Saturday, January 1, 2011


With the goal of eventually living on a sailboat, New Year's brings the obvious muse, "How many more years 'till we get there?" We are pretty far into the original "5 year plan," and clearly we are closer than we were on 8/26/2007. (Date of the first entry in this blog.) The only thing I knew about sailing back then was that it appeared to be the one avenue we could afford to travel that would lead to being on the water and living on a boat.

We've learned some things since then. Sailor talk no longer sounds like a foreign language. Once in a while I'll use "port" and "starboard" and "head" even though my feet are on solid ground. We can make a boat go and turn and tack, can find our way to a destination with the series of headings that works with the wind. We've learned to be comfortable on open water, bumpy water, and night time water. We have learned a whole bunch about what it takes to make a sailboat a home while keeping all the integrated systems working. I even learned how to sew...some anyway. But what sailing really taught me was an entirely new way to approach the world.

Sailboats move with the wind and the water. Unlike airplanes and motorcycles, a sailboat becomes a part of the environment. When the wind moves a little, the boat will move a little as well. A little more wind, a little more movement, but only up to a rather modest point. A sailboat is about being in a place and (sometimes) going to a new place, but it isn't really about "getting there."

I don't know when we'll get to the boat. It is enough to know that the winds and the tides are moving us that way, and I can smell the salt on the air.

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