The Winds are Subsiding


Our Y-Knot sailing days are winding down at Lake George’s Camp Chingachgook as we all met at the dock today for another unforgettable day. The next time we meet will be at the annual Regatta in two weeks, and then one sailing day after that. The Martin 16 adaptive sails boats will soon begin their long winter retirement.

Our involvement today reminded me of how much I’ve learned about sailing, rigging boats, and the spirit of bravery and fearless living that our disabled sailors exhibit every single time they’ve shown up over these last several months.   They trust us to rig the boats without error. They trust us to get them in and out of the boats without incident. And they trust themselves as they confidently sail off into the middle of our beautiful and mighty lake despite their physical challenges.   I’m honored to be a student of this extraordinary program.

As this sailing season winds down, I’ve also enjoyed learning about the special terms that we use in every-day life which originated in the age-old art of sailing. Here are a few more terms that I loved researching.

  1. “Taking the wind out of his sails” when on the hi-seas means exactly that. The sailor sails in a way that literally steals the wind from another vessel.   Our use is similar, just not literal.
  2. A “Tell Tale or Tail” is a piece of light-weight string, yarn, or plastic which is attached to an upright stay that provides an indication of the wind’s direction. Our Martin 16 boats have pieces of cassette tape that function the same way. A bit of modern-day material (which as we all know is now obsolete…the cassette tape, that is).
  3. The term “Under the weather” was born as shipmates were assigned to serve on the weather side of the ship while being exposed to wind and spray. We all know what it’s like to feel “under the weather” in a different way.

As our Y-Knot days wind down, I will also be eternally grateful for having met Miss Nula. Nula is the constant and dedicated companion of Mark, one of our sailors. She lives to be with Mark and to be of service in any way he needs.   I witnessed her pick up and hand him a mustard packet one day. I was humbled by her devotion as he relies on her for things he can no longer do. Their bond is one of shared love and allegiance. They are remarkable together.


Nula waits patiently for Mark to return to the dock.


She spotted her life-mate heading back in. Her toe nails were hanging over the dock.


This picture needs no explanation.

The special racing sails will be hoisted for the Regatta.  Eight sailors have signed up so far. Brian and I are looking forward to continued fun and sportsmanship as we sail once again with our Y-Knot friends, and continue absorbing the special wisdom of our fellow volunteers and courageous sailors.

Please pray for a little wind!


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4 Responses to The Winds are Subsiding

  1. Before I forget... says:

    This sounds so wonderful to be a part of. Interesting to learn those terms. 🙂

  2. Ann says:

    I knew so little about sailing before I read this Diane! Now I know a least a little! Nula is a most wonderful dog and companion. I’m so glad you added her to your story! Bless you and Brian for your kind and giving souls. May the good winds blow for you!

    • Diane Fiore says:

      Thanks for the wishes for good winds, Ann. The Regatta is right around the corner here, and we’re so excited to be a part of this amazing program with the even more amazing sailors. We are truly lucky and humbled people. Oh…and Nula is the BEST!

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