The first time - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 1 Old 09-23-2012 Thread Starter
Life is a wild ride!
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The first time

So much knowledge and experience on this forum. I'm feeling nastolgic tonight and i have a question. Do you remember the instance when sailing took your breath away? Like that first love, when it captured your heart, you felt its grip on your soul.

I do.

A friend invited me to go sailing with him in San Diego. We were in the Navy, it was a Saturday morning, and I had just woken up when he called. I had been to sea, seen it flat as a mirror and angry as all of Hells demons. But I had never been sailing. I said sure and met him at the marina. He gave me a quick overview of the parts of the boat, a Catalina 27 she was, and then he fired up the outboard and told me to cast off. It was nothing special, motoring out of the marina. I had been on small boats before. He let me take the helm, holding her directly into the wind after we got out into the bay as he raised both the main and the jib. The noise of the sails luffing, yes, I can still hear it.

He took over at the helm and had me back the jib. I was not impressed until I heard the outboard die and felt the wind take the jib from my hands. At the very moment I heard the snap of the sails as she caught the wind and I felt the boat heel and press forward close hauled I somehow knew deep down that this was something that I would carry to my grave. Sailing would be something that would follow me, even haunt me as I lived a life I thought I wanted.

I can't find the words to truly capture what I felt that first time but that feeling of exhilaration, of freedom, and that unspeakable .... happiness that I felt.... I still carry it with me.

I had to sell my first boat but I will one day taste that happiness again. It is my sincere wish that any who read this will think back, no matter how many miles you have sailed, and remember that first time, when the wind took you, the sound of wind and waves your only company, and remember what that first taste of freedom felt like.

Fair winds to you all.
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