I was glad I wore my nice underwear on a rare hot day last month when Poseidon called the ladies of the loft to the sea. In a bygone era, before the waterfront was the tourist destination it is today, my boss began a tradition of skinny dipping with her colleagues. A plaque at the sand's edge now commemorates that ritual, although the words "used to" make me chuckle, since it seems like a nice way of saying: "Please don't get naked downtown anymore. There are children."
The sailmaking sirens did not let a lack of swimwear get in the way of living the legacy of the midday icy dip, but we did keep our skivvies on. The dunk was the first one I had braved in the clear, glacial waters of the bay. But, I rose to the surface warmed by the sense that I was now a true part of our legendary sail loft.
This week marks my six month anniversary as a sailmaker's apprentice. The sails I am entrusted to build grow in square footage, but the amount of knowledge to collect and skills to perfect also seems to increase daily. Luckily, when feelings of being overwhelmed begin to rise up like a wave, one of my co-workers is there to streak by and plunge in before it crests, breaking it with a laugh, and maybe a bobbing pair of boobies—figuratively, of course. After all, we're not an indecent bunch.