Rita's 50th Birthday Trip

The second two week trip of the short year started on February 1st for John, leaving a freezing New York behind and landing in the heat of Rincon.  With three days to spend by himself before Rita and other guests were due to arrive, he spent the first day on the beach by himself planning on what to do.  (Besides drink and swim.)  He wanted to surprise Rita with something special since her birthday was only a week away.  Sitting in the hot sun, he decided to build a roof over the back deck, to block the sun and make the best part of the house habitable in the daytime.  He had been thinking about it for awhile and planned to build it similar to the roof he put over the Tiki Bar in rockaway, only with a stronger and opaque material. 
He decided to leave the beach a little early and head to home depot to get the project underway. But first a stop in the bar Shipwrecks for a cold beer and to examine their roof structure which is similar to what he wanted to do.  He talked to some people in the bar for awhile, Hector the bartender, a guy named Steve who is a retired camera man for Wide World of Sports, and a young couple visiting for the first time.  After a few rounds and some hearty laughs John headed to the parking lot.  As he passed Taino Divers though he decided to pop his head in and ask a question.  "Do you know anyone who teaches sailing on a Sunfish?"  Behind the counter was a a vision, Jeanne Walker Sinclair who answered, "yes, I do."  John entered and needed to verify his good fortune. 
"You are a sailing instructor?" John asked.
"I don't know anything about sailing" John admitted to her.
"Don't worry I can teach you," she reassured him.
"You over estimate my intelligence," John told her.
"Its just that I'm confident in mine, I can teach anyone." 
John likes confidence in a woman.

she's trying to say the big 5, 0.

This is the sunfish that Cubby and John  would learn on.
The last time John and Rita was in Rincon the previous month John had told Rita how nice it would be to learn to sail and get their own Sunfish.  Rita agreed and that was enough to convince John that this would be the perfect gift.  Forget the roof, learn to sail, and surprise her with a new skill and boat.
That night at happy hour John told Cubby his plan and asked him to join him in the lessons.   Cubby thought it was a very romantic idea and decided to so it too.
On the day of the first lesson John got there first and met up with Jeanne and her husband Jeff.  Jeff is a great guy and a man with many talents.  He is also a sailor and a masseur.  They asked John where his friend was and he told them Cubby would be here shortly.  "how long do you know him?" Jeanne asked. 
"at least 15 years" John answered.
Jeanne asked, "what's his name."
John thought about it for a few seconds, "I don't know." he embarrassingly admitted.  "Cosmo?"  John guessed.
Cubby showed up right after that and Jeanne asked him his name and he answered Neil OConner.

John Cubby and Jeanne sat in the sand for 45 minutes as Jeanne taught them terminology, determining wind direction, factors affecting the boat, safety, etc.  

Jeff and Jeanne and Magic.
Jeanne was very thorough and an excellent teacher.  Cubby and John are not the greatest students.  Especially with a hangover.  I guess that is the way it will be everyday in Rincon for them.
Jeanne told them the first thing they must learn in the water is how to turn the boat over in the event of a capsize.  That didn't sit too well with Cubby, who as a former member of the Coast Guard knew that capsizing is not a good thing.  Nonetheless Jeanne demonstrated for the boys and then made them each capsize and right the ship.  Its actually not that difficult if you know what you're doing.  Next Jeanne took Cubby out for a half hour lesson and then told him to go sail by himself around the Marina while she took John out and taught him.
Sailing was a little frustrating at times, especially when there were light winds.  The weather was pretty good for learning though, the water was pretty calm, and the winds were light to moderate.  Jeanne was really patient with her patients, I mean students, and would stay for hours extra each day to make sure Cubby and John were getting it.  She truly is great person and teacher.  After lessons John, Cubby, Jeff and Jeanne would get some lunch and adult beverages and get to know each other. After two days of learning they planned the all important third day, when Rita would arrive.  the plan was to tell Rita that Cubby and John were going golfing while they took their last lesson.  Rita and Tony G. were arriving at 5 am anyway and would want to sleep.  Tony was in on the surprise and would take Rita to the beach when they woke up and then John would surprise them by sailing up to shore and jumping out of the boat in front of Rita.
The plan went off beautifully except for one thing.  Rita is not a big fan of surprises.  As a matter of fact she was confused when she saw John jump off the boat.  "What about golf?"  she asked.  John explained the whole plan to which Rita said, "I don't remember anything about sailing." 
Oh well, John and Rita will work on communication skills.
However when sailing was over Jeanne, Jeff, John, Cubby, Rita, Tony G, and Stan hung out on the beach and then back at the house for an old fashion cooler party. 
More stories and pictures to come, Super Bowl, Rita's Party, Shipwrecks, Cofresi, Calypso, Jesus or Knot?.......