I have a confession to make. In my last blog (Summer Sailstice: We're Invited), I promised to go sailing on June 18, 2011.

And. I. Didn’t.

I don’t even have a very good excuse. Laziness. A lengthy and cold morning swim that took a little too much out of me. A garden that needed weeding.

The view of Beavertail Lighthouse from Matsya's cockpit on a solstice sail in 2007. Photo: Laurie Cronin

The view of Beavertail Lighthouse from Matsya's cockpit on a solstice sail in 2007. Photo: Laurie Cronin

For whatever reason, I broke my promise. So when John Arndt’s follow-up email came in yesterday (on the actual Solstice), I felt guilty. I'd let him and everyone else who read my blog down. And then I read this part:

“If you did sail, make sure you and your crew are signed up to be part of this year's prize drawing coming soon. If not, take advantage of the actual solstice, today, June 21st by signing up and sailing on the longest sailing day of the year.”

A reprieve! I could make up for my breach of promise with a sail that very afternoon!

So after work I grabbed the oars and rowed out to our Herreshoff Marlin, Matsya. The breeze was a perfect light southerly, the air T-shirt-warm, the sunset a distant worry on this longest day of the year. The only thing missing was someone to share it all with, since my husband was hard at work launching his own boat.

I called a friend who works at home. “I’m doing paperwork,” Tom said.

“No you’re not. It's the Solstice, and you’re coming sailing.”

I’m not usually that forceful, and Tom’s not usually that malleable. But ten minutes later, he joined me for a classic evening promenade along the shorelines of West Passage. Tacking back and forth across the Bay, chatting about this and that, we solved most of the world’s problems. And according to our MotionX track, we sailed a total of 5.37 miles—without straying much more than a mile from the mooring. So in order to keep another promise, I’ll be donating $53.70 to Sailors for the Sea.

I probably would’ve gone sailing anyway on such a perfect evening. But I wouldn’t have had the nerve to armtwist Tom into joining me. So thank you John Arndt, for giving one more citizen of the world the gift of a raised sail and a perfect evening on Narragansett Bay. I can’t wait until next year.

For more stories from around the world (including a wedding), visit the Summer Sailstice website.