09 October 2012


I grew up land-locked, with nary an ocean for hundreds of miles.  But as with aircraft, I've been fascinated with sea-going craft since childhood ~ especially sailboats and sailing ships.  There's something mysterious and beautiful about the notion of hoisting sail, like spreading wings, and using the power of the wind to lift oneself along to places unknown.

My sister, who lives in San Francisco, learned to sail in the treacherous currents and shifting winds of San Francisco Bay.  Once she took me, my then-partner, and our three kids out on a sailboat for several hours.  I tried to understand by osmosis the interplay of sail, rudder, wind, and current, but I learned little ~ I was having too much fun!

I do have a better understanding now (though not nearly enough), after learning whitewater kayaking, and after studying aviation for years.  A sail and a wing are both airfoils, after all.  Perhaps someday I'll move to the left coast and take a sailing class.  In the meantime, there's great pleasure to be found by drifting aboard in one's imagination in any of these fine craft.  Click on any image to enlarge ~

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a gray dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied.
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the seagulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way, where the wind's like a whetted knife.
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

~ Sea Fever

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