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One Writer's Dreamcoast: Sail Away With Me
Have you ever shoveled snow off the sidewalk for the tenth time, or finished a day at a job you don't particularly like and then daydreamed about escaping to a desert island on a sailing adventure?
You're not alone.
I've been teaching sailing for 20 years -- on Lake Lanier north of Atlanta, in the British Virgin Islands, in the Greek Islands, in Charleston, and on Lake Dillon at 9,017 feet about an hour and a half west of Denver.
The first question I always ask prospective sailors is this one: Why do you want to learn to sail? And do you know what their answer is at least half of the time? They want to sail away, around the world.
I applaud and celebrate their motivation, and then give them the bad news. It isn't easy. And the ocean does not suffer fools. Even the most skilled of sailors are bested by the sea every year.
Leaving the dock is a little like leaving Earth for outer space on a shuttle. You have to have everything on board to sustain life for an indeterminate period of time. And everything has to work. If you're the type who calls a plumber when the drain clogs, maybe the oceangoing life isn't for you.
Some couples' coping styles may not be suited to long passages. There's just the two of you. You have to get along. Each one has to trust the other with his or her life.
Oh, and romance? If you decide to enjoy an afternoon interlude below deck, that cuddle session could be your last. Freighters. Whales. Huge chunks of floating junk. Gotta have a 24-7 watch while you're at sea.
So, what I propose here is a way to escape without all the expense, hassle and hairy moments of life at sea. Come armchair sail with my characters across the miles and the centuries. Sit back, relax and let me take care of the helm.
Fair Winds - Andrea