Friday, August 15, 2014

Bad weather

Perhaps as we are to the people who live on the north shore of Lake Superior all year round, so are all these Sunday people to us. On Thursday or Friday or even Saturday we may see as few as three or two or one or even no boats in a whole day. Our vast and epic view of something so elegantly spare and enormous and quiet is hardly touched, a single seagull heading into Grand Marais is of remarkable interest. Not so on Sunday. At one point I could see eight different boats spread out across the waters. Granted that's among one or two hundred square miles that my eyes can cast over. But then that's the thing about spending a week here, for one day a person is just a wandering visitor, but after three days one really starts to take possession. These are my 200 square miles. Just you keep to yours and we'll have no problems.

I did make an early argument at our lake house in defense of sailboats, feeling they are picturesque and traditional to holiday, vast water views. I am even now willing to stick with this defense so long as the sailboats are sailing. Granted the breeze here has never come to anything more than pleasant, but I have yet to see a sailboat with actual unfurled sails. Every one I have seen on this trip has been motoring along at a steady clip, to or from Grand Marais, their tall masts emptily and pointlessly sticking into the sky. I have decided a sailboat that even has a motor is cheating. I know that this is a very firm rule, but I can't help it. The longer I'm here the higher my standards go.

And so Sunday is much taken with watching slow passing boats, most of them fishing, a few thinking about sailing, but deciding that that's way too much work. I'd rather just look at the lake, but the boats have a way of drawing the eye. So I go downstairs and grab a book on shipwrecks of Lake Superior. I idly read through that. And on a calm and perfect Lake Superior summer Sunday, I dream of storms.

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