Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I'm Not a Sailor, by H Michael

I have always enjoyed being in, or on, water.  In my youth it really didn't matter if I was in a swimming pool, lake, or backyard sprinkler; I felt happy when around water, as though I was receiving some sort of unexplained emotional benefit.  Later in life I naturally gravitated to friends that receive similar reward from water, but always our interest was connected to power boats.  Whether we were on top of the water skiing, or under the water diving, power boats were our preferred style of water toy.  I am not a sailor, but I vividly remember the day I became enlightened


From the above one may presume that I do not come from a long line of sailors.    I was not born with a sailing pedigree, and to the best of my knowledge no one in my family tree was, or is, a sailor.  Please allow me at this juncture, to take occasion and explain my use of the noun "sailor" in this transcript.  My desire is to reference those individuals that employ bits of fabric sails to move their watercraft, not as reference to a crew member in the navy.   Permit me to further declare; I did not take sailing lessons during summer camps, enjoy summers on a lake racing sailboats, or create any other form of youthful sailing memory.  I have never had a mentor that was a sailor, and if fact be told, I thought sailboats were for indolent individuals.  How exciting could moving a vessel with the wind be compared to the speed with which wind blows through your hair on a powerboat?  I have never known a sailor, and I am not a sailor.  But, I clearly remember the day I became enlightened.

Last week Janet Lee and I were visiting with a group of sailing friends (you can read their blogs here and here) and the conversation turned to a specific component recently installed on one of their sailboats.  Everyone present, at least the men, the women were discussing different kinds of rum, knew the function of the devise being discussed but no one knew the proper name.  My excuse, and lack of knowedge in this regard, is most certainly because I am not a sailor, and I might add, make no pretense of being a sailor.  Oh sure I understand the dynamics of moving a vessel through water using a wing or combination of wings for propulsion.  I have even skippered sailboats in the leeward and windward islands of the Caribbean, navigated successfully between islands in all kinds of conditions and arrived safe and reasonably sound.  I have owned a couple of sailboats the smallest being 35 feet.  I can identify some of the parts of a sailboat and sometimes even know their intent or function, but I could sail from now until my last day and I would never consider myself a sailor compared to resumes of some I have met.  But, I definetly remember the day I became enlightened.