Nature Explorer

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Wind Wonder June 18, 2012

Filed under: Everything Under the Sun — explorergarden @ 5:43 am

The first day back in ocean water is always a shock to my senses. I eased my way back into open water swimming today with a swim in the bay — slightly warmer water, no sharks to worry about, and the shore very close if I got too tired to make it back to my starting point. 

We sailed to the south end of the bay on a rented Hobie Cat. The wind was brisk, and our sail was tall and curved. 

I did not handle the sail, but this was the first time I felt the thrill of the wind catching the sail. We slunk off the beach sand and drifted away from shore and turned the boat, the jib flapping hard in a brisk breeze. Then the wind caught the edge of the sail, we pulled the jib tight, and voom! The wind filled the sail and we were partners, the wind and our boat, flying. Three of us leaned back off the edge of the boat, balancing out the pull of the wind like the sway of your body when you stand up out of the seat on a bike, swaying back and forth in perfect balance. It must be like this to be a bird, catching the wind for the first time. Like — is this really going to work? What if I fall? Then — whoosh!!! Wow! We flew across the bay, the sky misty with a grey marine layer, a brilliant sun burning it away, the air cool and salty. I balanced on the edge, my hand looped through webbing to stay aboard, leaning into the wind. On the way back we had to tack, dashing back and forth from side to side as we turned the boat and tacked. It was a thrill. I’d love to learn to sail myself. Maybe that’s next on my list!


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