Romantic Sailing

An excerpt from Blue Water, by Arthur Sturges Hildebrand:

Now cruising is more than a sport; it is a means of travel, a manner of living, an attitude towards life.

I mean cruising under sail. Steam, or gasoline, is preferred by some: these have engine-rooms, very neat and shining, and they listen to the hum and rhythmic thump with great delight; they stand on their bridges and steer their ships, and make their port at dawn of the day they have predicted, on the tide they selected a week before. But they miss Romance.

The liner comes and goes, blow high, blow low; she leaves her dock when the flag goes up and arrives four thousand miles away as the clock is striking-she has a certain share of the romantic, because of that very precision. But if she’s late, by “stress of weather,” she has failed, and loses credit. The sailing ship never fails. Late or early, blown off, hove to, battered, stripped, sunk, or missing, she is always romantic. She has it; it’s in her, and nothing can take it away. Her virtue is that she exists, and you have but to look at her to know it.

Kelly and I are so happy to be back on the water! Wow, it’s been a long winter. Earth is calling us back to visit its vast shores, and to create new friends and stories. Unlike higher places inland, here it’s a bit cooler this quiet morning at our foggy little cove in Penobscot Bay. We’d rather be nowhere else. Enjoy your day!

From the stern rail, Fayaway, Rockport, Maine, May, 2022.

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