The Great Escape

12 Jan

cruisAs yet another year draws to a close I am reminded once again of what a great sport, pastime, call it what you will, we sailors enjoy. A late fall delivery from Bermuda to the Caribbean proved the perfect antidote to the continuing gloom that dominated the airwaves last year; I found there’s nothing like a bracing beat into 25-knot headwinds and a rambunctious seaway to banish thoughts of Ebola-infected ISIS militants swarming across the border to behead us in our sleep. Politics, fracking, climate change, none of these meant anything compared to the struggle of merely climbing out of your bunk at change of watch and the bleak contemplation of more of the same as the wind remained resolutely in the south.

They meant even less a day or two later, when the wind finally subsided and the gray clouds overhead gave way to towering castles of blinding white cumulus in the kind of azure sky you only get at sea. Our spirits rose with the sun and quickly our two days of rough sailing in the wrong direction were forgotten. Once again I could marvel at the sailor’s ability to relegate such genuine misery to the past tense. Give us a good breeze and a clear sky and nothing else matters much. The world and its woes will still be there when you get home, but in the meantime all you need to care about is your boat, your shipmates and the weather, and that’s as true when you’re out for an afternoon sail as it is when you’re hundreds of miles from land.

I’ll be holding onto that thought over the next few months as winter tightens its grip on we northerners. To those of you fortunate enough to be sailing down south in the winter months, I wish you fair winds and flat water. As for the rest of us, surely a mild winter and an early spring isn’t too much to hope for…


  1. Rosie

    By the way, in asking Americans to visit the Gulf, while she robs the treasury in Spain, the "queen" has put a new wrinkle on Marie's old adu.o..g…&qaet;let them eat (crab)cake"

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