Sunday, July 13, 2008
After writing about and photographing the Chesapeake Bay for over 4 months now, it's finally time for me to tackle the topic of sailing.
There are two categories of boats, and they are:
2. All other boats
Did you know there were only two? Did you know that when I write here I can say whatever I want with conviction even if it isn't true? I can and do regularly, and most of the time not on purpose, but this isn't what I'm trying to communicate today.
For some strange reason, I prefer just about any boating except sailing, and I'm not exactly sure why. I think sailboats are beautiful; they're elegant. I imagine it would be a very exciting and relaxing way to enjoy the bay on a breezy day.
But they also appear to be a great deal of work. And if I am going to go out on a boat, the last thing I want to do is work. I have more than enough work to do around the house, I surely don't need to go search for more on a boat.
I confess I have only been sailing a handful of times in my life, and most of those encounters were on a sunfish, which is a teeny-tiny baby of a sailboat. In fact, growing up we actually owned a sailfish. I think I went out on it twice. It was too much work. Plus, I taught myself how to use it, and I may not have known what I was doing, where "may not have known " really means "definitely had no idea."
Also, there's this.
One time my Middle Sister and I took the sunfish out on the creek for a spin. I was hollering at her to do something (that was my job, to holler), the wind was not cooperating (to be specific it was shifting directions way too quickly), and we were having difficulty with the line that controls the sail. Of course there's a term for this line, of course I don't know it or remember it, of course this is my story and I could just make something up and say it with confidence and those of you who don't sail would never know the difference. But I won't today. Maybe tomorrow.
We were sort of stuck in the creek with no way to move because That Line was not taut, meaning the sail was floundering, and Middle Sister was not moving quickly enough to improve the situation. Just as I was midstream hollering out more instructions for her, the wind suddenly shifted directions and the sail swung back around violently and hit me in the head. It hit me so hard it knocked me out of the boat backwards into the water. I actually completed a back flip. It happened so quickly there was no possible way to prevent it, and it was so hilarious I laughed underwater. I laughed underwater, thankfully without inhaling.
Somehow or another, I got back on the boat, but not before Middle Sister had some choice words. Because this is my story, I'm going to say that she wasn't very helpful in the situation, and of course if she'd been following my instructions to begin with, I wouldn't have been knocked off the boat.
In writing this, I did a search on sailing terms, to try and figure out exactly what that piece is called that swung around and hit me. It is either boon or boom, I saw it written both ways (my one reader can provide the correct answer), and here's what the particular site said about that:
" Respect the boon! Some of the most common sailing injuries are a result of not being aware when the boon is about to swing. To avoid a bump to the head, or even worse, being knocked overboard, one of the most important beginner sailing tips to always remember for both passengers and crew is to be conscious and respectful of the boon at all times."
Sailing is too much work.
And hazardous to your skull.