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post #11 of 43 Old 01-17-2014
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Re: Do you think there's a philosophical aspect to sailing

On a quiet day I find that at about 5kts. the gurgling sound of the wake changes pitch to a Zen fountain that can induce a Jacksonian Seizure, but then I come to and start adjusting sailtrim to get as much speed as possible.

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post #12 of 43 Old 01-17-2014
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Re: Do you think there's a philosophical aspect to sailing

My own thought as to why we sail:
"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
At some points, particularly standing a night watch--while everyone is sleeping below--on a smooth sea in moderate airs, the experience (for me) might be described as akin to transcendental meditation with the gurgle of the bow wave and heave of the swell one's mantra. Overall, however, I would judge that for many sailing/voyaging is more a manifestation of existentialism, whether consciously or unconsciously, in that the process exemplifies the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a sometimes hostile and always indifferent universe that offers the freedom of choice but with the imperatives of responsibility for the consequences of one's own acts/decisions. Or not...

"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
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post #13 of 43 Old 01-17-2014
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Re: Do you think there's a philosophical aspect to sailing

My philosophy is to go sailing in good conditions.

Me and my boat made it up to Dominica from Martinique yesterday. Conditions were good with a warm wind over my shoulder, no rain and Dominica was clearly visible so no worries about navigation.

It is a sixty mile passage so I left at 7 am and plan my passages at 6 knts. ETA was 5pm. The hook went down at 3 pm. The old lady was flying. There was one section in the channel clear of the islands where our average speed was above 8 knots for several hours. Not bad for an old IOR based 44 ft cutter.

I don't know about zen but I was happy.

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post #14 of 43 Old 01-17-2014
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Re: Do you think there's a philosophical aspect to sailing

Under sail, I am two with the wind


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post #15 of 43 Old 01-17-2014
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Re: Do you think there's a philosophical aspect to sailing

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Originally Posted by rishi851 View Post
If you google sailing and philosophy a lot of links show up. What about your own personal experience....Do you feel like a zen like state while sailing?
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. When the boat is humming along with sails set perfectly, light seas, and the windvane doing its thing, then yes, it can feel almost euphoric. When the seas are big and confused, when the wind won't settle down, and when there is that looming and fast-approaching cold front coming, it feels anything but zenish.

For me, sailing is just an entirely desirable means of transport. Don't get me wrong, I love to sail, but that's not what drives me. I'm in it for the cruising, which is much much more than just the sailing.

It is cruising that I get all philosophical; sailing ... not so much.
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post #16 of 43 Old 01-18-2014
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Re: Do you think there's a philosophical aspect to sailing

It is cruising that I get all philosophical; sailing ... not so much.

Cruising is something I discovered after sailing. We are both lucky that we understand that and love living the cruising lifestyle. But I also love being out; listening and enjoying as the boat moves along with the sounds and sights that only sailors ever experience and understand. It is habit forming, soothing, sometimes challenging and sometimes a bit frightening if the truth be told (just like flying when you hear something that is not quite right).
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post #17 of 43 Old 01-18-2014
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Re: Do you think there's a philosophical aspect to sailing

Sailing, as a state of mind, is not that easy to describe. Sometimes I see it in the people around me that may grow introspective under sail.



And kids, even those that didn't grow up sailing can show a soothing effect from a boat under sail.



The environment on the water plays a big part.

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post #18 of 43 Old 01-18-2014
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Re: Do you think there's a philosophical aspect to sailing

There are times, when sailing the Marshall catboat, just before things start getting wet, beating, 8 to 10, when I can feel the boat "hunting" through the wind streams blowing across the water. Fun! A magical "view" of the wind's pressure waves. Love that little boat! Almost like having a hound on a leash. The Islander makes playing with the wind fun, too! I get to enjoy the capabilities of the boats and try to give them the support needed to perform. Feels good to sometimes get it right. I try to imaging what the southern ocean would feel like in a sled. It sure is exciting to watch!

Not philosophical. A choice to play with stuff on the water. I have friends from Wisconsin who kayak but refuse to sail off the coast of Maine with me. Not a philosophy any more than skiing is. A Druthers.

Sometimes it is simply camping by boat.

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post #19 of 43 Old 01-18-2014
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Re: Do you think there's a philosophical aspect to sailing

Quote:
Originally Posted by rishi851 View Post
...Do you feel like a zen like state while sailing?

No, I prefer to not risk sailing if high

I enjoy sailing but wouldn't consider it any type of "zen" thing

Don't blow air up my rear, be useful and blow it at the sails!
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post #20 of 43 Old 01-18-2014
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Re: Do you think there's a philosophical aspect to sailing



Ah, young joza, you have come to speak of Zen and The Art of Sailtrim.
Grab your zafu and let us begin zazen.

To meditate upon the koan of the sound of one sail flapping, is to visualize the vastness of the oceans; the infinity of the heavens; the fickleness of the wind; the artistry of the yacht and the frailty of the sailor. The oneness that may be achieved through the harmony of these things may lead one to enlightenment.

Or, you can crack a few tinnies and get out there and sail your ass off.

It’s really up you.

Go in peace my son.

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Southern Georgian Bay

Visualize the vastness of the oceans; the infinity of the heavens; the fickleness of the wind; the artistry of the craft and the frailty of the sailor. The oneness that may be achieved through the harmony of these things may lead one to enlightenment. - Flying Welshman

Last edited by flyingwelshman; 01-18-2014 at 10:58 AM.
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