A personal thought and a question to you (the reader) about the interests of sailing, what is it that “floats your boat” and attracts you to the world of sailing.
Personally, I have been sailing since the age of 8 – starting off on a 12ft polystyrene, single sail vessel pottering around Chichester harbour, moving into toppers, wayfarers, fireballs – then a transition into yacht deliveries and racing – from Swans, Beneteau’s, Sigma’s (Sigma’s emblem “Σ“ relates to the Greek goddess of the moon), Catana’s, Oysters and many more. This isn’t it through – the variety of vessel isn’t the pull nor the reasoning I find myself wanting to step back aboard. For me personally, I find that the moment you have the sails up, with a heel on the vessel, the engine switches off, you are now harnessing the wind – this is followed by silence. That’s my moment of arrival, that’s the core starting point for the sailing senses switching on. The wind is now sitting 30 – 35 degrees off the bow, you’re not using the instruments, but purely the feel of the wind on your cheek. The tell-tails horizontally pointing at you, the yacht gliding gracefully through the waves with the spray landing on the foredeck. But also, you wait – you wait for the moment things liven up. The main is reefed, the gunnels are under, the mast is ringing with one loose rope, the steering tightens up and the mood on the vessel becomes serious. You are now aboard, driving your skills and also being taken for a ride by the elements – I think this is it, this is when you feel alive…. Sat in a force 8, gusting 10 – hello white tops, hello world, I’m back.
- Roy Baker