In one of the comments below, my lovely neighbor D., who apparently thinks I'm primarily a shit-stirrer, ;o) asked if I would blog about sailing; sailing being one thing that makes me happy. So, ever the accomodating person, here it is.
I'm a pisces - born in the sign of water. And to quote the old Little River Band song, "it is there that I feel my best; the albatross and the whales they are my brothers."
As a young boy, I recall spending time at a friend's lakehouse. They had a boat and we used to go out on it. A few times, I was even convinced to ride the water sled behind the boat. Now, I should make it clear that I love to be ON the water, not IN it. At any rate, I did enjoy riding in their boat as a kid. Growing up in the dry, flat plains of Texas, that was about the best it would get. However, some time back in high school, I fell in love with Maine - I'll save that for another story. I've blogged about Maine a few times (scroll back in the archives). So, in 1996, we made our first trip to Maine. A part of that trip entailed going on a whale watch. This was my first excursion on the ocean. Now, it was late September, and it was very cold, but the experience was life-altering. Whenever we got out on the ocean, I felt at home. Seeing those marvelous, huge creatures was like seeing that old friend from the song. We've been back a couple of times since and we always went out on a boat.
Those trips were always in some motorized boat - a lobster boat, an island ferry, or a tourist excusion boat. This past fall, we finally went sailing. We went out on a two-masted wooden schooner from Boothbay Harbor. We sailed for two hours all the way out to the mouth of the harbor - the edge of the open ocean - and back. It was the most peaceful and relaxing thing I have ever done. The boat was so smooth. The seabreeze refreshing. The popping of the mainsail was like a heartbeat. It was a million times better than a motorized boat. McK got to raise the jib as we headed out of port. She had a blast. As we were coming back into port, McK asked that whenever we move to Maine and get our boat if she can be my first mate. I just smiled and told her that she was already my first mate.
So, that's part of the reason I love sailing.