Just as soon as I can finish up this month’s Editor’s Log, I’m out of here to pack my bag, hop on a plane, and head to the British Virgin Islands and the 2012 Jeanneau owners rendezvous. Yup, I’m going sailing, and I’m psyched. The last time I untied any dock lines was way back in October, on a chilly, gray, and snarly day on Chesapeake Bay. Don’t get me wrong, those few hours tacking back and forth in the drizzle with the Cruising World Boat of the Year judges were way better than any I can recall in the office, but let’s just say it didn’t send a guy off with the warm and fuzzies to savor on a long winter’s night.
Truth be told, I’d be ready to head off sailing just about anywhere, on any boat, after being stuck ashore for four months and counting. A couple of unusually warm Sundays ago, I walked out to the face dock and watched the frostbiters round their downwind mark. I just wanted to get in a vicarious jibe or two. They looked as though they were having a ball.
In January, it was off to Chicago for the Strictly Sail show, held inside the cavernous hall on Navy Pier. Though indoors, it’s a fun show to attend because everyone in the place is just nuts about boats and tickled to be around them in the dead of a Lake Michigan winter.
Sailboats are funny that way. You climb the stairs at a boat show to sit for a few minutes in some cockpit under the glare of industrial lighting, and it sweeps you off to a favorite cove or windy passage and sets your world straight again.
Last summer, when the CW crew were in our conference room planning out the year ahead, one of our advertising sales reps tossed out an idea for a special spring section. “Let’s Go Sailing,” she suggested. Great idea. What a rallying call. After all, isn’t that what next month’s Summer Sailstice is all about, inviting friends to go for a sail on June 20 and putting smiles on their faces while sharing with them what we all know is so vital to our souls?
The charm of a harbor town, even for landlubbers, is to walk down to the water’s edge and look out at the sailboats. Boats are dreams, and we decide, each in our own way, how we’d like those dreams to play out. Some are content to look and imagine, for others, they must win a race—or maybe you’d prefer to avoid the turning marks at all cost and instead set sail with no plans other than to savor the voyage, for as long as it lasts. Like spouses and dogs, our sailboats come in all sizes and shapes, but hey, who cares? You choose the one you want to live with, or maybe it chooses you. Then you go for a spectacular, magical ride. One of our contributing editors, Jim Carrier, has some thoughts along these lines, which you can read in “Boat as Idea."
Me, I love May. I’m a New Englander, and by May, winter’s finally at bay.
Let’s go sailing.