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And its only fitting that I would take her under my wing, share a hundred years of sailing experiences handed from ancient mariner to student and the traditional ways of the sea. My sailing muse was named Captain Leah, she was a crusty old salt 20 years my senior. She taught me to love and respect not only the sea but my sailing craft. She was hard on me, always making me do everything right from varnishing the rails to double and triple checking my navigation. She taught me to read the weather with little more than the clouds and my barometer. I was schooled in everything from the arts of barefoot navigation to boat handing in severe seas and harnessing the zephyrs to keep the boat moving over a breathless ocean.
I met Emily a few short days after arriving in Cougar Bay, she asked me to teach her to sail and I said no, shoved a book in her hands and shoed her away with a friend. The next time I saw her she asked again and again I said no and sent her home. The third time she asked I poured her a beer shared a cigarette and kicked her off the boat.
What could we possibly have in common? I don’t like students on my boat, she is half my age and while I find her youth to be fun and energizing it also wears me out, she is bat-shit crazy in every way. Perhaps I was being a bit overly arrogant but I figured all she cared about was my boat, or maybe the dog. It could have been my stunning good looks, chiseled abs or bottomless bank account but whatever it was it was nothing more than puppy love, and again and again I sent her packing. The next time I saw her she stormed my boat, snached my ukulele and plopped her ass in my cockpit. She seranaded me with a song that she wrote called I don’t want to be your girlfriend, I just want to sail on your boat.
It turns out we may have more in common than I suspected, we are both horribly insecure and needy. We both suffer from sever A.D.D. and O.C.D. Our love for the sea, photography and writing keeps us busy as does the constant battle of wisdom and youth. Her best friend told her not to waste her youth on age, my best friend told me not to waste my age on youth.
I don’t know what tomorrow will bring but I just may take her out for a quickie sailing lesson on Sookie… And its only fitting that I would take her under my wing, share a hundred years of sailing experiences handed from ancient mariner to student and the traditional ways of the sea. Many of the most important lessons Ive learned at sea were taught to me by my sailing students.
If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea…”
– Antoine de Saint Exupery