"One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time." -Andre Gide

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Reflections on Sailing

The March/April 2010 issue of Good Old Boat ended with an interesting article by Matthew Goldman reflecting on his past love affair with the sea as the spring thaw approaches. The article is not generally written in a way that I would normally like, a little "old world" in its phrasing, but it struck a chord none the less. This reminiscing made me dream a little for the day when I am old and can look back over the years thinking fondly of the time I have spent on the water. As I am just starting out at sailing how can I apply this today?

The first thing that comes to mind is that no matter what happens I doubt I will describe in this way:
"And when I'm away upon the wind, don't look for me on your calm fetch of this world. I'll be, perhaps, in the lee of that island, yonder: be perhaps, on the far side of that billow; be, perhaps, behind that faintest of stars that lifts from the sea."

But I also notice that in his romanticized reflecting he didn’t mention about the times when things didn’t go right. Times like when in a stiff wind he couldn’t come about so decided to jibe and ended up the head sail wrapped around itself in knots or the time he ran aground because he was too busy finding the perfect spot to put his beer down. Even the repair job that took much longer than it should and still ended up sloppy looking didn’t get a mention. Why? All it takes is one good day at the tiller with a decent breeze to make any number of unpleasant memories fade away. It is good thing to remember in general that no matter how tough things are now and how much work is yet to be done, in the end we will remember the good times most and it will all be worth it.

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