I am often asked how I came into sailing. And I often give a brief answer that is often received with an ‘Ah’. I reply that I married into a sailing family. That reply reflects that I am sailing by default. And that is how I believed it to be up until a couple of year ago. Now? Well now, I feel ‘sailing’ is creeping into my bones (or is it returning to my bones)?
Some say sailing is a learned sport or a lifestyle. Others believe sailing is in all of us since it dates back to the beginning of time, well almost, but you know what I mean. As I reflect here, I can say I did learn how to sail a boat but I am also feeling the lifestyle was awaiting for me to arrive.
You see, anyone can learn to sail a boat, take care of the vessel, take others out or about around the waters … but knowing they will return to land and that latter part is important to many who do sail. But over the years I read about sailing, and listened to stories from sage sailors, and have lived the short bit as a liveaboard hankering to get our vessel out, I believe that one who adopts the sailing lifestyle is just a little bit different – and I just can’t put my finger on it yet – but you know -it’s just one of those ‘feelings’ that is the difference I’m speaking about may be bone deep.
So how did it start for the two of us? Chris actually started it. Chris is proficient at daydreaming amazing vacations. When he has an idea in his head, he shares it with me, then he will exhaust every possible resource, narrow them down to his liking, and then fine tune his liking until we agree to take the trip. This one was a little different. You see, he was brainstorming a trip long before it was presented to me. So all of his research was completed when he asks me a simple question. “Would you like to vacation somewhere warm?” Who would say no to that? And then his following presentation really piqued my interest. “As someone who loves swimming in the water, imagine this. You wake up each morning, go for a swim, and return with a cup of coffee awaiting your delight. Would you like that?” Sure, of course. Who wouldn’t? But what is the catch, because I know we can not afford to have a butler on any vacation of ours. It was early 2010 when he painted that brief beautiful image in my head before he explained the caveat. I would need to take sailing lessons.
At this point, I’d sailed on sailboats in the Bay Area but only as a passenger. And I know from a passenger’s point of view, sailing is quite different than driving a vehicle. And as a passenger, there are factors to take into consideration and all that learning looks so scary. So my initial answer was ” Uh – no babe, I don’t think so. Why are you telling me this? Do I have too? This doesn’t sound right. Is this a Trick? This is a trick right … It isn’t? OH.”
It’s obvious at this point you know I took the leap into the scary waters, no pun intended, and I haven’t looked back. Yes, I did marry into a family who has members with years of sailing and many, many nautical miles in their souls. And I feel fortunate I too will have this opportunity – to ride along with the love of my life, with his dream, in this chapter of our life, willing to be open to – what has been presented to us already, and what is to come; whatever shape or form it will be. As one sailing channel we follow states well, Life Is Like Sailing.