As promised in the last episode, this is Perry, and I'm writing this after having lived with Norman for more than a decade. From this perspective it's hard to set my mind back to July 1998 as the team headed for Toronto. We were there for most of the month, and Tim and Charlie only had to leave for a couple of days around the middle of the month.
At that point Norman and I had been together just under a year. It'd been a year of pure bliss. We'd been together almost full time, 24/7, during that period: doing exciting things, going exciting places, having major responsibilities that we found ourselves equal to. We rarely disagreed, and found that we could resolve those issues on which we did disagree without arguing. We weren't legally married, but we thought of ourselves as married, though we did use the term partner rather than husband or spouse when referring to the other. We had to admit that in almost everyone's mind, including our own, those terms brought out an opposite sex image and seemed to be jarring when used by a gay couple. While we resented not having the legal status that opposite sex couples had, we had no problem ceding the words, husband , wife , and spouse to the heterosexual world. After all, our crowd had commandeered the word gay , hadn't we?
I'll admit the sex was great. We had a blast. Can you imagine two teenagers in that situation not having a blast, not taking advantage of the situation: fabulous hotels, great beds, room service, and friends who were enthusiastic supporters, never condemning? But it was just being together and working together that was really special. We couldn't get enough of each other. We worried that it couldn't last, but we'd seen no evidence of it not lasting in that first year. Oh, God, thank you; what a year.
From Bandol we went to Toronto and Ottawa for a fairly relaxed summer of sailing. Auggie had chosen central Canada so that we'd be fairly close to North Dakota for the inevitable trips that Tim and/or Charlie would have to take during the summer.
Toronto was a great place for sailing; Auggie was delighted. He could find wind and waves on the lake to tax Tim and Charlie; he constantly prayed for bad weather, and aimed them toward the worst waves whenever he could. It couldn't have been Tim and Charlie's idea of fun, but they never complained–their determination defining them both. But, on closer observation, their motivation was different: Tim wanted a medal; no doubt about that. Charlie was in love with Tim; no doubt about that. In that regard, Charlie was the model that both Norman and I sought to emulate. I don't want to suggest that Tim's love of Charlie was less than Charlie's of Tim. But for Tim it was one of several driving forces in life. For Charlie it seemed to be the driving force.
On their first day off, David and Millie used a special guide book they had to go looking for a nude beach. They found Hanlan's Point Beach, a public beach on Lake Ontario. You got there by ferry. It wasn't an official "clothing optional" beach–it would be designated as such in 2002, but it had been a de facto nude beach for decades. At this point, Millie and David had no reservations about being nude on a beach in public, quite the contrary, they liked at. They found it erotic, not simply "natural" or "healthy." Their report was that Hanlan's Point Beach was tame–no overt sex, more men than women, but plenty of women and a number of families. On some nude beaches, particularly those used mostly by "naturists" (or nudists), there's very little interaction between groups or individuals on the beach, because that's easily interpreted as a sexual advance. However, at Hanlan's Point Beach they'd easily gotten to know two or three other couples and had arranged to join one of them for dinner at a nice restaurant. Nothing had been said about anything after dinner, but at dinner both couples had made it clear that they'd be unhappy if nothing happened after dinner. The other couple, Gilbert and Marla Simon, lived in Toronto and suggested that they all go back to their house. David had said, "That's fine. But we're staying–at our employer's expense–at one of the nicest hotels in Toronto. We have a lovely room. Perhaps you'd like to join us there?"
It was agreed that the hotel would be interesting, and they headed there after dinner. They looked around the hotel a while, had soft drinks in the bar, a dessert in the café, and headed to David and Millie's room. As soon as David had closed the door their guests quickly took off their clothes. Gilbert said, "We were all naked this afternoon, there's no reason not to get back to that stage quickly." They did.
David said, "Well, I guess the question is, what next? I'll have to admit that we're inexperienced."
Marla said, "You don't mean you're inexperienced at sex. You just mean that swinging is new to you. Right?"
Millie said, "Sure. But that doesn't mean that we aren't a little unsure of where this is leading."
Gilbert said, "It doesn't have to lead anywhere. I think we ought to start with the usual disclaimer: As far was we know we're HIV free. We were tested about a year ago, and have had sex with only two or three other couples since then, and we're quite confident they're HIV free. What about you?"
David said, "We're both quite certain we're clean, because of our histories–or lack thereof. But we've never been tested."
Marla said, "I think the whole thing's overblown. Not that it isn't a risk, and the disease is serious or fatal. But if you're careful about your partners, I think you're fine. Condoms always make sense, however."
Millie said, "I'm not sure I'm up to going so far as to need a condom."
Gilbert said, "Oh, wow. Oral sex is my favorite game. If we aren't going to fuck, I assume we're going to suck."
Marla said, "Calm down Gilbert. Not everybody's into oral sex."
David said, "We've played around with oral sex, but not a lot. It doesn't bother us; we've enjoyed it when we've done it."
Gilbert said, "Let's cut to the chase. Do you come in her mouth, and does she swallow it? Have you ever had a dick in your mouth; would you like to?"
Marla said, "Gilbert, that's too blunt."
Millie said, "No, I don't think it is. If we're going to play around tonight, and I think and hope we are, we all need to know where we stand. That could avoid some awkward moments later on. I'll answer your questions about me. I've sucked David dick, but he's come all over himself. David, you have to answer the second question."
David said, "That's simple. I've never had a homosexual experience."
"Would you like to? With me? Now? The girls can watch."
Millie spoke up, talking to David. "You know, David, that we work with three gay couples, and I know that all would welcome you into their beds. You're going to have to decide whether you want to move in that direction or not."
David said, "I'm being pushed here, but I think it's a direction I'd like to explore. Gilbert, if you're willing to be the teacher of a novice, I'm ready to learn."
Marla said, "Oh, boy. Willing isn't the word that applies here. Eager is much more to the point. Then, Millie, after they do their thing, we can either demand service from them, or explore each other. Your call."
Despite his fairly rough verbal introduction, Gilbert proved to be a wonderful teacher. He was slow, gentle and undemanding. He took David into his mouth and aroused him fully. Then he suggested that David do the same to him. Well before he ejaculated, he touched David on the shoulder and said, "Let's talk a little."
"I'm soon going to come. Do you want it in your mouth? Do you want warning?"
David answered, "I want it in my mouth, I'll think I'll get enough warning without your having to say anything. Do you want to have the first orgasm?"
"On your first time you want your partner to come first. You want to be fully aroused when you suck a guy the first time. Then you'll enjoy getting your own. In the future, trading off is fair. You're a gutsy guy. Most guys want warning the first time so they can finish with their hands."
"I married a gutsy girl. She brought me to nude beaches. That led to you. I'm learning."
Gilbert reached up, put his hands behind David's head, and pulled him down on his dick. David got the message and used his tongue vigorously, while also letting Gilbert continue using his hands to move David's head up and down. Soon Gilbert thrust hard, and warm cum came into David's mouth. At first he kind of gagged at the idea of swallowing it, but got used to the idea. Then he found himself being pulled up to kiss Gilbert, and they shared the cum. Oh, wow! What an experience!
Having Gilbert minister to him was even more delightful.
Then Marla said to Millie, "What's your pleasure?"
Millie was thoroughly aroused from watching all this and without thinking she said, "I want Gilbert's tongue in me. You can have David."
Gilbert quite enthusiastically and David somewhat hesitantly helped the women onto the bed and both heads headed for the now exposed cunts. Gilbert paused in that pursuit from time to time to suck on a tit or two, and then went back below. David got the hint and did the same. Both women climaxed at about the same time. Just as she came, Marla pushed David over and grabbed his balls while her mouth found his dick. He came a second time very quickly. Millie had just watched that, but soon Marla helped her move Gilbert and the two of them took turns sucking his dick and licking his balls. That didn't last long before he too came a second time.
They were all now lying on the bed, crowded in fairly tightly, even though it was a king sized bed. David asked, "Would you two like to sleep here?
"Uh, huh." Gilbert snuggled up to David and Marla to Millie, and they slept.
They had breakfast in the room the next morning, all still naked. Marla said, "We really should've warned you. We're both very bi-. We get straight sex from each other; we're pretty much into the gay stuff when we swing. I hope it was OK."
Millie said, "It was great, I told you we had gay coworkers. They'll be delighted to know we've had this experience."
The experiences of the morning were slightly different from the night before, but not much. David did have the first orgasm, and learned first hand that giving pleasure after you've come yourself is not quite as exciting. It often requires a commitment to repay your partner. David was willing.
At dinner that evening they told the entire team the story of Hanlan's Point Beach and what it'd led to in the evening. They ended by suggesting that the whole group might like to go. Tim thought it was a great idea and suggested the following Tuesday–hushing Auggie up before he could remind them that they'd miss a day of sailing.
There was no way any of us were going to turn down that invitation, and I don't think anybody wanted to. We took two taxis to the ferry and all headed to Hanlan's Point Beach. We walked to the "clothing optional" section, laid out our towels and all stripped. Norman, Goose and I got immediate hard-ons and Charlie teased us about them. Tim said to Charlie, "Are you jealous, since you're no longer able to raise one?" That was all that Charlie needed to get hard.
Norman turned to me, as I was gleefully staring at his very hard dick, "Are you turning sexless, too?"
"Not at all. I just don't get hard unless it's inside something."
Tim said, "Not here. No sex today on this beach."
The banter continued a while, and slowly changed to good conversation, mostly about sailing and the world travel it involved. We wandered around the beach some, checked out quite a few "packages" while trying not to be too obvious, and we were checked out an equal number of times. We had lunch, agreed that it'd been fun, but Tim summed it up for all of us when he said, "Well, since we can't proceed to the next stage here on the beach, I think it's time to go home. I'll also remind everyone that there are three people here who're not yet eighteen. I've seen kids on this beach, so having our boys with us is fine, but we can't go further. He turned and looked at Norman and me and said, "As much as we'd like to." He turned to Auggie and said, "You too, Auggie. Soon."
It was fun sailing in Toronto; Auggie had scheduled our summer well. Tim and Charlie had a lot of time for sailing, but none of us felt as if we were under a lot of pressure. We knew that would come as soon as we hit the races scheduled for fall. Now we were bound for Ottawa where we'd spend the month of August. Millie and David went to the airport with Tim and Charlie, who were headed to Grand Forks to spend a few days catching up in their university offices. Then Millie and David flew to Chicago for personal business and to check on our apartments, which none of us saw very often. They had a week between leaving Toronto and needing to be in Ottawa.
The rest of us, the support team as well as Auggie, Lynn, Goose, and the crated boats, took the train to Ottawa. It was a delightful trip. I put everyone in business class where the seats were luxurious, the meal sumptuous (included with the ticket), and the scenery just the same as in economy. I wasn't the least bit interested in the fact that the economy passengers arrived at the exact same time we did, and I assured everyone that Fred wasn't either.
Ottawa was great sailing on the Ottawa River, adding the issue of river current to so many other factors to take into consideration when sailing. The great thing about a current, though, is that it's relatively unchanging during a race! Besides, as Tim pointed out, few of our upcoming races would be on rivers with a current. Auggie just smiled and said, "You need to learn everything about sailing! And, don't forget, you may be dealing with tides."
September took us to Sonora, Mexico, for the last of the more relaxed practices that Auggie had scheduled. After Sonora we were headed to New York City for racing on Long Island Sound. This was the beginning of the series of races that would lead to the selection not only of the U.S. Olympic team but the teams of other nations as well. We knew we were moving into a new and more critical stage of preparation.
September was also the occasion of the first of three pretty critical birthdays. On September 24, Norman turned eighteen. Within a year both Auggie and I would be eighteen. Without it ever being said, at least not outside our regular pairings, we all knew that our relationships would change–at least a little bit–as we reached the magic age of legal adulthood. Norman made one suggestion to the group, and it was one that only he could make, since his was the first of the birthdays. He suggested that the team ignore his birthday in September and mine in March and wait for a big celebration on June 9, 1999 when Auggie would be the last member of the sailing team to become eighteen. Everyone agreed, and the team scheduled an orgy for June 9, 1999. Even Tim and Charlie agreed to participate.
The team had agreed to defer Norman's birthday, but that didn't mean that Norman and I had to ignore it. I suggested that we fly from Sonora, via Mexico City, to London, and head down to spend Norman's birthday with his parents. They were delighted, and we had a grand celebration. But we had to quickly head to New York for the racing on Long Island. We moved pell-mell from one race to another beginning on Long Island in October, then Singapore, then Italy and France, and Los Angles for Thanksgiving. Two quick stops in Jamaica and the Canary Islands before we took a short break for Christmas.
Whew! I think we all felt that way. But the race results showed that Auggie knew what he was doing, and Tim and Charlie were the fast learners that we were sure they could be and had to be if they were to have a chance. They won on Long Island, were third to Auggie and Goose's win in Singapore, and hadn't been below fourth since. In this series they hadn't yet been beaten by an American boat, and as a result were often being mentioned for the 49er positions on the U.S. Olympic Sailing Team in Sydney. There were, however, two other American boats that were well up in the standings, and who could give them a run for their money. We were all sufficiently self-confident that we had to get a lecture from Tim about the dangers of overconfidence! From Tim, the most confident man in the world, but–as Charlie pointed out–confident not overconfident.
Norman and I spent Christmas with my mom and dad, who by now were Mom and Dad to both Norman and me. We arrived a little over a week before the big day, and Norman experienced an American Christmas for the first time. We hadn't been there a day when Dad said, "Norman, this is small town America. We love it, and wouldn't want to see it change. But I think you might like to see the Christmas lights in a city. We thought we'd fly down to Minneapolis, spend one day in their Skyway system shopping downtown and spend the next day at the Mall of America. I'm not even going to attempt to describe either of those two things to you; they have to be seen to be believed."
Dad told us that airline service into the Ironwood Airport came and went. Some years there was scheduled service, and other years not. Destinations varied as well. However, right then you could fly to Duluth from Ironwood and get a good connection to the Twin Cities. We headed out that very day, and we settled in the Radisson Hotel in Minneapolis that evening. We ventured into the Skyway system that evening, but found that it was very much designed to serve the daytime downtown crowds, and wasn't heavily used at night. Stores were closed or closing by 6:30 or 7:00, and only a couple of department stores were open till nine. We had dinner at a restaurant we found in the Skyway System and then returned to the Radisson. Norman learned two things very quickly about my parents: first, they watched their pennies, and second they had none of the modesty of his parents. We shared a double room with two double beds. Norman and I hadn't even been consulted about that arrangement; I expected it, and Norman didn't mind at all. As soon as we got in the room Mom looked at Norman and asked, "OK, Norman, is modesty or that old English reserve going to get the best of you, or can we be comfortable in this room?"
I think that I may have been more startled than he was. But before he could open his mouth Mom continued, "When Betsy (Norman, Betsy is Tim's mother) heard you were coming she got me on the telephone and told me of her experiences with Tim and Carl and their spouses. She and Norman (that's Tim's father) decided to get over their shyness in front of their children-in-law very early, and have been glad ever since that they did. Can you deal with that, Norman?"
Now Norman was as startled as I was, but I quickly realized that it was in character for the Gang. He sort of stammered out that it was Ok with him.
"Then we'll get our clothes off." And she proceeded to do exactly that. So did Dad, me, and finally Norman. He looked around and saw that he had the only hard-on. Mom continued, "Don't worry; it's natural, and this is a lot more stressful for you than either Paul or Perry."
Dad, quite naked, walked over to the counter outside the bathroom and opened an ice bucket. "Let's have some Cokes while we get used to this."
So we sat their, naked as jaybirds, drinking Cokes, eating cookies, and talking about nothing in particular. Finally Dad said, "Amanda and I are going to bed. We won't be embarrassed about the activities in our bed; don't you be about the activities in your bed. Just remember, Amanda and I will consider your just going to bed and going to sleep as a sign that your relationship is falling apart."
It was clear that we didn't have any choice but to perform in some way that evening. Soon Mom and Dad visited the bathroom, returned to bed, and turned out the light, thank goodness. Norman and I whispered about what we'd like to do and decided that he'd fuck me, and use his hand to bring me as he humped me while I was on my back. I'd just had an orgasm and Norman was about to when the light clicked on and Dad said that he had to go to the bathroom.
Do you have the picture here? Norman is on top of me, with his dick up my ass, humping me pretty hard; I have just come and have semen all over my chest, and both of my parents are now watching this. The next morning at breakfast in the hotel dining room Norman shared his point of view of the situation: "Two spectacular things happened–at least spectacular from my point of view. First, neither Mom nor Dad seemed in the last concerned about what was happening. Second, I actually stayed hard and was able to continue what I was doing. Thank God Dad had turned the light out before I came. Perry, you were completely quiet through it all until I ejaculated, when you burst out laughing." My laugh had been infectious and we all laughed ourselves silly. I'm glad I wasn't in the adjoining room. That was Norman's real introduction, not only to the Weeks family, but to the Gang. It would be a long time before anyone in the Gang was able to top that experience for him.
The Skyways and the Mall of America were anticlimaxes after that. Norman was new to America and its shopping excesses, but he was familiar with London, and he pointed out that it's hard to beat the excesses of Harrods. But the Skyways were spectacular, linking all of downtown Minneapolis without having to go outdoors. The Mall of America, four storeys high, complete with an indoor amusement park, is over the top. We were all ready for a return to the relative sanity of Ironwood, Michigan.
My sister Nettie and her boyfriend Marshall were soon home from Grand Forks for the holidays. Norman had met Marshall and Nettie on our quick visits to America, but this was the first time he was able to spend any time with them. One of the first things that Marshall asked Norman when they were alone was, "Have you had the naked treatment from Mom?"
Norman assured Marshall that he had.
Marshall said, "I was afraid that she wanted me to have sex with her, but that clearly wasn't her intention. She was following the lead of others in the Gang who told her she needed to be comfortable around her children-in-law."
Norman said, "As I understand it, the whole thing comes from Tim's parents, Norman and Betsy. I've met them but haven't gotten to know them. They must be quite a pair."
"Indeed they are. They'd have to be to have raised Tim–and Carl. Carl is as spectacular in his own way as Tim. He's become one of the top architects in the U.S."
"Marshall, how much sex goes on in this Gang?"
"A lot. I think I've had sex with almost everyone in the Gang, but not Tim and Charlie."
"Why not them?"
"Nettie and I are students at UND, and they consider students to be off limits. We've been assured that our time will come. And, of course, Paul and Amanda are off limits."
"It didn't seem like it the other night."
"They are. You won't get pushed like that again. They wanted to get you over your inhibitions quickly, and I think they get a kick out of being more liberal than their kids."
"Did they catch you in the act of fucking Nettie?"
"Oh, indeed they did."
"Were you able to finish?"
"I'm one up on you. I had my dick up Perry's ass and was able to finish."
"That's pretty good. Sometime you'll have to ram that thing up my ass. I know that Nettie'd like to watch."
Norman asked, "Are you suggesting that the four of us could have sex together? A brother and sister?"
"Ask Perry. He and Nettie had a lot of sexual adventures, including with each other, before you and I came along."
Norman was learning fast. But our time in Ironwood was limited. Christmas day arrived, with a turkey dinner for the six of us, Marshall's parents, plus a couple of the single teachers at Paul's school who didn't have family locally. Norman learned a lot about American Christmas traditions. The dinner table highlighted the cultural differences found in America. Mom and Dad who had both grown up in Ironwood still had different traditions of turkey dinner. For Mom nothing could replace rich giblet gravy poured over mashed potatoes. For Dad, candied sweet potatoes were an integral part of the meal. There was no compromise, so the meal featured two kinds of potatoes, and two vegetables for the same reason: corn pudding and sweet and sour red cabbage. The arrival of Marshall in the fold added a new complexity: his mother had grown up in Oklahoma and had learned to put cornbread stuffing into the turkey. He had been disappointed to learn that the Weeks only used bread and celery stuffing. The result? This year's turkey had cornbread stuffing that Marshall's mother had made the day before in one end, and Amanda's stuffing in the other! We were well fed.
Then Auggie's reality hit. Boxing Day (to Norman, December 26 to us Americans) was turned into a travel day, as we headed to Europe to be ready to sail on December 27, 1998, in Valencia, Spain. Auggie'd scheduled a week and a half of practice before the three race days of January 9-11. Finishing places: One, two went to the American old folks, as Tim and Charlie were beginning to be called, and the binational team of Bahamanian and American, or the super-Blacks as they were becoming known as. Neither pair was sure whether they liked their nicknames, but they seemed to be stuck with them.
After Spain we had exactly three days to get the two boats ready to sail in Sydney, Australia. This would be an important time for Tim and Charlie, as this would be the sailing venue both for the Olympics and for the races that determined the American entry. For some reason, the races leading to the selection of the American team weren't call Trials, but that's essentially what they were. A number of races, not just the last in Sydney a year before the Olympics, contributed to the decision about who'd represent the U.S. in a 49er. That series was kicked off with the January Australian National Championship that we were now a part of.
Auggie and Goose could've raced, but elected not to. Auggie said it was the first of many critical races for Tim and Charlie, and he was part of their support group not their competition. Tim and Charlie had long ago given up giving any protest to Auggie's decisions. What he said was law. They didn't argue, protest, and seemingly it didn't even occur to them that a different course of action was possible. We were all free to express dissenting opinions to Auggie, and he always listened, and sometimes even agreed with us. From a mistake that Lynn (thank God it was Lynn) made early on, we learned that such dissent could not be expressed in front of Tim or Charlie. They needed totally unambiguous direction, and they got it. When you consider both of their incredibly forceful personalities, Auggie's control was beyond belief. But that was their deal. They'd do what they were told, and he'd hand them Olympic gold. Well, it was always worded as "an Olympic medal" but we all knew that they all understood that Tim and Charlie were competing for the Olympic gold medal.
Think about it. If that happened it'd be Tim's 20 th Olympic medal, two more than his nearest rival. And in three sports. Charlie would own two golds and a silver in two different sports. For both of them, their first and last medals would be earned thirty-two years apart. The American, and world, news media were beginning to be aware of this as a super human interest story that ran very well in newspaper sections other than sports. Mick and Mike were, of course, all over it, and Norman and I met them for the first time on that trip to Sydney. Mick knew a good story when he saw one, and the two teenagers, Auggie and me, as coach and in charge of the support operations for the Fred's Sports Sailing Team made a great two page spread in Sports Illustrated . That issue, the first after the races in Sydney also featured Tim and Charlie on the cover–first across the finish line in the last race only inches ahead of their closest rival, an Australian boat.
Auggie had positioned himself in the perfect spot with a very high power telephoto lens and got a perfect shot. Mike was jealous when it was Auggie's photo on the cover, but he admitted that he'd been scooped by Auggie. He was relieved to learn that Auggie's interest was only in pictures of boats, not sports. He told Auggie, "Thank God, I don't need a competitor like you."
Auggie replied, "Mike, that's high praise. Thank you. I've seen quite a bit of your work, and to be even considered in your league is wonderful." Auggie knew how to say the right thing at just the right moment.
Our next race was in New Zealand, and then we bounced around the southern hemisphere in South America, South Africa, Singapore, and returned to both Australia and New Zealand in March, 1999. We spent early March just practicing in Darwin, and Norman and I found time to relax a little and enjoy a return to the city where we'd really begun our relationship. We were, of course, staying at the same hotel and Mr. Feiffer was still the manager and delighted to have us return. We asked about Alston Gidding, whom we hadn't communicated with since our time in Darwin.
Feiffer told us, "You know that trip he took with you amounted to a lot of hours, and he got paid for it in one lump sum. He took one look at the amount of the check and gave me two weeks notice on the spot. He's gone walkabout; I think he was in England for a while. I got a note from him not that long ago saying he was headed back to Australia intending to attend university in Sydney. He asked if he could have his old job back until his university term began."
"What did you tell him?"
"I assured him that he had a job whenever he liked. He was a very good worker, and hit it off especially well with some of our most important guests. Workers at his level come and go regularly, so I can give him work just about any time he shows up. I expect him in about a month."
"Where is he now? Where was he writing from when you told him that?"
"Honestly, I haven't the slightest idea. It was all by email. He could be anywhere."
"Can you give us his email address?"
"Technically I shouldn't without his permission, but I'm quite certain that he'd want you two to have it. I'll get it and put it on a message form in your lobby box."
We sent him a message immediately, but didn't get a quick reply.
Our next stop was Cairns for the All-Queensland Regatta. It ended on March 20 th , and Norman asked the rest of the support team if they could handle getting everything and everyone flown to Christchurch for the South Island Regatta that began on March 22. They were quite willing, and so Norman was able to plan a trip for the two of us to Hobart, Tasmania. Why Hobart? It was the most exotic place he could think of that we could easily fly to on the 20 th and then fly to Christchurch on the 22 nd . In the interval we celebrated my eighteenth birthday on March 21, 1999, touring Hobart, having a fine dinner in a lovely restaurant overlooking the ocean, and spending the night in a fine bed in a 4-star hotel, and getting very little sleep. We left on the first flight out the next morning, connecting to Christchurch by the afternoon. The team had agreed that all eighteenth birthdays would be celebrated together on Auggie's date, so this was just a private celebration for Norman and me. We both loved it.
From New Zealand we headed north to Italy in April with races in Naples and Loano. We were in Miami for two days of racing on April 15 and 16. There was one thing rather special about Miami. The Miami Yacht Club was the home club of membership for Tim, Charlie, Auggie and Goose. This was their first time to cross the threshhold of the clubhouse! There had been some communication, mostly with Auggie, particularly as the successes of the team accumulated. They had always registered Miami as their home club, and people in Miami were getting curious about their absent members. Tim and Charlie were very gracioius with everyone, and thanked them repeatedly for being their sponsoring club. It was clear that the Miamians were delighted to be associated with a team that looked like it would be an Olympic contender. It was, however, a somewhat odd relationship, and both parties seemed to sense that. Both parties also sensed that it was to their mutual advantage.
Next we all headed for the Canary Islands for a month of relaxation and sailing. It wasn't clear how Auggie intended to balance sailing and relaxation!
For just about the first time, Tim and Charlie announced that they were breaking Auggie's schedule. They headed back to Grand Forks from Miami and told everybody else to go on to the Canaries. It wasn't said in a way that suggested that they wanted to hear any protest, so that's exactly what we all did, using the tickets that Perry had purchased a long time before. David had had to scramble to change the reservations for Tim and Charlie to go via Grand Forks. I'm really not sure whether Tim and Charlie had business at the university that they had to attend to. I suspect that they needed a break from Auggie's unrelenting schedule, looked at the calendar and decided that this was a good time, and took off. Auggie accepted the change gracefully, and he and Goose had a week of incredibly intensive sailing in the Atlantic around the Canary Islands. Auggie could push himself as hard as he pushed Tim and Charlie.
For the rest of us the time spent in the Canary Islands was relaxing, romantic, and festive. We headed to La Gomera Island where Perry told me that Tim, Charlie, my parents, and the four others from the Gang that lived in Michigan had vacationed for Christmas in 1980.
We got to the island and settled into the little hotel that David and Millie had found on their scouting and planning trip. It was lovely and the perfect setting for a relaxing, romantic, and festive time. At our first dinner I told David and Millie of a beach that my parents had visited on their trip twenty years before, "It'd be worth a visit to find out whether they're wearing clothes on that beach or not. They weren't in 1980." I had directions from Dad.
The next day Auggie and Goose went sailing. They told us that they'd be fine and didn't need a support team, but Norman and I'd have none of that. He and I stayed with the launch as a tender for Goose and Auggie, and the others went exploring, looking for the magic beach. They found it, but it was deserted. With no bathers on the beach, nude or otherwise, they couldn't be sure whether "clothing optional" was still permitted. It was noon before other bathers arrived and they headed to the other end of the beach. It wasn't long before one of the new party walked over to our crew. He was Spanish, but spoke English fairly well. He seemed embarrassed as he introduced himself. Millie figured out the situation immediately. She said, "Senor, I believe you are here to ask if we are aware this is a nude beach. We are, and we won't be offended if you all bathe in the nude. We will do so as well." She didn't try to explain why they hadn't done so up to this point, but soon everyone on the beach was without a swimming suit, and each group was furtively eyeing the other.
Before long David said, "I think we ought to go over and introduce ourselves. The long distance view is frustrating for both parties." They did, and clearly everyone was happy to see and be seen up close. But the man who'd spoken to them before was the only one who spoke English, and before long the two groups had separated. Each went swimming, and both parties moved closer to the other when they came in from swimming. But there was no further contact between the groups. A little later a few more persons arrived, all keeping to themselves, but all losing their clothes as soon as they'd checked to make sure that was what everyone else was doing.
The next day Millie insisted that the entire group head to the nude beach–this time in the afternoon when we could expect others to be there. We all went, had a good time exposing ourselves to perfect strangers, and worked at eliminating the swimsuit lines from our tans. Various members of the group continued to visit the beach all month–especially Millie and David.
Norman and I found our own little corner of beach not far from the hotel, hidden behind a group of rocks, where we could be alone, naked, and comfortable. We retreated there whenever we didn't have other obligations. We fucked the Hell out of each other on that sand, and loved every minute of it.
Auggie fooled us all. He really meant rest and relaxation as the agenda for the Canaries. Tim and Charlie arrived after a week, and they sailed every day, but with little pressure from Auggie–none of the relentless pushing which was his usual mode of operation. He did take two days to give Tim and Charlie practice righting a turtled 49er. They were exhausted after the first day, and Auggie was relentless the second day. They were, by damn, going to be able to right a turtled 49er, no matter how unlikely the event, in excellent time, which Auggie figured to be two and a half minutes. The first time it took them twenty minutes. By the end of the first day they had it down to just under five minutes. "Nowhere near good enough," announced Auggie. We'll keep at it tomorrow. By the end of the next day they were consistent at two minutes forty seconds, and did it once in one minute and fifty-eight seconds. Charlie was getting fed up with the whole business, I could tell. He dared Auggie to show them how fast he and Goose could right a turtled 49er.
Auggie and Goose took their boat out a ways in an area of kind of rough waves–clearly as hard a location to right a turtled boat as could be found. They turtled the boat, stood on its bottom, pointed to their watches, and dove in. They had the boat up and sailing in under a minute. None of us could believe it, and Tim and Charlie took back all of the unkind words they'd thought about Auggie for two days.
The next day nobody even touched a sailboat, but we did spend the afternoon at what we were now calling Magic Beach. We had the beach to ourselves and were all laying on towels in pairs, working hard to eliminate evidence of swimsuits. Goose, without a partner, and without a swimsuit line, was walking alone along the shore. Tim called out, "Goose, come here." Goose walked over and Tim patted the towel between him and Charlie. Goose sat down, and immediately he and Charlie set to sucking his balls and dick. Goose looked startled, but that look faded into contentment. You could just hear his mind thinking, "Ah, at last a pair that understands how to use a tongue." We all watched for a short while and then one by one each pair got involved with itself. Norman and I were soon fucking, Millie was riding David like a race horse, Curtis was giving Gene a hand job, and Auggie was standing up, holding Lynn on his lap while he fucked her–it was a neat trick, and for a while diverted the rest of us from our appointed tasks, but not for long. Luckily no other parties arrived on the beach during all of this, and before long everyone was content to be back worrying about their swimsuit lines.
All good things must come to an end, and our time in the Canaries was no exception. We were off to Toronto for a race that the Canadians called the Icebreaker, and sane people avoided at all costs. None of the other 49ers expected to be competitive for the Olympics were at the Icebreaker. I'm not sure exactly why Auggie had picked this race, but he had, and he considered it important. Tim agreed. Charlie looked frozen just thinking about it.
The race is actually misnamed. March is the month of greatest freeze on Lake Ontario, but it melts quickly and the lake is usually ice free by early April. The Icebreaker was May 20-22. The average water temperature in Toronto in May is about 43 degrees. However, Lake Ontario is subject to severe water temperature shifts, especially along the north shore near Toronto. Ontario is the deepest of the Great Lakes and the deep reserve of water remains at about 35 degrees year round. This has a warming effect in winter, accounting for the quick breakup in March. But during the rest of the year wind conditions on the surface can move surface water and bring colder water to the surface quite rapidly. Water temperature changes off the Toronto shore of up to twenty degrees in a matter of hours are not uncommon. It's a Hell of a place to sail in a boat that inevitably gets you wet.
The more Tim heard these facts, and pondered them, the more he liked the place. He was ready to go sailing the minute he saw Lake Ontario. Auggie was ready to accommodate him. We all were, of course, but Auggie was the only one of us who was enthusiastic about the idea. Goose, in particular, coming from the Bahamas, thought that Auggie had lost his mind. Then he realized that the Maddie II was in the marina, ready to sail. When he saw it, he said, "Holy shit, Auggie expects me to sail in this thing in this lake at this time of year. Perry and Norman, you both know how to sail a 49er, you go out with Auggie."
That comment was reported to Auggie by several of us, and his response was, "Sounds like a good idea. Perry, why don't you and Norman sail the Maddie II in this race?" After all, Auggie knew he didn't have the authority over Goose that he did over Tim and Charlie, and he guessed, I'd think quite rightly, that Goose had no intention of sailing on Lake Ontario in May. Both Norman and I had good cold water credentials, and we agreed to the plan, novice 49er sailors that we were. But there were no restrictions on who could sail in the Icebreaker, so Norman and I were duly registered, along with Tim and Charlie. Norman and I had to be fitted with new wet suits, but otherwise we were ready to go. By the afternoon before the race we were out on the lake with Tim and Charlie, worrying about handling the boat and not thinking about the weather.
Race day broke crisp, sunny, and cold as Hell. The water temperature was well below 40, and a few of the registered boats had withdrawn. There were six races scheduled for the day, and each boat would sail in two of them. The eight boats with the best records in their two races would compete the next day in three races, your finishing positions in the three races determining the winner. Finishing positions in the two qualifying races would be used as a tie-breaker, if needed.
There were eight boats in our first race, and much to our surprise we came in fourth. Tim and Charlie were in the next race, and they finished second. In the fourth race both Tim and Charlie and Norman and I competed. We pretty much ignored the other boats, determined to do as well as we could against Tim and Charlie. In our dreams we beat them. In reality we didn't. They came in third and we were fifth. We both qualified for the final races the next day.
That night at dinner Charlie looked like he'd spent the day in a walk-in freezer. He was bundled up in a sweat shirt and coat, but at least had stopped shivering. Tim, Perry, and I looked pretty good, though I'll have to admit it had been a cold day. We'd been well covered up during the races, but a wet suit is well named. It's supposed to keep you dry in a wet environment, but the fact is that they all leak–basically nobody has invented a perfect seal for the wrists, ankles and neck. Water gets in, and it's cold. Of course, it comes in small amounts and your body warms it. But dry you aren't, and warm you aren't. But the suits prevent hypothermia, and keep you alive and functioning. How well you function basically depends on your state of mind. Charlie was, of coure, the exception to that rule. His frame of mind was awful; he thought we, the race sponsors, and Auggie in particular were completely out of our minds. Yet he performed as well as Tim. It was like his magic when they came about: he'd appear on the other side of the boat, impossibly ahead of Tim. He continued that in these terrible conditions. None of us could believe it, but there he was.
It warmed a little the next day, and because of changing wind patterns the water warmed even more. We were ready for the races, and Perry and I were determined that we were going to beat Tim and Charlie in at least one of the races. As the first race progressed a nasty chop developed on the lake. Two boats capsized, but managed to right themselves fairly quickly. But that let Tim's boat, the Freddie , get in the lead, and let the Maddie II , carrying Norman and me, into third place. All of a sudden a crazy gust of wind hit the area, and the Freddie went over. Their mast got in the way of the boat in second place which had to jibe to avoid hitting them, and the Maddie II was in the lead! All of the drill that Tim and Charlie'd had in righting a boat paid off, and they were back sailing in record time. But we had the lead and we were determined to hold on to it. Luckily, we were on the last tack before a downwind race to the finish. We came about just ahead of Tim and Charlie, and Perry got the spinnacker up like a pro. With two equal boats, with all sails set, there really wasn't any way that one would overtake the other in that situation, unless somebody did something stupid. Nobody did, and Norman and I crossed the line in first place about eight seconds ahead of Tim and Charlie.
They really showed their characters when we got the boats docked, awaiting the next race. Tim rushed up to me, hugged me tight and almost squealed, "You came in first! God, Perry, that's wonderful. You're an incredible sailor. What in the Hell are you doing on the support team?"
I simply replied, "Managing it, so you can win Olympic gold. You know we're not in your league. We got real lucky that you capsized, and even then you almost caught up with us."
Tim said, "Luck, schmuck. That was brilliant sailing."
Charlie'd said about the same things to Norman, and then he said to both of us, "Anybody that can sail like that in this weather deserves more than a medal."
Luck it was. And it didn't stay with us. We finished 6 th and 7 th in the next two races for a final finish of 5 th overall. Tim and Charlie were second. Norman and I were thrilled to have sailed at all, and to have made the finals and placed 5 th was simply icing on the cake. To have beaten Tim and Charlie once, even with lots of luck, was a real ego boost. Everybody left Toronto in a good mood, though in Charlie's case the good mood was brought on by the fact that our next race would be in the Netherlands, which he assumed had to be warmer than Toronto. If he'd looked on a map he would've seen that Medemblik, Netherlands, was quite a bit farther north than Toronto!
For different reasons, our two visits to Toronto will forever remain in our memory!
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