On May 8th I looked over to my crew member and said I’m giving you Sookie, she is now your boat and your the captain just point to any place on the chart and I will teach you to get there safely and efficiently. I repeated those words every day for the next 75 days.
I love sailing, it has nothing to do with boats or living aboard or any of the things newbies conjour in their mind thumbing through the glistening pages of yachting magazines or scrolling through the literally thousands of sailing blogs out there. It’s about freedom, freedom to roam and freedom from all the insanity of the world we live in. I love the process of maintaining my little ship to the highest standards, mine. But it’s the bond of ship and crew that I love most it takes a lot of faith to put your life in the hands of another and it’s that bonding process that will make or break any crew.
I swore I would never sail solo again and once again I have learned never to speak of the future as it will constantly come back having us eat our words. Sailing solo is something we all do regardless of ship size or capability of our crew and so I have found a happy medium and will again sail solo with crew. I never realized how much I love teaching this ancient art but my days leading up to that journey were spent teaching all aspects of sailing and maintenece from drilling and tapping steel and fiberglass to proper installation of backing plates, splicing, ground tackle, tuning and maintaining the rig and basically the care and feeding of everything from stem to stern on Sookies little 31′ rig.
Of all the the things I love to teach, seamanship is where my truest passion lies and it has nothing to do with sailing. It’s a big ocean out there but it’s the smallest details that make for the safest ship. I’ve taken on my first consultation in years and in doing it found my truest passion, sharing the sail. My new book Boatyard Pirates has gone into a complete re- write as I have again found an untouched niche in the sailing world.
On a cold and drizzly day just like any other in the PNW I took a sip of my hot coffee. Closing my eyes and could feel Sookie trying to surf as the swell rolled under our keel. I smiled, my hand relaxed on the tiller, feeling the wind gently blowing in my ear, steering by the feel of the oceans swell guiding me to Blubber Bay, the gateway to the Desolaion Sound.
If you want to be a sailor you have to go to sea.