i didn't have those experiences growing up. but i've always been around water in one way or another. a friend pointed out the other day that people fall into two categories (yes, another one of those sweeping generalizations) - you're a water person or a forest person. i guess i'd claim to be a little of both, having worked for the state park system. but truly, my heart is with the ocean.
and the last few years, things have happened to free that up. i've been around people who know boats, on boats with them, looking into boating courses for myself, and generally spending a lot of time drooling over boats. i'll have to root around and see if i can dig up some of the shots from Newport last summer. *crossing fingers* let's hope those weren't among that bit the dust with my inadvertent delete recently, as i had (have?) some really nifty boat shots. maybe i'll toss together a little collage for you folks, or just do some art thing.
anyhoo. i've gotten closer and closer to boats lately. reading tons (will toss together a book list, to go with the collage, maybe) about various adventures. the ones that really resonate with me are the older books, such as Slocum. i've always had a particular weakness for older, wooden hull sloops. they have an elegance and beauty that you just don't find in power boats, or even fiberglass hulls. and i very nearly bought one today.
headed out on the launch, i saw one for sale. 24', i think, Hinckley, perhaps, dark blue hull, in very nice shape. when we finally headed back in, i asked Cap'n if we could paddle by in the dinghy. it's a lovely boat. and if i could spare the $1000 per foot that she probably cost, i would have bought her, moved the cats on board, and taken the next step in nautical life.
of course, it would have ended up sort of like buying Penny - again, i would own a vehicle that i don't understand. but the appeal is so much stronger. it's more than a vehicle. it's a way of life, one that i very much want to be part of. spent some time chatting with Arcta, who's going to be doing a circumnavigation or two, starting soon. i was intensely curious to see how he'd fitted out the boat, so we paddled over after tidying up the Cap'n's boat. 'want some company?' i called up, brightly. sure enough, he was happy as could be to show us around the boat. most of what he said sailed over my head (no pun intended), but it was great fun to explore.
and i spent a fair amount of time kicking myself, because if i knew just a bit more, enough to be really useful, i could go along for a leg of the journey. he's willing to fly crew back after they pitch in (the man has enough money to sail around the world a few times, so that came as no surprise). but i know enough to know that i don't know enough. we take calm little day sails in mild seas. this would be a week or two, on a bigger boat, with lots of gear i don't understand, in stiffer seas. sure, i could finagle my way in other currency, but i want to go when i can really sail.
hm. well, i am thinking of heading out to California later this year for a sailing course. i'll just have to keep in touch with Artca, and see if his offer still holds in a year or so. :)