This weekend one of the Great Lakes' more prestigious events, The Mills Cup Race, takes place on the waters of Lake Erie's Western Basin. Hundreds of sailboats, in about 16 different classes, ride the oft-turbulent waters of Lake Erie, hoping to sail away with a trophy. The final stop for these avid sailors is one of the bars in Put-In-Bay, that quaint drinking village with a fishing and sailing problem located on beautiful South Bass Island.
"Rag baggers" (term for sailboat sailors) are a bit unusual. When they arrive at Put-In-Bay (or any other waterfront village lined with taverns) they tend to drink wine and/or mixed drinks. In my travels I have seen very few RBs with a beer in their hand.
This Bear has done some sailing. I crewed with my ex-brother-in-law, many years ago. It was a short jaunt but I really enjoyed it. Before you could say "put the battens down the hatches" I was the owner of a small sailboat. Of course, keeping with tradition, I had to splash a name on the craft: Sluggo's Revenge.
The craft was small enough for me to drag it, via my regular "stink boat" boat (motorized boat), out to the many islands in Maumee Bay. Out that-a-way I would sail between the islands, enjoying the peaceful easy feeling (is there a song here?) that was stimulated by solitary man (another song) and wind-swept craft. I also took Sluggo's Revenge up north, to the beautiful Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Sluggo had the chance to wind-float on northern Lake Michigan (Big Knob State Forest Campground), Brevort Lake, and Andrus Lake.
I am not a small bruin. When sitting in the stern of Sluggo the bow tended to lift a bit, leading to less control. Ever the resourceful one, I duck-taped a relatively-straight tree branch to the tiller handle, allowing me to sit closer to the center of the craft. That contraption served me well for all the years that I owned Sluggo's Revenge.
Not sure why I eventually parted ways with my motorless friend. Most likely just lifestyle (no Lake Erie boat) and personal changes that drove me toward a different type of life in a rural area.
I have said enuf. How about you? Any "rag baggers" out there? What say you?