By Robert Poindexter, Sailor and Writer
Six long months of cold days, and even colder nights, her lines filled with pink fluid, running through her like the medication from an IV filling the veins of a coma patient. But soon she will be awakened from the deep slumber that winter forces on her every time summer’s warm breath gives way to fall’s chilly warning of cold north winds filling her berth.
But now, an early spring sun gleams off her bow pulpit and dances around its edges as her prow rises and softly falls like the chest of a sleeping beauty while muted waves lap at her water line.
I can scarcely contain myself as I walk to greet her. Like a long lost friend who looks so good after a long absence, I reach for her, grabbing a handful of shroud, I caress the wooden rollers and hoist a leg over her lifeline.
One by one, I ease around her decks, releasing bungee cords one at a time from the tarps that have been her blankets for the winter she has endured. Soon enough, they are folded and stowed. The usual inspections are done, the cleaning, leak inspections, hoses reconnected that need be, valves checked, opened, and cleared of anti-freeze, fresh water added to tanks, and the mundane, but necessary tasks that go along with bringing her back to life.
Now it’s time to turn my attention to the iron genny. With new filters and fresh oil in place, I climb into the cockpit and prepare to do battle.
Key on, choke pulled, throttle set, engine room fans on. I listen to them hum for a few minutes, then I bump the key – batteries are strong, and the little four gives it her all, but she needs time, she just needs to wipe the sleep from her eyes and clear her throat. A few more tries, and now she sits idling, water spilling from her stern, singing the sweetest song I’ve heard in ages.
While the melody continues, I move forward and hank the 150 in place, running the sheets to the cockpit, kick off the dock lines and pull away from the slip that has held her captive too long. We glide past the others in our little marina, waving at neighbors as we head towards the lake.
Once past the buoy that marks our harbor, I give the Atomic 4 enough throttle to take a bigger bite out of blue-green water. Looking up the mast, I turn the wheel to port and follow the windvane as it slowly reaches for the bow.
Ahh, there it is, now I cut back the throttle to a sweet idle, kick her tranny in neutral and let the forward momentum keep us moving as I head up and hoist the main. Once secured, I swing around to the port side and hoist the genoa.
Now, back at the helm, I spin the wheel to starboard and watch the sweet westerly fill her sails. As they billow, the smile in my soul makes its way to my eyes, my chest is filled with laughter as I reach for the key and silence the beast in her belly.
It’s only a small lake, in a small town in Kansas, but I couldn’t have felt more content than if it were the wide blue sea.
How like opening up a sailboat after a long winter is the person who is suddenly in a job search situation. Whether you are a new grad looking for the first time or a seasoned pro that has not been in the market for a while, there are basic tools and checklists that must be performed in order to properly launch your new career search.
The most important tool by far being the professionally written resume, which, like the sails on my “sleeping beauty,” when set properly, will catch the eye of the hiring manager to create that “whoosh” that propels your career across the lake of life.