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By Bill Nolen - Oklahoma City - USA

Farewell to Piglet

As I pushed Piglet, my West Wight Potter 14 sailboat, away from the beach, I did so with a heavy heart. For this would be our last sail together.

Her Honda motor quickly started, and we were soon in clear sailing water.

I hosted Piglet's lateen sail. A gentle wind filled the sail and away we sailed towards the far distant shore.

The fall weather was perfect for such a bittersweet day, warm sunshine, fluffy white clouds and a warm steady wind.

As we sailed along I could feel the soft vibration of the tiller and rudder against my fingertips. The water was making a wonderful soft gurgling sound as it passed by Piglet's hull.

Then softly and sadly I told Piglet that soon she would no longer belong to me. That she was going to a new home, and that I would never see her again.

I thought I felt a slight tremor in the hull, and then an increase in the rudder vibration. Then a soft sigh passed through the rigging. But perhaps it was just the delusions of a sad old man.

I then hove to in the middle of the lake, where I told Piglet how much happiness she had brought into my life. And as we slowly drifted along I tried to explain why it had come to this painful parting. The only sound was the soft waves slapping the hull and the soft muttering of the wind as it passed through the rigging.

Wiping my eyes I pulled on Piglet's mainsheet and soon the sound of water rushing by the hull lifted my melancholy mood. I told Piglet that we should enjoy the few hours we had left; and somehow I felt she agreed with me.

So off we sailed towards the distant dam, with the wind behind us. Then we changed course, tacked once and then once again. Then we sailed on with a gybe or two to change course. We dashed for a buoy and circled it once and then again! The water sparkled in the sunlight, and my heart filled with joy as Piglet and I sailed on each new course.

As the red sun lowered in the west we sailed towards the beach. Piglet's vibrating rudder seemed to speak to my heart and soul. I felt she was telling me not to worry... that she would be just fine. I believed that she was right; her new owner would love her, as I had loved her.

Piglet's bow soon touched the shore. Our last sail was over.

Piglet and I had said our farewell.

Bill Nolen

Piglet was soon sold to Jim McWilliams of Castell, Texas. Unfortunately Jim died shortly thereafter. Piglet was then sold to a man living in Monterrey, Mexico where she is today.

Bill Nolen recovered from the health problems he was having, and is once again sailing small sailboats.

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