Going Sailing

Sail away, pray for wind.

NPR was on the radio, some crazy politician was on air.  Some country having a coup , a cyclone somewhere, one more disaster, before we need to buy something.

Turn of the radio!

Turn off the engine in the car!

I grab my sail bag, lock the door of the car and walk to the gate, already the world is fading away.  I walk down the dock.IMG_6802

As I step on to the boat, I feel the boat give way, as the boat finds a new equilibrium. Focus on the boat now, sail cover, halyards, lines, topping lift, that boom vang thing.

I look back at the outboard engine, do I really have to? I connect the gas, pump it to prime the line. Pull the choke. I say something nice to the engine. Good vibes matter. I slowly pull the cord to prep , then slow get it the right spin point and pull. Once more and it starts up. ( sailing instructor in my head, says: “is the cooling water flowing”) , I look yes it is spitting water fine.

I’m ready, I step off and clear the lines, except for the stern line and step back on. I sit grep the tiller and clear the stern line, and put the engine in reverse.  I am moving , slowly backwards I look around , try to see the wind. I’m already feeling better, I have forgotten about 1/2 of the news of the day.  I throttle down and shift to forward and head out to the Columbia river.  It a clear warm day with  winds out of the north at about 8 mph. ( inland waters its miles ,not knots.)

I point the bow directly in to the wind, I have tied the tiller off and step up to the main halyard and “smartly” raise the sail.  I feel a smile come to my face. I fall off to starboard and let out the sheet. I have some wind. I idle down the engine and put it neutral.  I’m moving by sail power. “It’s time to turn the motor off”

I reach back, and with some relish , choke the engine to death. That is I pull the choke out and that quickly stops the engine. I am now a sailing vessel. I pull the engine up to reduce the drag, grab the fenders on the way forward, and release the foresail furring line.   I  pull the foresail lines and cleat it off.


I am now a sailing vessel. I don’t mean I’m on a sail boat. I really mean I am part of the sailing vessel. I respond to the wind, and water, I am focused on everything around me. I hear the water and the wind.I am one with the boat, and feel the boat is one with the water and the wind. 

As I feel one with everything, nothing seem wrong or out-of-place. I am in equilibrium.

Do you want to join me?

Lets go for a sail.



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