Lake Huron, ON - Tasha Hyndman

My Watermark is Lake Huron, Ontario.

Throughout my teens I was involved in a group called Toronto Brigantine - which takes youth out on overnight trips on tall ships. One time, we were coming home from one of our trips - making our way in from Chicago, travelling up Lake Michigan and into Lake Huron. We'd had this amazing sail and hadn't needed to turn our engine on once!

I was standing watch and, at the end of my shift I noticed a big black cloud on the radar. I called the captain and asked what we should do - he said the storm wouldn't hit us for another couple of hours and that I should go to bed at shift change.

I was half asleep when I felt the boat pitch to the side - a strong wave had hit and our boat did what boats do. Suddenly I hear the captain running up on deck and calling out all hands on deck. He told me to stay in bed since I'd just gotten off my watch shift - but there was no way I was missing this, so I ran up too.

We were all tasked with taking in the sails. I was standing on top of the deck house taking in the main sail and, again, the boat rocks - the main sail swings out from the boat and I grabbed on to it - naturally, I swung out with it. I was hanging on to the sail for dear life, knowing that, if I let go I could fall into the water in the middle of the storm. It was scary but at that same time - exhilarating! Eventually both the sail and I were pulled back in, and I stepped on to the boat. We made it through the storm and got home safely.

The next day when I thought back on the night, I realized I wasn't upset that I could have fallen into the water and nearly drowned, or that there had been this big storm. In the end, I was upset that after our near perfect sail up to Lake Huron, without any engine assistance, we ended up turning the engine on just 16 nautical miles outside of Goderich, our landing point, and lost our virgin sail.

Lake Huron, ON
Claire Lawson
Tasha Hyndman

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