Written by Jack Nelson
Gun. The spinnaker fills. Michigan’s shoreline recedes as we head for a buoy 100 miles north in Huron’s crown. Thunderheads march over Saginaw Bay blackening the sunset amidst jibes and biting flies. A rain line collapses into static punctured by the helmsman’s order to “ease, ease, EASE the mainsail!” First watch: myriad constellations -- pole star, Saturn maybe. The bow cuts a somnolent curl as we run over following seas. Becalmed: slack sails on oiled glass long before the hull burbles again. We round - 90 miles left. Night squalls force sail changes in a wet fury. The sea state fades with dawn. Blue air fractures beneath the photographing helicopter. A small, gray plume puffs victory before the gun sounds.
Jack Nelson was one of the winners of Michigan Radio's One Minute Michigan Story Writing Contest. Keith Taylor read the story.