Monday, July 26, 2010

To sail and sail and sail!

This was to be the summer. This was the summer the boy would take tiller in hand and be the captain of his own little sailing vessel. With a few trial runs here and there, this was the time when Mommy's Sailing School would start in earnest. And then I went and got pregnant.

So reluctantly I handed over the tiller and the joy of teaching my boy to sail on his own to our local sailing camp. I wasn't sure how either of us would like it, but in the end he had a grand time and they helped him learn all he needed to know and then some.
From points of sail to parts of the boat. From proper knot tying to man overboard drills. From folding sails to reading wind, the boy soaked it all in. It was weird for me, sitting on the sidelines wathcing him head out on his own. The first day I sat and squinted at the horizon, trying to make out which of the swarm of little camp boats was his. Then I wised up, sat back, and enjoyed the quiet outside time and a good book.
But to see this little guy, hand firmly on the tiller, instructor on the bow, other kids trusting his know-how... sailing full speed back towards the sailing school dock... it made my heart glow. He jumped off and breathlessly said, "Mommy, I was the captain! I sailed that boat all by myself. I am so proud!"
Uncle Walt said it best:

O to sail to sea in a ship!
To leave this steady unendurable land,
To leave the tiresome sameness of the streets, the sidewalks and the houses,
To leave you O you solid motionless land, and entering a ship,
To sail and sail and sail!

- Walt Whitman
A Song of Joys (1891)
Leaves of Grass


gardenmama said...

love this cindy, so much!
these littles are growing up on us! xoxo

Joy said...

That's great! How exciting. :) I actually took a catamaran sailing class in college and remember that thrilling feeling of manning the boat on my own for the first time. Congrats, Zach! PS. Did you all fare the wind ok?

Lily Boot said...

Ah Cindy! I swear you make me look kindly upon sailing :-) That must have been such a strange feeling - to watch Zach sail off under someone else's watchful and directing eye. Easy enough to do when someone else is the expert, but when it is so absolutely YOUR DOMAIN - hmmm. I admire your grace that you didn't simply put it off a year! And Zach must feel so super! Oh my god he's getting so big!

Bending Birches said...

great whitman quote! I'm loving your glad to have found it! best of luck on your travels and adventures!

Mary Beth said...

then there's uncle john masefield of course:

"I must 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 grey dawn breaking.

I must 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 sea-gulls crying.

I must 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."


Michele said...

Go Zach!! Glad that A.S.S treated him well. Hopefully next year it will be Greyson out on that water!

wholarmor said...

Go Zach! Will he be setting the next record for youngest person to sail solo around the world? ;)

Positively Orphaned said...

Another fantastic adventure! How wonderful he loves it as much as the folks.

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