For those of you who follow my Prairie Girl Learns to Sail posts, you will know that husband recently decided that their 28 foot Catalina (the TwoCan) just wasn’t adequate anymore and became the proud owner of a 35 foot Beneteau (the TwoCanXL). And if you read my blog (Prairie Girl Series #23-Dec. 2, 2018), you will also know that Prairie Girl is somewhat challenged in the sailing skills department. This is noted in the author page of her book, WHO’S the CAPTAIN? that states:

“MARY LAUDIEN (alias PRAIRE GIRL) is a fair weather sailor (better known as a cruiser). She has never taken a sailing lesson or a power squadron/VHF Radio Course, but thankfully, her husband, (who thinkshe’s CAPTAIN) has! Unfortunately, Mary didn’t start sailing until her later 40’s and therefore, she missed out on the fun of taking her sons (as children) out on sailing vacations. But, she can tell anyone who will listen, that she’s had many a humorous (if not scary) experience while sailing the Pacific NW on their Catalina, the TWOCAN. When Mary wrote, WHO’S the CAPTAIN? she visualized David Alavoine’s cartoons. Each time he’d draft a sketch and email it for collaboration and feedback, it was like opening a birthday gift; his cartoon interpretations the perfect match to the text. Be prepared to be entertained- young and old alike!”

Actually, last winter, Prairie Girl decided it was time to take the Power Squadron’s Radio Course, and if you read that post (Prairie Girl Series #17-Oct. 22, 2018 ), you will know that she successfully completed the one day course. What you don’t know is whether she ever actually used her new skill. She may have managed a couple of messages last summer, but did she take over that task completely? Not by a long shot! It appears that Prairie Girl has a bit of a complex when she knows others may be listening to her communications. This seems somewhat absurd when one realizes that in her life as a Principal she was MASTER OF THE PA SYSTEM and the QUEEN OF COMMUNICATIONS! Could it possibly be that competent sailor husband somewhat intimidates less than competent sailor, Prairie Girl? Oh, just maybe… (Never intentionally, of course!)

Does Prairie Girl look relaxed enough to take her hands off the wheel to communicate over the radio?!


Notice the contrast… husband is calm and relaxed, waiting for someone to hail him.













Well, isn’t Prairie Girl posed with somewhat of a dilemma! A couple of months prior to the start of the new 2019 sailing season, Prairie Girl finds herself perseverating on thoughts of husband’s increased expectations to have her handle this ENORMOUS (her perception…) sailboat. After all, it’s inevitable that the day will come for them to leave the dock. Somehow, she always thought she was just along for the fun! She questions her strength, her ability, her agility, her skill level in crewing on this much larger vessel. She is envisioning it all unfolding in vivid David Alavoine cartoons stylePrairie Girl knows she will have an abundance of fodder for her upcoming blog posts, as she transitions to this BIGGIE-SIZED new vessel.

So, what is she doing to prepare for handling the new TwoCAN XL? Well, she spent some time in January working through the PLEASURE CRAFT OPERATOR’S COURSE on husband’srecommendation”. It was actually somewhat reassuring, working through the course, realizing that she had most of that knowledge from her experience on the water. And of course, scoring 96% on the exam, had her doing a HAPPY DANCE. (Husband admitted that he never studied, but just challenged the exam at a Boat Show years ago. He passed it on the spot, but his Prairie Girl definitely scored higher… she’s just saying…) The best part is that they both now have their PLEASURE CRAFT OPERATOR’S CERTIFICATES aboard the TwoCan XL.

Husband has already started hinting at other action steps for Prairie Girl to prepare for their first sailing season aboard the TwoCan XL. You knew he would, didn’t you? Yes, that’s right, he is setting the stage, at this point, for Prairie Girl to get used to the idea that she will be the one to dock the new boat. (The boat will be much too high for her to get down from onto the dock to pull it in… of course it will be!) Can you picture the cartoon that’s running through Prairie Girl’s head? And whatever happened to Prairie Girl’s daydreams of simply picking out new dishes and towels, while decorating their lovely new boat?

Thanks for following Tender Tuesdays and interacting with the posts through your COMMENTS.  Please pass on my website https://www.marylaudien.com if you know of some sailors that might be able to relate to the Prairie Girl posts and have a few chuckles.

4 Responses »

  1. To avoid getting creosote on that 36 foot long hull, when docking,
    Be aware of those cross winds pushing the boat sideways.
    Have the necessary elbow grease cleaning materials available for the moment,should it occur.

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