Thomas Watson is on a mission to "raise awareness" and raise money for breast cancer research. He's got plans, and so far he's making good on those plans. His boat, Darwind, is the pinkest boat you can imagine.

The Pink Boat Regatta delivered too. I know: I saw the whole thing.

For me, the regatta was about a lot more than cancer too. It took me a while to warm up to the idea it's been so long since I've been on the water. Slowly an idea emerged and came together.

First, a skipper, a woman skipper: Kristen, my friend and Vice Commodore of Island Yacht Club was willing to drive so Georgia would qualify as a Woman Skipper boat. Janet came too, bringing other friends who sailed.

Their commitment meant that I could work on another miracle: inviting pals from my group at the Cancer Support Community to enjoy a day sailing. For this to work, the weather had to be warm and sunny. For this to work, the boat had to be in sailing condition. For this to work, chemo/radiation/sniffles/side effects etc had to be left at home. Pretty big obstacles. I couldn't sail, I would watch the racing from the shore.

Sometimes, everything does come together well, and I am at a loss to describe the feelings which engulfed me as I drove across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge on my way to Corinthian Yacht Club. The sunny sky set the stage, warm and inviting. As clear a day as I could ever want. Its beauty was not lost on me.

Georgia, our home until my personal miracle, was already tied up at the club, with guests finding her easily. After a spring and summer of abandoned adventures due to one repair after another, this seemed miraculous, and I felt a deep gratitude. Sun and a boat to race!

Cancer changes everything. I had invited all ten of my pals. A couple are nerds - no evidence of recurring disease. Several are in the fight of their lives, enduring treatments with amazing side effects. Some, like me, are in the midst of things. Waiting, living, until the next news. Among us are a few breast cancer stories.

The race started. My friends and I enjoyed brunch, the breeze, the sunshine, the blessings of living. Georgia rounded the mark right in front of us once, twice, again...a total of 17 buoys! She looked good, as did her crew! The race ended, and the celebrations began.

Smiling faces! A gorgeous sail, new friendships, even prizes.

Best, $7,000 for research. Best? Ummm, maybe the third place wins?

Truly, best was the miracle that it happened and we are alive for tomorrow.

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