Yesterday we had an absolutely beautiful sunny Minnesota spring day. I was lucky enough to be able to take advantage of it by heading out for a sail on our little local lake. I have to get in my sailing early in the summer before the lake fills up with seaweed and it is like sailing in jello. I have an O’day Widgeon 12ft day sailer which I leave beached at a friends’ backyard on the lake. This time I did remember to bring my rubber boots to keep my feet out the smelly mush along the shore, but forgot my big sponge to sop out the rain water and tree droppings from the cockpit. That’s okay, my pants soaked up most of it from the seats. I enjoyed a wonderful sail around the lake while trying to figure out the wacky wind patterns and make it around the little island and back. If you have never sailed in a small lake in Minnesota you may not know that the winds tend to be very gusty and uneven and come from 12 different directions depending on where you are on the lake. One moment I am drifting along, the next the little boat surges forward and heels over in a gust, then just as quickly drops into another hole in the wind and falls back flat. I can be in irons with the sails flapping, cruising along on a beam reach, then broad reach, then back in irons (oooo sailor talk) without ever changing direction. Looking across the lake you can even see the little patchwork areas of high wind roaming around across the surface of the lake. It does add a little excitement, as I really didn’t want to take a swim in the cold green water, and while I technically know how to right a small capsized sailboat it has been many many years since I have done it, and never with this boat. Watching the clouds, listening to the geese and ducks announce my arrival, and calculating my next tack to avoid the shallows and make it around the island, I had to stop and appreciate that life could be worse.