It has been exactly a year, to the day, since we returned from the islands and our giant pair of skis to the craziness of the corona virus world. I only managed to get the little skis out on the snow once this season and will likely be putting those away soon. There are many parallels , yes intentional ;-), between skiing and sailing. “Tacking back and forth” is just one of them. Perhaps a bigger one is the nature of the people the two sports attract. In a coconut shell, sailors and skiers are adventurous outdoor people who are willing to put up with the whims of mother nature in pursuit of a little fun.
We are a product of our families and dad was a sailor. On perfect days, tiller in hand, he would go into a trance like state, in the groove, his breathing would change and his focus would sharpen. I only observed this in him when he was steering his boat, but it happened many times. I , perhaps, experienced something similar as a lad when skippering a dinghy for the first time, but I think that was something different. I was making dad proud and that made me happy. After college, as youth often do, I came about and sailed on a different tack . Due to career building, young family and indecision, I was directionless, without a rudder, and in irons when it came to pastime passions. Eventually I became a skier, and pursued a sport that dad had never tried.
On perfect mountain days, I’ve occasionally found that elusive trance like groove where everything falls into place, is effortless and just happens. It’s quite a wonderful thing and as I’m discovering right now very difficult to put into words. Nevertheless, things internal and external change , it’s the nature of the universe. For me the wind has shifted and for now I’ll be sailing on a different tack in search of the perfect ocean day. With sails trimmed , hulls in harmony with the sea, and dancing to the rhythm of the waves, dad’s sailing trance can’t be that far away. The quandary remains, however, sailing and skiing , port and starboard which is which ? I’ll contemplate that the next time I’m ” in the zone” because I’ll need both to get anywhere.