Hello and welcome to the first installment of my blog postings on Return to Seasons. I hope that you have read the ‘about us’ page where you will find information on why we started blogging and what you can expect to find in our posts and on our site.
For my entire life I have loved to travel. Growing up in Western NY, I had the pleasure of experiencing the distinct seasons and have planned my travel often in accord with the quarterly changes. Iceland is glorious during our summer, Egypt during our winter, Costa Rica in the spring, and the Adirondack Mountains in the fall. These treks were sometimes made for personal reasons, sometimes professional, but always for adventure. I have planned my life around my “next big trip” since I was in my early 20’s. I am now planning the biggest trip yet.
The goal is to buy a sailboat and someday, in the not so distant future, partake in the cruising lifestyle. Cruising, for those of you who are not sailors, is the adventure of living aboard a sailboat and letting the weather and the seasons determine your next port.
I must admit that I am new to sailing. I had spent very little time on boats until I met my husband. As a kid, my family had a small motorboat, but most of my memories of it include me playing captain on it while it was parked in the safety of our garage. In my 20’s, I may have stepped aboard 5 boats. I took a large catamaran between Bar Harbor and Halifax and I also photographed a wedding on a cruise ship that toured the Genesee River. This past summer I took my first sail on Helbent, my husbands’ former Catalina 22 sailboat. I was hooked. I particularly enjoyed sailing at night, in Little Egg Harbor. It was peaceful and quiet, yet simultaneously exhilarating.
When we returned to land I began devouring all the sailing books I could. I have read Cruising in Seraffyn (25th Anniversary Edition), The Motion of the Ocean: 1 Small Boat, 2 Average Lovers, and a Woman’s Search for the Meaning of Wife, An Embarrassment of Mangoes: A Caribbean Interlude, The Cruising Woman’s Advisor, Second Edition, Changing Course : A Woman’s Guide to Choosing the Cruising Life, Seafaring Women: Adventures of Pirate Queens, Female Stowaways, and Sailors’ Wives, and a few others. These books, often written in the form of personal reflection, have been feeding my cruising appetite and quickly growing my sailing vocabulary. In the near future, you will be able to read reviews of some of these sailing books under the “review” heading on this blog.
As I know many of my friends and family are not sailors, I thought I would end my entry today with a brief glossary of sailing terminology. Here are a few key words to get you started:
Starboard: The right side of the boat when looking forward from the cockpit
Port: The left side of the boat when looking forward from the cockpit
Bow: The front of the boat
Stern: The rear part of a boat
Aft: At or toward the stern of the boat
Fore: At or toward the bow
Dinghy: A small boat, kept aboard a yacht, used to ferry sailors and provisions to and from shore
Provisions: Groceries and supplies needed for sailing
Helm: The tiller or wheel for steering
Cockpit: Aft area of the boat where steering occurs