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These Moments in Sailing Time

Last month, I wrote about a defining event in my sailing life. That article (‘Thanks, ACWS’, if you missed it) echoed with a lot of people, not only from the perspective of father and son sharing a memorable experience, but also because it seems every sailor has their share of those moments that they hold dear. It’s why sailing is such a special sport.

Recently, there have been numerous stories of young people making memories for a lifetime – just look at the cover of this magazine. High Noon, a donated boat sailed mostly by teenagers, made an enviable ‘dash to the Onion Patch,’ coming home heavy with silver from this year’s Newport Bermuda Race. No doubt these kids – and their parents – will remember that amazing triumph for the rest of their lives, and I’m sure that each of them had their special, private moments that will continue to resonate.

Although I am in a different stage of life than the young sailors you’ll read about in Coop’s Corner or the two girls from The Prout School on page 50, we have a lot in common – as do all sailors. Young or old, new to sailing or old salt, most people I know who spend time on the water are most definitely eager to be there. Sailing is filled with special moments for all of us. Really, why would we go through all the hard work to get out there if a big payoff weren’t on each horizon? Look at the feature articles on page 6: we have two about the joys of cruising (in both cases to destinations in Maine), one about the healing power of sailing, a report on an intense professional match racing series, and a piece about the athletes who will represent the United States in the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio. In addition to those features, nearly every article in this issue illustrates a person or group’s passion for sailing, or recounts a memorable moment on the water.

The crew of Colin Rath’s Hanse 545 Persevere (his wife, three daughters and various pets) have been sailing the world for more than a year, and catching up with their latest adventures on board and on shore in foreign ports always reveals memorable moments experienced –the considerable rewards of a decision to cut the cord with ‘normal’ life and create an extraordinary one. And on page 74, you’ll meet a man who has shared his passion for the sport with tens of thousands of people.

I was amazed and intrigued by this month’s Sound Environment article. Unless we have the good fortune of witnessing the beauty of phosphorescence in our wake, it’s easy to overlook something as miniscule as a marine microbe, yet it’s fascinating to consider that these ‘Tiny Giants’ constitute the very essence of the hydrosphere on which and in which we play. Henceforth, when I go out to the shore or board a boat, I will regard the littlest of things as well as try to look at the big picture.

On page 35, we review a remarkable new book. When most of us navigate, we string a line from cursor point to cursor point to create a route then watch as the miles tick off and the computer updates itself. I think that we place a large amount of trust and faith in our thinking machines and rarely consider the innate sense of how we find our way around out there – in the moment, without the glowing screen. This is going to be an interesting read, and I can’t wait to wrap my hands around Finding North. As I sail, I will try to take it all in – absorbing those moments as an opportunity to reconnect with the big, the small, the tangible and the ethereal.

As the cover subjects suggest, I am – and most boaters I know are – stoked on sailing. Drop me a note (or perhaps an article…) about some of your most memorable moments. I’d love to hear what makes sailing special for you.

See you on the water.

Chris Gill


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