Saturday, April 30, 2011

Blindfolded dinghy races (Betsy)

Put two people in a dinghy, blindfold the driver and have the other person navigate. Trust. It's all about trust.

Today, Betsy of Mystic and Katie of Miss Teak entered the LoretoFest Dinghy Race. I was driving, Katie was navigating.

The rules were simple: cross the starting line, circle a boat in the distance (without hitting or damaging it), return to the start and retrieve a big Micky Mouse that's been tossed into the sea. Easy? Not on your life.

Katie and I, the only all-girl entry, laughed and cheered the dinghies that went before us. Then suddenly it was our turn. Looking us in the eye, the rough, gray-haired race organizer said, "I'm counting on you two". Jeez, as if we didn't have enough pressure from the talented, speedy teams that had gone before us!

Easing toward the starting line, Katie positioned herself low in the bow as I pulled the blindfold over my eyes. I heard the starting gun, goosed the throttle and we were off. For the first forty-five seconds we were flying. Then I stopped trusting Katie's instructions. I heard her emphatic starboard, starboard, but instead let my own head and blind sense of direction take over, throwing us off course.

I so wanted to pull off the blindfold and see where in the heck we were. All the while, Katie kept shouting directions and managed to retrieve that life-jacketed Mickey Mouse. And as you might have guessed, we did not take home the trophy.

What a powerful lesson in trust. I just wish I could have seen it.