I may have mentioned this before, but I have a particular preference for a very specific genre of literature: the couple-sells-everything-buys-a-boat-quits-their-jobs-and-sails-the-world genre. If they’ve been written, I have either read them or put them on my to-read list.
The stories are all essentially the same. One or both of the couple is unsure, things get bad and then they get worse, unbearable boredom and/or seasickness, there’s a whale/dolphin sighting, friendly hospitable islanders take the couple in, they realize how much they love sailing, they reluctantly head home, lives are changed forever. And yet, I finish one and can’t wait to start the next.
I admire these people so much. If it weren’t for my fear of sharks, empty bank account, attachment to my family, and oh, you know, complete lack of knowledge about sailing, I might like to go on the same adventure.
Last fall I attempted to start learning about sailing. I wrote about it last summer on IMHO. We were going to try out a learn-to-sail vacation in the Virgin Islands, but unfortunately I’m STILL waiting for the company to call me back. Instead, I’ve started getting a subscription to Cruising World magazine which is somewhat like someone who wants to learn Italian buying and attempting to read an Italian newspaper.
“We have a mizzen stays’l halyard that comes out the forward side of the mizzen mast — so that’s the head. The tack has a line that is attached to a turning block at the base of the main mast and is secured to a cleat on the forward end of the main boom.”
Doesn’t that sound gorgeous? Cruising World is full of sentences like those. I haven’t a clue what it all means—something about sails, I’m guessing—but I love reading the words.
We’re right smack in the middle of the cold, gray New England winter and I’ve reached the point where I’m dreaming of turquoise waters and warm sea breezes. Work hasn’t been great, either, so the idea of chucking it all and sailing away is sounding better and better. But then again there’s that thing about the sharks and missing my family. Also money. And I don’t think Judy’s quite ready to hit the high seas.
So until I strike it rich and get up the courage to go on a a life-changing adventure, I’ll just keep reading my books and savoring words like bimini, davits, and spinnaker. Up next? A Beach Less Traveled. Maybe A Sail of Two Idiots.
Feeling the urge to set sail, too? Here are a few favorites to get you hooked. Join me aboard, won’t you? Ahoy!