That would be me. A landlubber.
Growing up, my offshore experience included a rowboat in Central Park or a canoe at summer camp.
But it’s summer and I’m a great believer in going somewhere new or doing something I’ve never done before when I sneak away for a week or two. This year, a return trip to Cape Breton and Nova Scotia included this first for me: spending two days and nights on a 37 foot sailboat owned by friends of our family.
Sure, I’ve been on ferries, here and in Europe, but I have never–that’s NEVER–been on a Sunfish even, not to mention a bona fide sailboat. Owners Carol and Peter even let me steer–helmswoman Rocco, if you please–for an hour. Yes, there are all kinds of GPS and sonar based gadgets–kind of mesmerizing, like watching the little plane blip along on the screen at your airline seat on transcontinental flights–but just having Peter at my shoulder guiding me to steer by landmark points (we were close to the shore mostly) was the most fun.
Takeaways: sailing is quiet and thrilling simultaneously. Years ago, in Barcelona, I remember exploring a replica of one of Columbus’s three ships, astounded that these vessels were so small and crossed the Atlantic on wind power alone. Nowadays, of course, sailboats of any size have motors for back-up and, increasingly, wind and solar power sources to re-charge batteries. Very cool.
Oh, and the other, maybe most important takeaway: sailboats are beautiful. Sails are gorgeous. It’s an exquisite aesthetic experience.
So, tell me, what did you do this summer that you’d never done before on a vacation trip? Or, what first time destinations did you travel to?