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A work in progress…an art form out of the past (sailing that is).

November 14, 2011


Patients can save you a lot of grieve…

So, what really happened the other day ( already heard all kinds of rumours). My little crown slope breaks loose of its anchor and starts drifting. An unexpected westerly wind creates instant turbulence and it’s not easy to chase down my run-away boat with a canoe. Meantime the wave action is increasing and this is no joy ride but turns into a treacherous balancing act (don’t make a mistake, you are almost there..; don’t give up, you are almost there..). I love my “Puffin “ too much to let her drift of to timbaktoo without the captain.

When I finally get close, I only have a few seconds to get a hold of her in this choppy sea, I fail, don’t get close enough and shoot right past. What disappointment, what frustration,..(if only..)  Just try again. Paddling backwoods (got more strength to move against the current and the wind that way) a passing motorboat slows down and is willing to help. The bow-line of my canoe is at the stern (I know, very confusing, but I found the slope can pull the heavy freight-canoe better that way) and I get it across to the motorboat in little time. Everything seems to be going just fine despite the rough water.

Now for the second try, we’re coming closer to the “Puffin”, but I can see the disaster coming. The wake of the motor boat is swamping me full of water. My screams: “I’m sinking, pull me closer” are answered by action and I get a grip on a handle at the stern. Within seconds the canoe is sinking underneath me, but I’m able to pull myself unto the motor-boat. Not only have I lost my dingy, but everything that was in it as well. Furthermore I’m soaking wet…(if only…). Still, no time to quit now. Since there is no other way, I will jump across when we get close enough.

Well, determination pays off. I get on board of the “run-away”, change into semi-dry clothing (there is a big difference between soaking wet and semi dry), pull the anchor and half a mile of chain & line in, set sails and get going against the wind. As abrupt as it began the westerly wind dies down and I’m still out 3 N.M. at Separation Point (yet, 3 miles with no wind and no motor can take forever). And all this misery because my motor broke down. Some 12 hours later I finally manage to hit “Bluenose Marina”, cold, tiered, wet, but home!!!  My new home is on the “Escape”, a 30 ‘ Monk (mahogany hull )which I will introduce soon.

“If only..” I’ve had a little more patients, all of this could have been avoided. When I anchored the “Puffin” last (it was less then halve a mile from her mooring-buoy), I left her in a bad spot ( I was tiered drifting in front of the harbour without a motor). Wouldn’t you know it, shortly after I  had dropped the anchor, enough wind came up to carry me to her secure and proper place.


The worst, but at the same time the best teacher there is…

Your mistakes and mishaps, even if they are of a negative nature, extremely destructive at times and  can be quite painful, are a valuable tool. A stubborn man might repeat them several times before he seriously will make an effort to avoid them, hence a lesson well learned. Not that I encourage you to do wrong in order to find out the consequence. One should try to pick up a general knowledge of what and what not to do in order to avoid accidents. Yet nocalgan_23_photo matter how much you may know or how much you remember, there is always more.

Nothing is as powerful as experience. Some things can’t be taught in a classroom, they have to be experienced.  Often the idea of looking foolish, ignorant and outright dumb to our peers prevents us of trying something new. It scares us to that extreme that we rather pretend to know all about it, but are not really interested, then admitting the truth, that we actually know little, would like to find out more but wont try (out of fear of what the neighbour might think or what we might look like).

If it was not for the desire to experience something new, we would all still be  living in caves.  I would have never gone sailing and definitely would have never started a blog (since my knowledge of computers is extremely limited). All the mistakes I’ve done so far (or still doing on a daily base) will not prevent me to acquire new skills, but help me to become a better blogger, a better sailor and maybe even a better person.

  I can well imagine of how this blog might look like to a professional writer, but so what, it might improve yet.


All for the love of sailing…Image3_thumb8

How wet can it get?

Ever slept in damp clothing,

… bailed water half the time you are awake,

… only to be rained upon some more?

What does it take to be a sailor?

…to be able to grin & bare it, no matter how hard it seems,

… to embrace the storm &  shout for more,

… to be alive.

So, lets go sailing (making sure the boat can take the weather)…we are not suicidal…just love to live intense…the adrenaline, the juice of live flowing freely.

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