Boating is a pleasure. To love boating is a curse. I’ve heard sailors tell me that owning a sailboat is the most expensive way to get somewhere for free. I agree. I’ve owned a number of sailboats in my time, from my 8′ Sabot I learned to sail in to my 45′ Hunter that took me across blue waters and weathered many a storm.
But boating is still a pleasure.
Except on the days when I’m upside down in the bilge and taking off that nut that sits just out of reach in the dark; with only my fingertips. I’m not having fun then.
Three minutes later, when the task is complete and I stand, covered with slime and smelling like bilgewater observing my handywork? Boat is a pleasure again and I feel like a million dollars for getting that little job done. Not enough money in the world to take that feeling away from me at that moment.
I’m sure if you own a boat you’ve been in both those places at least a dozen times.
And we go back for more because somehow it’s in our blood. We live for the chance to prove to ourselves and those around us what we’re made of. We love the challenges. Not always while they are happening, but afterward. Looking back and feeling that sense that only another boater can relate to.
For some, it’s the speed over the water in a boat that drinks fuel; but they don’t care and that’s alright. It’s their fuel to burn so let them. Sitting a few feet or less above a lake or river and feeling the spray, hearing the engine roar, pounding over the waves. And they can still feel their heart beating in their chest with adrenaline pumping through their veins. Pride in their craft and trust in their ability to guide it. The dangers of going so fast just adds to the experience. Their thrill is immediate, and boating is a pleasure still.
And where am I today on the boating timeline? I have a 40′ trawler that won’t go more than 9 knots with a strong following wind. That’s ok because I rarely move the throttle enough to hit 8 knots. Cruising at 7 knots makes my boating day a pleasure once again. Slow. I see things I missed when traveling fast or worrying about the direction of the wind and the set of my sails. My wallet likes spending only $30 to cover the cost of diesel for an afternoon of puttering up and down the rivers or lakes. I have creature comforts I never dreamed possible. Air conditioning. A big refrigerator. Hot and cold running water in a shower I can stand in. Legroom in the head. A queen sized bed that rocks me to sleep.
Boating is a pleasure.
And now I’m building on my years of experience and learning new things as I put together a website with all the things I find important to know about in my boating life. And I’m sharing it with the world for anyone who cares to read through it. You can come and leave or stick around for awhile. Makes no difference to me because I’m not building it to make money and I’m not spending hours a day and months of effort to please anyone but myself. Not selfish, just practical with a bunch of years to back up my theory that the old line in a country song was right;, “you can’t please everyone so you gotta please yourself.”
Boating is a pleasure for me in all its forms. If you’re reading this far, perhaps it’s a pleasure for you too. Or may you’re new to this form of magic. If so, be careful what you dabble in. It will change your life.
Thanks for reading. Come back and help build this thing when you can.