Sailing away.

Coming out of the grocery store this evening, the sound of the wind moving the flag around the flag pole, a slapping kind of sound, reminded me of going sailing.  Years ago, my father owned a sailboat, and I went sailing with him many times.  When we would go to the marina, the sound of halyards slapping against masts was everywhere, a sound I came to associate with excitement, adventure, pleasure, and being close to Nature.

Moving through the water at five or six knots, ( about six miles per hour,) using nothing but the wind, is an incredible way to get in tune with the environment.  The boat has to be adjusted, or ‘trimmed’, depending on the direction of the wind, and which way you are trying to go.  Sometimes, it can seem as though the boat is moving very quickly, and everything must be carefully watched.  Other times, even though going the same speed, it can seem like you are barely moving.

And there is no drone of the motor, no fuel gauge to worry about, just the slapping of the waves, and the wind in the rigging.  When you first turn onto the wind after raising the sails, and the mainsail goes ‘snap’, and the boat suddenly seems alive, that is when the magic begins.


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