taught us constellation names.  Their brilliance against the black of night is something I still dream of today.

Fishing with my grandmother.
Fishing with my grandmother.
Kath and our mom with Northern.
Kath and our mom with Northern.

Baths were taken in the bay with a bar of Ivory, chosen for its inability to sink.  I can still feel the cold water inching up my legs as I eased down our boat’s ladder.  If the temperature was unbearable, my grandmother would pour buckets of water into the dinghy and let the sun warm it before washing our hair.

Braving the cold Canadian waters for a quick dip!
Braving the cold Canadian waters for a quick dip!
A dinghy bath.  It's the only swimsuit I remember her wearing!
A dinghy bath. It’s the only swimsuit I remember her wearing!

Every trip had a different crew, with parents, cousins, and my Aunt Sally all taking turns.

Clockwise from top left: Robin, Kathy, Rod, and me, rocking the Jordache sweatshirt circa 1983..
Clockwise from top left: Robin, Kathy, Rod, and me, rocking the Jordache sweatshirt circa 1983.
Canoeing with my cousin Rod.
Canoeing with my cousin Rod.

Save for one year, Kathy was always with me.  I can close my eyes now and see her curled up in a sleeping bag with a book on her favorite starboard bunk.  She cherishes those summers just as I do, and we dream of returning, together with our families, someday.

Kath and me.
Kath and me.

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For the Men

Today’s inspiration comes from the masculine shades found in winter’s austere landscape.  Silvery grey, snow white, midnight and weathered teak meld with the warmth of deep mahogany, rich amber, camel, and espresso to create a sophisticated neutral palette in menswear and interiors.

Images via The Gifts of Life, Patterson Maker, and Pinterest.

Lake Michigan

Today Lake Michigan traded its traditional sapphire uniform for this spectacular aqua and cerulean display.  Walking along the beach and soaking in the crazy 78 degree warmth brought daydreams of summer picnics, sailing expeditions, and bike rides to the ice cream shop.  Impossible that this is Chicago and we’ve just reached the second week of March.

What is sexy?

What is sexy?

My 9-year old daughter recently asked this from the backseat of my car (isn’t that where all of the amusing/difficult/serious inquiries come from?) after hearing the word in song lyrics.  The question gave me pause.  Not because I didn’t want to answer, but because sexy is undeniably subjective.  I responded eventually in a generic, text-book sort of way (my mother’s voice in my head saying, “answer honestly, giving no more information than they ask for!”), but the question stayed on my mind.

So I set about asking.  One sister responded, “Food is sexy – I am currently eating filet mignon wrapped in bacon with spinach and brie melted on top.  Gant videos.  Edith Piaf.”  Another said, “men with deep voices and strong thighs, confidence, solid ground strokes and a great sense of humor.”  And from sister number three, “confidence, charm, passion for life.  And a well-tailored suit!”

Friends – male and female – also weighed in:  A devilish smile.  A woman in a tank top and a baseball hat. A man with confidence toeing the line of arrogance.  Intelligence.  Great legs in heels.  The well dressed man.  Wit.  Ripped abs.  A woman who can pull off glasses.  Accents.  Bare shoulders in winter.  The dip in her lower back.

What do I think is sexy, you ask?  French press coffee with the New York Times.  Bill Evans.  Working up a sweat.  Red by the fire, white on the beach.  Salted caramel ice cream.  Grey cashmere.  Stolen, knowing glances.  And the sound of a spinnaker catching the wind.

*image via jennafifi.tumblr.com