Monday, September 1, 2008

Concentration on the Water

This weekend I went sailing in high winds on Tomales Bay on my 29 year-old Laser sailboat.

I actively sailed (and raced) Lasers when I was a much younger man, before I became a father. I thought that the duties of fatherhood would not be enough to tear me away from a sport I loved so much, but I was wrong. My Laser remained unused for most of the past 24 years.

This summer I've had it out three times and it's been a blast. It's really true what they say about muscle memory: it's stable. Although it had been almost a quarter century since I sailed my Laser my body more or less got right back into the boat. Although I feel older in many ways, I still feel youthful on my boat. I notice that it takes an unusual degree of concentration to sail a Laser.

To give you an idea of what it feels like to sail a Laser in high wind, here's a YouTube video of a guy sailing a Laser in Spain in really windy conditions. (Tomales Bay wasn't this windy on Saturday, but it felt this windy. This clip is about 2:25 long; the part that shows what it felt like for me on Tomales yesterday begins about 50 seconds into the video.)

I came home tired and smiling after three hours.

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