Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mary Sailing !!

Mary Sailing !!

Last week was the Cross of Victory Walking Pilgrimage to Martyr's Shrine in Midland, Ontario. We met in Burlington and shuttled up to Terra Cotta, at Winston Churchill and King Road. From there we walked past Hurontario along the Caledon Trail, before being shuttled to Caledon East to stay at Robert F. Hall Catholic School for a retreat on Sunday with the Divine Mercy Walking Pilgrimage who walked there from Brampton.

As we walked, from Monday to Saturday, August 10th,we carried two crosses, one for Burlington and one for Brampton, and a tapestry of Mary. The tapestry of Mary, commonly referred to as just “Mary”, was on a dowel pole about five feet long, with a cross member about two feet long, at the top, that the banner hung down from on both the front and the back of the pole. The banner was about two feet wide and three feet long. The whole thing weighed about a kilogram or about two pounds, but I am just guessing at the weight.

Some would consider Mary to be difficult to carry in the wind. I came up with a solution that worked for me, which I called Mary Sailing.

Hang gliding, where the pilot of a large kite uses his weight to direct the aircraft,has similarities to windsurfing, where again, the surfer uses his weight to balance the force of the wind on the sail and propel the surfboard along. I assume that hang gliding is similar to what I know of paddling and windsurfing - that strong hands from large forearm muscles are beneficial for moving the control bars. I found carrying Mary to be the same.

In Mary Sailing, the idea is to feel the effect of the breeze on the pole of Mary, and adjust accordingly, leaning Mary into the wind, to compensate for the force of the wind. If this is done, then Mary may even lift out of your hand by the force of the wind acting on Mary as if it was a sail !

So if you feel the wind blowing Mary forward, move your hand as it holds Mary, forward, to allow Mary to lean backward into the wind.

It is much easier to detect the wind's action on Mary if you hold it in one hand, at the very bottom of the pole, which may seem easy, as Mary is only about two pounds, yet the slightest lean of Mary has a lot of leverage on your hand, which makes it easy to detect, but one must be very quick to compensate before Mary gets out of hand!

Better not to fight the force of the wind on Mary, and wonderful to feel Mary carry her own weight when properly attended to. . .

This year's pilgrimage was wonderful yet again, for my fifth year !!

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