Sailing, Sailing On

(Go to Lynette's Blog for more stories.)

I've always liked boats. I've been on ferries, mailboats, rowboats, canoes, kayaks, and motorboats, but there's nothing like a sailboat. There's something magical about holding the line or tiller in my hand and feeling the power of the wind. There is no noise but the swish of the water on the hull, the flap of the sail and the cry of the gulls. The wind is in your face and the sun warms your back. And later, when you've come home and lying in bed, you can still feel the rolling waves deep inside you.

Searsport boasts of being the home of much of the early sea captains. Ships were built nearby and the houses wear cupolas on their roofs. We even have our own Marine Museum. Sailing boats are big part of our history.

One year, as a birthday gift, my brother took me for a sail in the Rockland harbor. It was 16ft boat, not too big, not too small...just the right size. We sailed out near Owl's Head Light and was followed home by a curious seal. That sparked a dream for my own.

I found a little 8ft. boat a thrift store for only $500. I must have looked at it 5-6 times before I decided it was the one for me. It was complete with a rudder and bright red sail. Best of all, it slid nicely in the back of a pick-up truck. I scrubbed it down, and my father replaced the the wooden trim and helped me put a rubber gunwale on the sides. I painted it white with curly waves around the edges. Since the sail sported a big H on it, I decided to name her Hirondelle, meaning "swallow" in French. (Sadly, I can't find any pictures of it, but here's something like it.)

Phillip took me on another sailing excursion that will be forever imprinted in my memory. It happened to be February 29th when I visited him and his wife, Donna, at their home in Lousiana. He hurried home from work so we could squeeze in a sail that evening. His boat was docked in a mariner up the bayou on the edge of Lake Ponchatrain. He turned the tiller over to me while he set the sails. We ate homemade chili with hominy, while pointing out the stars and planets. As the sun set, the lights of New Orleans and other ports along the shore glittered around us. Phillip said it was "lagniappe", meaning something extra. Yes, it was extra special.

We live near a few harbors, where schooners take tourists among the many islands off shore. I've watched them glide by and wished to sail with them sometime. A couple years ago, we had super busy summer. We had 3 children getting married, my parents 50th anniversary, plus it was our 30th anniversary also. I knew that there wouldn't be much money for us to celebrate together. My husband's boss just "happened" to give his employees a sailing cruise to show his appreciation for them. It was wonderful! The air was warm, but not hot. The skies were clear and held a slight wind. I was even able to help hoist the huge sails. The two hours were much too short and I dreaded coming back to port.

Who knows? Maybe someday, I'll get a bigger sailboat and cruise around for a whole summer.


Anonymous said...

This is nice, Vonnie. Sunny

Karen said...

I am inspired to go sailing. I was just looking at lake sailing yesterday at Land Between the Lakes, not too far from where I live. Now I'm considering a sailing weekend all the more -- I've never been.

LauraLee Shaw said...

Beeeautiful!!! Brian has always wanted to live on a sailboat. HE loves the water. I for one, would rather stick to land, but who knows, maybe the adventure will brew up inside of me one of these days. You inspire me!

Love Abounds At Home said...

Thank you for posting the pictures. The scenery's beautiful. I've been on a cruise ship, but never a sailboat. I would love to go on one someday. It looks so peaceful.

Linda said...

Yvonne, you have an adventurous spirit.

I went on a large sailboat once, with my husband and his brother and two other guys. It seemed like a lot of work to me! tee hee
And I kept having to move and stay out of their way.

But there is something for everybody I guess and it ain't my thang!! Ha! ((smile))

Liked the picture and your story.
Nice memory!

Love, Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

Lynnette Kraft said...

I've never been on a sailboat or even had a desire to be in one, but you just made me want to go sailing!

I think it's neat that you enjoy sailing so much. I live in Kansas, so I don't think I'll be sailing much! ha! Over here on our farm we enjoy dandelions, walks on dirt roads, racoons peaking in our front door, the howl of a coyote, chirping frogs, a gazillion chiggers (well, I guess I don't enjoy those so much - UGH! I hate 'em!)... I'm perfectly happy right where I am, but I do think I would enjoy living near the ocean and sailboats and breezes...yeah, I'm sure I would.

The picture of you and your brother is great.

Thanks for sharing!

Denise said...

Such lovely memories.

Holly said...

Sailing definitely looks like it would be a wonderful time.


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