Sunday, August 16, 2009

25,200 Seconds of Bliss

Look! The shore on the right is the Pacific Plate.
The shore on the left the North American Plate.
The water is covering the San Andreas Fault.

Nothing—absolutely nothing—concentrates my mind so naturally as sailing my Laser on Tomales Bay.

It's a multi-sensory extravaganza. Eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, mind. Stunning visual beauty surrounds me as the Pacific Plate bumps against the North American plate along a flooded section of the San Andreas Fault, all of it protected as part of our National Seashore. The Laser sailboat adds a symphony of sounds, a Concerto for Winds and Waves. The salt air is scented sweet with Bishop Pine and sharp with seaweed. I taste the tang of this hyper-saline sea as I hold the mainsheet in my teeth, my third hand when one hand holds the tiller as the other takes in more line. The boat rocks, pitches, and rolls, especially when the wind kicks up. Mind. Laser sailing keeps my mind in the present moment. If I wander away mentally for even a second, the boat calls my attention back to sailing by heeling over or chattering the main.

Best of all, there's company. Human company, yes, and—thanks to the National Seashore—none of it on Jetskis. Kayaks, fishing skiffs, and an assortment of sailing dinghies. And the company of animal friends: jellyfish, Halibut, Herring, Pelicans, Seagulls, Bat Rays, Seals, and Sealions, Leopard Sharks, and ominously occasionally, Great Whites patrolling the mouth of the Bay. Really. I've seen them all except the GW.

It's all part of the wonder, mystery and present-moment suchness that is sailing on the Bay.

Here's less than 90 seconds of the fun I got to have yesterday--



Alden Smith said...

Dan, fantastic! What a great video, I can almost taste the salt! and I can certainly hear the water, wind and sails, and what a great sense of speed you have captured, well done.
You have raised the blogging bar for me, I feel a video camera purchase coming on - any recommendations?

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Alden—

You've probably already got the camera you need. This video was taken with my regular point-and-shoot Canon SX110 camera (cost less than US$200). Just put it in video mode. Lesser models have video mode, too. Easy as pie.

steven said...

cool!!! dan i had the biggest smile on as i watched the film . . . i get that rush on my bike and i really get the rush of being alone, flying along . . . a kind of feeedom that's hard to put into words but it ties into a oneness. so cool - thanks for sharing this dan!!! steven

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Steven— I'm glad I got to share some of the pleasure I had with you. Being alone on a sailboat puts me in much closer contact with the elements of wind and water and I find I am also more attentive to my animal companions out there. Human company on a boat is wonderful, too, but it adds social/psychological/emotional dimensions that distract me from the purity of the sailing experience.