When I was in high school (I think it was my junior year), my dad and I took sailing lessons together. It was a blast, not just because it was cherished time spent with my dad, but because sailing is just fun.
I think that was when my sailing fantasy was hatched. I’m a single woman, a writer, sailing around the world all by myself with a beloved cat. Every time I rest in a slip for a night or more, people at the marina are talking about this independent woman with, of all things, a cat as her companion. I mean, I’ve been to far-away ports in the Orient, Australia, South Africa and the Galapagos. My deep thoughts and observations of the world I’ve seen are likened to the brilliant mind of Henry David Thoreau. It’s a full on crazy idea but that’s what fantasies are, right?
Several years later, my husband, best friend from high school and I took the same sailing lessons. If Vivian was unconvinced that sailing could be as much fun as a wave runner or a speed boat, all uncertainty fell away that first day we spent on the water. Conditions were perfect for sailing on the Columbia. The wind was crazy and the topsides of our boat literally skimmed the water time and time again. The instructor just looked at us and said something to the effect of “No lesson today. Hang on. We’re just gonna ride this!”
Every time I glanced at Viv, her face was filled with the biggest grin. I knew she was hooked. If you’ve ever seen Wind with Matthew Modine and Jennifer Grey, you know what I’m talking about. You can get a lot of speed with a motor but when you know how to manipulate the sails of a boat and marry them with the natural power of wind and water, it’s just a rush that doesn’t feel artificial. It’s pure, you know?
Some time after our lessons, I actually convinced my husband to sell everything we had, buy a boat and sail around the world. Funny thing is, as soon as he said ‘yes’, the fantasy became a potential reality and it wasn’t something that interested me any more. Women, right? Well, we travel a lot more now. We just don’t live on a boat to do it.
When we were in St. Augustine a few weeks ago, we did enjoy a couple hours on a Hobie cat. It was a shallow area which created challenges but it was still fun to be skimming along the water once again. I even had the opportunity to have my adult best friends’ 13 year-old daughter on board with me which is another special memory I will tuck away in the book of my life.