Having just returned
from a week's journey on both coasts of Florida, I am reminded of the
many things that drew me to the sport and recreation of sailing.
As I sailed along the southern shore of Cumberland Island I watched the
horses graze near the beach. I watched as a submarine entered the
bay headed for a nearby military base while being escorted by a
helicopter and several surface ships. I passed a group of shrimp
boats returning to port after a long day offshore. While returning
to the marina at the end of the evening, I was escorted by a pair of
playful dolphins that were as curious about me as I was of them.
The docking was particularly challenging due to the swift currents the
Georgia coast is known for, yet provided an opportunity to demonstrate a
mastery of skills and judgment. It was a day rich with stimulus
and opportunities to see and experience things most never see; unless
A few days later I attended
an annual sailing industry meeting of senior executives in Tampa.
It was an eclectic gathering of masters in sailing and industry experts
who came from all walks of life. Few began their careers in
sailing, but all were drawn to the sport for very similar reasons. We discussed balance
sheets, economic outlooks, industry profiles, marketing initiatives,
education strategies and competitive differentiators. The more
interesting aspects of the meeting though were the side discussions of
sailing destinations everyone enjoyed over the past year. Enough
sailing and business talent filled the board room to leave one in
awe for a very long time. A collection of individuals most
would never meet; unless they're sailors.
During my stay in St. Pete I
was able to practice sunrise, sunset and meridian noon day celestial
navigation sights from the convenience of my beachside accommodations.
Due to the rather unusual nature of the process of taking celestial
sights, several people stopped by to talk and ask questions about what I
was doing. For most, it was an unexpected opportunity to witness
celestial navigation; unless they're
One evening I was invited to
join an unusual group of individuals from all parts of the country who
come together only once each year to celebrate their common challenges
and opportunities. I would not have normally been included in this
group except for the distinction of being the "resident sailor" who
possessed stories of sea journeys, distant lands and different cultures. The marina was full of power
boats but still somehow the sailor is always the one that stands out
from the crowd. These are life experiences most people seldom ever know
or hear of; unless they're sailors.
opportunities and experiences that fill your imagination and enrich your
casual conversations at parties and at the water cooler at work.
Sailing offers rich opportunities to see sights, experience freedom,
observe nature and meet others from different places that you
might never meet otherwise.
Life can be boring; unless
you're a sailor.