May 4, 2013 § 1 Comment
As a kid, my all-time favorite book was Paddle-to-the-Sea. Remember it? Author Holling Clancy Holling takes us on a trip with a toy indian in a birchbark canoe from a Canadian headwater north of Lake Huron, through the Great Lakes, down the St. Lawrence river, past Montreal, and onto the Atlantic Ocean.
The story begins with an indian boy, perhaps 10 years old, carving “Paddle” during the winter months after learning that the water in the brook near his home is destined to tumble over the land all the way to the sea. He thinks he might never make the trip himself, so he decides to send a representative in his place.
Paddle has many adventures on his way to the sea. He is visited by snakes and birds. He is nearly sliced up in a saw mill, run down by ships, and he disappears for months under snow and ice during the long winter. He plummets down the falls at Niagara, and slips silently past noisy, dirty cities. He soldiers on and eventually reaches the Atlantic.
I need not retell the entire story. The book, a 1942 Caldecott Medal winner, is timeless and still in print.
As a kid, I was spellbound by the possibility that a bold traveller could go so far with his tiny boat, never stepping a foot on shore. No roads. No trains. No traffic. No un-passable obstructions.
May 1, 2013 § Leave a comment
March 21, 2013 § Leave a comment
A couple years ago I had the pleasure to sail aboard Bull, one of the Sandbagger twins docked in Annapolis and giving folks a taste of fast classic sailing. If you’re there, stop by and ask for a ride. Unforgettable.
This is the 2013 update on Bull and Bear from Molly Winans @Spinsheet, who sits a stone’s throw from the dock and is always in the know.
They were supposed to be on loan for one year. The program has been so successful that it’s been extended. I think we will be on year three. Also, a team of volunteers nearby has been shining them up over the winter. Super dedicated guys who love woodworking and also happen to be volunteers who take kids out. These boats sail like a dream on light air days, which is fantastic for us in summer.
And in an odd stroke of luck, one of my fellow crew-mates was filming on the same day. Yes, I was having a blast trimming main.
February 28, 2013 § Leave a comment
Apparently, I’ve ruffled more feathers by suggesting that social media isn’t the solution. What do you think? Read #Facebooksailing in this month’s Spinsheet Magazine.
April 10, 2012 § 2 Comments
If you’re a seasoned sailor, you probably don’t feel much trepidation when you’re preparing to leave the dock. You’re familiar. You speak the language.
But nearly everyone else in the world does.
Sailing is one of those things that almost everyone would like to try, but few do, in large part, because of trepidation.
It can seem daunting. Imagine imagining what it might feel like to sail when you’ve never done it. You might be panicked about the motion, not knowing the names of things, not having the right clothing or safety equipment, feeling helpless when someone asks you to do something using words you don’t know, like “ease the sheets” or “trim the guy”.
But a small, unpretentious publication captures that transcendent moment when one who aspires to sail meets the one who will help them realize their dreams. It begins with an unusually firm handshake, an authentic meeting of eyes, the confidence of basic english, and the trepidation melts away so that the grand adventure can begin.