Monday, September 17, 2012

Protected Waters

I spent the better part of my Saturday acting as first mate on our 10 foot sailboat. There is not much room on a 10 foot sailboat, so my duties were pretty much limited to dodging the boom when we were 'coming about' and acting as human ballast when the boat tipped to one side. A little insulting but considering that my first attempt at 'human ballast' resulted in a dip in the Gulf...well, lets just say I have improved by 100 percent. 

Does this HUMAN BALLAST make me look fat? (BTW-this is a horrible pic of me, but I still found it funny.)

This was our first small boat messabout. (For those unfamiliar 'messabout' is from Wind in the Willows:`Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING--absolute nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing,') It is an appropriate name. Our group was small, our boats were small and we did, in fact, mess about. There was much talk of boat designs, wood types, boat designers, mosquito mittens (not as fun as they might sound) and, oh yes, boat designs. I know two things about boat designs. Our current boat is too small and our next boat is bigger. And it will have two sails. 

The not quite finished bigger boat. Its a sloop.

The folks in attendance have been sailing a number of years longer than my husband and I. Stories and information flowed like a leeward wind into a jib. One of the couples sailed the Florida Keys and Everglades, which is something we have considered. Their future plans lean toward protected inland waters – rivers and lakes. They are building a river boat and I must say, it would be exciting to explore the upper Mississippi. It would be nice to know the beginnings of the Coast of Illinois.

Yet, as I sat in our tiny boat, surrounded by a beautiful lake and its gently rolling, wooded shoreline, I began to feel claustrophobic. The horizon is well defined. The wind is uncertain but our harbor is never far from view. 
And then it occurred to me.
I have spent most of my life in Protected Waters.
It might be time for the wide Open Seas.

This boat WILL NOT be heading for Open Seas...again. (the first time is another story.)

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