Such a sad, wretched sight – a sailboat out of the water!
Sailing really doesn’t make much sense as a hobby in a northern country where the sea freezes in winter. Although the summers are warm and light with the midnight sun and so forth, they are hopelessly short. We started our season early, as it was our first and we were eager to get out there, but still… Our boat only got to spend four months in it’s natural element – water! – and now it will likely be standing on dry land for eight months. There is clearly something wrong with this equation!
And yet, there are hundreds and thousands of people who happily sail in the summer and store their boats on the hard for the rest of the year. Every autumn they go through the trouble of dismantling the rigging, removing the mast, washing down and moving the boat to its winter storage, stacking away all the loose stuff – only to put it all back the next spring. Crazy!
We knew even before this first season that sailing as a summer hobby would not be the thing for us. We’re not looking forward to repeating this cycle for the next twenty years, getting to sail just a few hurried weeks every year, seeing only a small glimpse of the archipelagos and coasts and ocean horizons that the world has to offer. But we also know we don’t want to get out into the big world without having some practice first. In that respect, these four months have been just what we hoped for. We have (or at least I have) gathered a lot of experience and self confidence (my husband had enough of both to begin with). My greatest worry – that I might have completely forgotten how to sail during my landlocked years – was unfounded. I guess it’s like riding a bicycle, your arms and legs just know what to do even if your head doesn’t seem to remember. But it’s better to test this theory on a small, cheap boat before potentially proving it wrong on a big, expensive one!
We have no time frame for casting the lines, sailing into the great unknown. Maybe it will happen soon, maybe later, but it will happen eventually. Until then, we will sail as a summer hobby, and live with the pitiful sight of a lonely, dispirited sailboat in our backyard.
In my next post I will get back to our holiday sail to Estonia. How nice to travel back in time to those warm summer days!