Sunday, March 23, 2014

Salt, Sun, and Crisp Sails

Provinciales, Turks and Caicos. A very brief port. We anchored outside Provo. The captain called it “the worst anchorage he had ever been at”. We were a mere 100 feet of the break of the barrier reef (third largest in the world), the swell was a few metres high, and the wind was blowing directly onto the reef. The chief mate didn’t sleep the entire anchorage. He continuously talked about how he would doze off and then abruptly wake up to a dreadful nightmare where the Sᴓrlandet had run aground.

As a result of all this, we departed early and headed out for Bermuda. Before that, however, we were still given some shore leave and in those dozen hours I spent all my time at the local sailing team’s clubhouse.

I was allowed to take their Laser Pico out. Words alone cannot describe the emotions I felt as I sailed away from the water break on the sandy beach and took control of the dinghy. The crisp sails, glowing in the midday sun, were propelling me forward as the hull followed along effortlessly breaking the crystal clear water. Below me I could see every shell, creature, and crevice of the coral reefs. I was in total control. Not a single thought went through my head other than where I was in that present moment. I forgot what dinghy sailing was like. I had forgotten what it is like to make every decision for myself and be in total control of all the jibes, tacks, and points of sail. As I raced a motor boat along a stretch of deeper darker waters, I could feel the wind combing my hair, the temperate water splashing my legs and wetting my face. I hiked off the side. I was moving… fast.

In those moments, out on the water, I realized that I will always sail. I will always do what makes me happy and being out on that Pico was one of the happiest moments I’ve ever experienced. I realized that regardless of how old I am or whether I’m in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan or Auckland, New Zealand; I will never stop sailing. It doesn't matter whether it’s racing on dinghy’s, cruising in 30 foot sloops, or living on 210 feet tall ships. There is nothing so amazing as the freedom of a barren horizon, the excitement of a giant swell, or the adrenaline rush from being alone in a situation where strenuous hiking is the only thing that keeps you inches from capsize. 

1 comment:

  1. You will have to try my Hobie this summer---------D