The Fate Of The Ancient Mariner


A dream that has drifting through my brain for four decades has finally come true.  I’m learning how to sail!

The course I’m taking is for five days.  On Friday, the other student (Russell from Canada) and I will be taking the 26′ boat out on our own.  That ‘alone’ part means the instructor will not be on board.  He could very possibly leave the country, Havana, say, depending on the outcome of our sail.  It’s isn’t helping me to keep checking my weather app on my iPhone and seeing that a storm is expected that day.

If this is the last blog you get from me, you will know of our fate.

You can’t say I didn’t do my homework.  I was given two textbooks to study.  I bought some cord to practice a few knots.  To fully prepare, I rented and watched The Perfect Storm and Titanic.  After all, what could possibly go wrong in the Gulf of Mexico off Fort Myers Beach?  It’s not even like a “real” ocean or anything.

Today I spent about three hours on the water.  I handled the tiller, hoisted the main sail and adjusted the jib.  I also baked in the sun.  On Friday, if there’s a storm, at least I won’t get sunburned.

I won’t lie, I was nervous and I expect to be nervous on Friday.  Not of the sea, but of my ability to remember all the names of those lines, sheets, and points of sailing.  My text says that sailing is like riding a bicycle, but it really isn’t anything like that.  No, not at all.

I even get to yell “Ho” at some point.  And, that won’t be on a street corner in Hackensack.  No, it will be to advise Russell that the boom is about to swing.  This boom thing is heavy enough to render an inattentive sailor unconscious…or worse.

Many of my readers are already experienced sailors and are probably reading this and thinking I am making a big deal over my first day.  Well, I say to those classmates of mine, you had a first day once.  Look deep into your heart.  Were you a little apprehensive?

So, I am four days away from calling myself a “sailor”.

Or, I am four days away from making the headlines in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.


[The sky, the water and me….]

I need to complete this post.  I still have to watch Jaws one more time and maybe catch the 7:30 showing of In The Heart of the Sea (in 3-D) at the mall.

2 comments on “The Fate Of The Ancient Mariner

  1. judy havill says:

    You look good patrick – on the water. I envy you – what a fun thing to do. And overboard just remember it’ only water and there are no sharks on that side of Florida!


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