October 25, 2004

The Joy of Sailing

I was going to post photos from my sailing trip to Gig Harbor this weekend, but I can’t find the cable that connects my digital camera to the computer. It’s around somewhere.

The weather was beautiful, as it turned out – a nice surprise for the Puget Sound in late October.

I don’t know much about sailing. My friends Adam and Christina took me out on their boat. They have the sailing bug, big time. I can see why. It’s one of the best ways to travel. It’s slow, to be sure. Taking seven hours to go 25 miles isn’t exactly efficient. But you aren’t strapped in your seat like you are in an airplane, a bus, or a car. You can get up and move around like you can on a train. It’s better than train travel, too, though, because you’re in control. Assuming the boat isn’t tiny, you have more room to sprawl out in than even in a first class sleeper car.

Arriving by boat isn’t like arriving any other way. You get to skip the ugly suburban sprawl and pull up right in the heart of the city. The harbor closes around you like embracing, welcoming arms. And after spending all day on the water, lashed by freezing wind, a cheeseburger and beer tastes like manna from heaven.

We saw ducks, dolphins, and seals. A rainbow over the jagged snow-capped peaks of the Olympics. Fall foliage on the deciduous trees among the evergreens.

Recommended if you’re in the area.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at October 25, 2004 11:01 PM
Comments

but I can’t find the cable that connects my digital camera to the computer. It’s around somewhere.
*************************************************

That is why I love my clunky primative Sony Mavica FD75 it takes FLOPPYS! ;-)

PS I just leave my cable for my mp3 player hooked up to the computer. Don't have to look for it then.

I call this creative laziness. ;-)

Posted by: Daniel Kauffman at October 26, 2004 04:13 AM

Sailing is great, and best done alone. I especially approve of Dana in Two Years Before the Mast telling about being out on the bowsprit watching the sails, he said they looked like carved marble. His companion said something to the effect of "how silently they do their work".

Nothing finer than being under sail.

Posted by: Ron at October 26, 2004 06:38 AM

Sailing is bliss. How big is the boat?

Posted by: David at October 26, 2004 07:11 AM

There's nothing like cracking on under a lowering sky...treading that fine line between audaciousness and foolhardiness.

I have felt the shiver of the sloping deck, wiped the spray from my eyes, and heard the song of a stay quivering in bass B and I will never be the same again.

LOVE sailing....*grin*

Posted by: TmjUtah at October 26, 2004 09:05 AM

David: How big is the boat?

27 feet, I think.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 26, 2004 09:26 AM

"Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats."

Wind in the Willows
-Kenneth Grahame

Fair Winds and
Following seas,
Adam Yuret
s/v Josefina P26 #617

~~~_/)~~~

Posted by: Adam Yuret at October 26, 2004 11:57 AM

Sailing's never about the place you get its the gettin there.

Welcome to the club...

Posted by: crionna at October 26, 2004 11:58 AM

Welcome to sailing PUget Sound. We sail two peninsulas to the west - sounds funny - on the west side of the Key Peninsula (Longbranch is on the east side of it) on Case Inlet facing Harstine Island. Our boat is only 12 feet, so we are barefoot (summer) sailors and don't go very far. It's great to be on the water with just the sound of the wind and forget about everything.

Posted by: Ron at October 26, 2004 03:22 PM

You should try it in the British Virgin Islands. I've done it twice on a 45 footer. Amazing.

Posted by: John Totten at October 26, 2004 03:46 PM

Michael,

27-30 feet is just about perfect. I almost got me a 30 footer; but I lost my job and that fell through.

Posted by: David at October 26, 2004 05:47 PM

Dude, seriously, I'm moving to Portland someday soon. Mark my words. From the light-rail system to the liberal politics to the mountainous skyline, your city rocks! I'm 22, today. If I haven't lived there for at least a little while by the time I'm 30, I'll be surprised. You've completely got me sold.

Posted by: Grant McEntire at October 26, 2004 09:58 PM

And, hey, sorry you lost your job, David. If it's only the difference between buying a 30-foot sailing boat and not though...it sounds like you'll be okay. ;)

Posted by: Grant McEntire at October 26, 2004 10:01 PM

Grant,

If you do come out here, be damn sure to let me know.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at October 27, 2004 12:23 AM

Adam, if your quoting don't forget this one:
"No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail, for being in a ship is being in a jail, with a chance of being drowned. A man in jail has more room, better food and commonly better company". Samuel Johnson 1759
Although, since we're thinking happy thoughts about sailing, maybe this one should slide...

Posted by: Ron at October 27, 2004 05:55 AM

Sailing is unfettered joy, and spending more than a day out on the water is beautiful and relaxing, as long as it’s on someone else’s boat.

Maintaining any boat larger than 20 ft. appears to be as much work as maintaining a house, leading to that ‘prison’ effect that Johnson was talking about. I dream of owning a pre-owned hobie cat, something that’s beat-up and weathered enough to survive a few inadvertent capsizings.

Posted by: mary at October 27, 2004 06:48 AM

OK, I accept the recommendation. Now what's Adam and Christina's phone number?

Grant, as someone who just moved to the Portland area (Gresham) from N.J. in September, I encourage you to take the plunge -- and I'm conservative!

Posted by: Anthony at October 27, 2004 08:59 AM

"Samuel Johnson 1759"

Private yachting had yet to be invented by 1759.

To be sure, Johnson was speaking of the only available sailing at the time, Greasy merchantment, Press gang Royal Navy, or Whaling ships (the worst of the lot considering whales are smelly and their blubber greasy. Not to mention they live off Cape Horn in The Drake Passage where nearly every day is a survival storm).

I assure you Johnson would love a nice daysail to Gig Harbor or McMicken Island, especially with such good company as myself. :-)

Also, if you want to read something really critical of the sailing life, read Two Years Before the Mast, Richard Henry Dana Jr. He wrote arguably the most romantic and alluring sailing tale ever to be intended to discourage people from going to sea.

Cheers,
Fair Winds and
Following seas,
Adam Yuret
s/v Josefina P26 #617
http://spunt.aigc.net/gallery/Josephine
~~~_/)~~~

Posted by: Adam Yuret at October 27, 2004 09:29 AM

Johnson would love a nice daysail to Gig Harbor, but I doubt that he would love to clean and wet-vac six months worth of mold and crunchy spider bodies from a boat just retrieved from storage. Things may have changed, and boats don’t reek of whale grease anymore, but maintaining them does allow one to sympathize with classic, old complaints.

That’s just my opinion, though, and there's no reason to discourage anyone from going out to sea. Sailing is pure bliss. In any case, real yacht owners usually pay someone else to do the dirty work.

Posted by: mary at October 27, 2004 10:51 AM

Adam
I've read Dana, used some of his stuff early in the thread. Good book for many reasons, and for entirely different reasons I recommend the movie Captain Ron.

I'm aware of the Johnson stuff, and it was probably just pure evil that made me harsh everyone's mellow :-)

Posted by: Ron at October 27, 2004 12:14 PM

And, hey, sorry you lost your job, David. If it's only the difference between buying a 30-foot sailing boat and not though...it sounds like you'll be okay. ;)

Grant,

thanks. It made more of a difference than that, but I'll be ok in the long run; it gave me the chance to change my career, so I'll be taking the Bar in Feb., and in the long run I hope to be raking in the mullah; in the meantime I have no money and no life.

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