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Saturday, July 16, 2005

Saturday Morning Sailing


Saturday mornings have so much promise, don't they? To me it is the beginning of a two day adventure. I spend it in a variety of ways, but my favorite thing to do is get up at the crack of dawn and go sailing.

I love sailboats, especially catamarans. There's something raw and free about them that you don't get with any other boat. My favorite is the 20' cat, which can hold 4 people easily. It's wonderful to start out with the sun just rising over the ocean, the morning is still damp and cool, and the only other people out are the ones that are die-hard fishermen or fellow sailing addicts.

It's hard work to get that sailboat off the trailer you brought it on. That's why most sailors need a partner (somone who doesn't chatter incessently and is willing to do some work).

But you get the cat on the beach, just above where the water is lapping at the shore. The only sound you hear are the shrill shrieks of gulls way above you, and the occasional car whizzing by. The next thing you have to do is raise the mast. It's hard work, but using some creative means and lots of elbow grease, you get it up there. You raise the sails, make sure all your lines (the ropes) are in order, and away you go.

The marvellous thing about sailing is that there is no pollution of any kind. You hear no motor, you smell no diesel fuel. All you experience is moving silently and swifly through the waves. You smell the pure, clean smell of saltwater and feel the cool wind whip by. Dolphins love the noise sailboats make under water, and they'll find you and start chasing you. As you slice through the water, they whiz along behind, sometimes to the side of you, sometimes frolicking about behind you.

Another friend of mine ('John') who loves catamarans got a great deal on one a couple of years ago. He knew there were potentially problems with it, because the price was so low. But sometimes you have to take these babies out on a test run before you know if anything is wrong. He loves silence on the water as I do, but was desperate enough to ask his friend to go with him one morning because he got the itch. His friend (' Sammy') is one of those annoying guys that can't stop talking and is never comfortable with silence, but Sammy was the only one available to go.

So John and Sammy went sailing. The wind was blowing hard and fast and they were going at a terrific speed. John wanted to see how fast he could get it (to make really sure he had put the boat through all it's paces). Sammy, meanwhile, couldn't shut up. He was talking about everything under the sun. John tired of it quickly, and repeatedly asked Sammy to shut up, but Sammy had diarhhea of the mouth.

Some dolphins picked up their trail and started darting about them. Sammy now had a new subject. "Look John," Sammy said excitedly, "Look! Dolphins!" He leaned out onto one of the catamaran's wings and laid on it, trailing his hands in the water. "Just look at the way they're following us, look at..." and suddenly he stopped talking. Startled, John turned around to see Sammy far behind, clinging to the broken wing. As John said, it served two purposes. He now knew what he was going to have to repair when the boat was in dry dock, and Sammy had finally shut up. He turned about and sailed leisurely back to retrieve Sammy. Sammy was much more subdued for the remainder of the day.

I love sailing.

17 comments:

Fred said...

Maybe I'm the only one to admit it, but I've never been on a sailboat. I prefer the deck overlooking the ocean, and a server who knows that an empty bottle needs to be quickly refilled.

At least, that's my version of Florida.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Oh, that's certainly a wonderful version too! I would bet that most Floridians haven't been out on a sailboat.

Tabasamu said...

I've never been on a sailboat, but you make me regret it. I HAVE been on a power boat, but it was just to get from the mainland to an island for a picnic, and it wasn't nearly the same thing. You make it sound like an ART.

bananarama said...

ooh, that sounds SO nice. I just love going to the beach and laying out, drinking pina coladas and reading a good book. There's nothing like the beach!

actonbell said...

It's always been my fantasy to live as close to the ocean as possible. I love the sound. Sailing sounds wonderful--I've only been on a sailboat once, and not for very long--and this was on a lake, not the ocean. It was very pleasant:) Are you seeing green? The glow is coming from me!

Kathleen said...

Saur: It has been years since I have held the helm, but sailing is the way to go! You perfectly described the feeling and sound of the experience. There is an art to sailing.

I grew up around boats. The last sail boat we had was a CAL 28. I must admit though, I really loved the smaller boats that put me close to the water and spray. Smaller Cats are really fast and right on the water. Great, great sailing!

Senor Caiman said...

Sailing cats is invigorating. Trapeze sailing is like a big piece of cheesecake you know your gut can only take so much. The cat is very demanding physically so don’t try this unless you’re in TC (good) shape. But for those cheesecake people they now have cat’s with back rests. I’m now a cheesecake person. Not quite as much fun, but on a windy day you can play a toon for a good distance. Saur makes an excellent point concerning the trailoring process; it’s easier to have an affair with someone who has a beach house

mom of 4 said...

I've sailed the hobie cat and the sunfish. The sunfish is quite a workout too! But there's nothing like letting the wind be your power!!

snicksnack said...

You describe it so well. I want to be out on the water today.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Beautiful picture there! makes me want to get in a boat.

Jamie Dawn said...

I've never been sailing. It sounds exhilarating! Poor Sammy just woudn't shut up. Very funny.
I tend to get seasick, so I wonder how I'd do on a sailboat?

AP3 said...

I'm gettin' awful jealous!!!!

Saur♥Kraut said...

Everyone, thanks so much for dropping in today. I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to answer each of you. But I appreciate hearing from you. You are right: it is a beautiful, wonderful experience. Thanks for sharing a piece of it with me today!

R2K said...

That looks great!

As a kayaker, such an image really stands out to me among pages and pages of non-nautical blog images.

I have only sailed larg boats a few times, I generally only sail kayaks (in effect outriggers, and trimarans). But I think the appeal is similar.

Nothing too complex, just about as close as a person can get to flight without leaving the ground (for ever that is).

Saur♥Kraut said...

Alex, yes, you are exactly right. It is like flight. In fact, sails function the same as airplane wings, if you took a wing and turned it on it's side. But you may already know that.

I've never kayaked but I've wanted to try. I love canooes.

Dan said...

I love sailing, and kayaking and rafting too. There is noise while sailing... the noise of the wind going past the sails and the hum of the boat resonating with the waters flowing by. I loved that sound whilst taking sailing lessons on dinghies. It meant that you were going fast and were going to win the race!

Saur♥Kraut said...

Dan, exactly! But the noise is so... primal, and uncomplicated.