Quote of the Month

"Not all those who wander are lost." J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, 1954.

“We must change our attitudes toward the ocean. We must regard it as no longer a mystery, a menace, something so vast and invulnerable that we need not concern ourselves with it … Instead we want to explore the themes of the ocean’s existence—how it moves and breathes, how it experiences dramas and seasons, how it nourishes its hosts of living things, how it harmonizes the physical and biological rhythms of the whole earth, what hurts it and what feeds it—not least of all, what are its stories.” Jacques Yves Cousteau, 1910-1997.

"It's the glory of the sea that has turned my head." Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island, 1894.

"It is with you as with the sea: the most varied names are given to what is in the end only salt water." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Maxims and Reflections, 1833.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

An Unexpected Sail



Fabián's First Sail
Friday, July 15, 2011. It’s been raining so much, with lightning, thunder and heavy winds that it has been hard to squeeze in a good day’s sail. I decided to take some engine parts and equipment to the sailboat anyway, under the rain. I asked Marisol and her 13-year old son Fabián to help me with the stuff. When we got on board, at about 2:00 p.m., the plan was to turn around and get back home before 8:00 p.m. The sun peeked out and beckoned. And then I thought, why not shake the sails out, go for a little spin, and the wind beckoned.
Fabián had never been sailing. Polito was near the dock. He joined us, why not? Andariego beckoned. We went out, just to go out, shake the sails, and come back. We passed green can #3, raised the sails, rainwater oozed out of the canvas covers. There was very little wind. We laughed as we close-hauled at 1.5 knots. Fabián went up to the pulpit and played Titanic lover boy with arms spread. We laughed at his excitement. He explored Andariego, touched this, asked that, and I loved seeing a 13 year-old’s first sailing experience.
When it comes to sailing, there are those who love it and those who hate it, and no in-betweens. Fabián loved it. We couldn’t just turn around, so we sailed to Icacos Island. We anchored. He used my snorkeling equipment and discovered the keel, checked the anchor, and checked out the fish as he swam around Andariego I don’t know how many times. The water beckoned.
On a beam and a broad reach, we sailed back. I showed Fabián how to fix on a land point, the compass, the wind marker, the tell-tales, how to focus and yet look around. I let him have a feel for the helm, thinking he’d give it back in no time. He not only took us back to the bay’s entrance, but he sailed like a natural. I was amazed at the depth of concentration of a 13-year old boy on his first sail ever. Pure magic. We made it back home close to midnight. Sailing beckoned.