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When I was 18 years old I met a girl named Captain Lea, She was a crusty old commercial fisherman by summer and a beautiful sailing maiden by winter.  Her boat, the Wet Dream had a bare breasted mermaid painted on the transom. I’ll never forget the first time we met. “It looks like you” I said,  “it is” she replied”.  “prove it”  She lifted her shirt bearing her breasts and that was the day I fell in love with Lea.

Within 5 minutes of meeting we were heading out the bay for my first sail on a traditional sailboat.  She had her boat a Down East 32 custom built and was always modifying it to perfection between her annual voyages to Hawaii or Mexico. That was 25 years ago, Lea is still by far the most knowledgeable sailor I have ever known.  90% of what I know about the sea was taught to me by her.  She was the one who taught me the then lost art of heaving to and barefoot navigating,” navigating by the sun, moon, and stars without the use of a sextant”.  She beat into my brain the a boat must be maintained to the highest standards and that there is no such thing as cosmetic when it comes to a sailboat.  She taught me how to sail with the storms not against them, and most importantly how to love and respect the ocean.

I’ve taken each and every lesson she taught me and have attempted “usually in vain” to pass the knowledge on to my students. Now years later, I have been building boats for so long I have actually forgotten how to sail, sure I can pull the strings and point her in the right direction but that is only 1% of what true sailing is.  Every day I wake up and wonder if today will be my last here tied to the marina.  The` is tugging at her mooring lines saying “set me free and I will take you on a trip far across the sea”. My soul is pulling at me.  The ocean beckons, come to me Alan, come to me and I will share with you, your Wet Dream.

How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.
~Arthur C. Clarke

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