Today we’ve brought in a teenage guest sailor for an interview!
This can be a rough time of the year for many parents who have teens going off to college in a month, as this is the last summer they’ll have to go sailing with their teens before they leave home. This can also be a hard time of year for the college-bound students, who have to wrap their head around leaving high school – and possibly their sailing career – behind. In the words of Amanda B, a high school graduate this year, here is her tribute to her high school sailing years:
“Sailing has been one of the best parts of my high school career. It was something to look forward to after a long school day, a way to forget about the daily stresses by doing something that I love. Balancing sailing and school wasn’t always easy, but being a member of my team made school worthwhile. I also made some of my closest friends through sailing and will take away some truly unforgettable memories from my four years on the team."
“My favorite aspect of sailing is being a member of such an incredible team. Each one of my teammates has something unique to bring to the table; positive attitude, sportsmanship, support, dedication, and team spirit to name a few. We’re a team on the water and a family on land, no age or gender barriers to limit how awesome we can be. Leaving this team is truly heart-wrenching for me, but it will always be a part of who I am, and something I can come back to and feel at home.”
Unfortunately, Amanda had to make a tough decision between her educational goals and her passion for sailing in selecting her college. The college she choose does not offer sailing, and she recognizes the additional stress that being in a sport would put on her education, which she will be focusing on in college. However Amanda had some beautiful things to say about how sailing has impacted her life and prepared her for the future – her words resonate with all of us who love the sport.
“Sailing has prepared me to go to college as a confident adult, knowing my capabilities, my dreams, and how to get from one place to the next smoothly, steadily, and without collision.”
Has sailing had a positive impact on your life, or your teen’s life, like it did for Amanda? Let us know in an email so we can share your story – or on our Facebook page!
Our Guest Blogger Carolyn Shearlock, author of The Boat Galley, shares tips on buying equipment for the galley.
Buying Galley Equipment
Galley gear can be expensive . . . and there’s not much space to have a lot of stuff . . . so how do you choose what to buy?? You’re not alone in trying to figure this out – it’s what I get the most questions about on The Boat Galley. The first thing to realize is that there aren’t any universal answers – everyone has their own favorites and their own style of cooking. So above all, use your own judgment about what you want!
That said, here are the top 5 things I think about when considering a new purchase:
1. Do I really need it? Or can I use something else that I already have? A skillet can be used in place of a wok, and a wine bottle as a rolling pin. Many times, I realize that I really don’t need something – saving me both money and space!
2. Can I use it in the space available? Work spaces, counter spaces, stoves, ovens and sinks are generally smaller on a boat. Many times, “standard size” items are too large for the average galley and you need to search out “compact” items. Measure everything!
3. Will I be able to stow it? Three items need to be considered here: space, breakage and noise. Measure your storage space before buying an item, and remember that handles and lids are often not included in stated measurements for an item (when possible, I like the measure the item myself). While many breakable or noisy items can be padded for protection, remember that the padding will require additional space.
4. Is it suited to boat life? This is somewhat of a catch-all category, depending on the item. Do you have enough power for it? Will it take a lot of water to clean? Will lids stay on with the motion of the boat? Is it non-slip? Is it easy to hang on to if the boat is moving? Is it tippy?
5. Is it likely to break? Flimsy attachment points, poor quality stainless (or plain steel), brittle plastic or glass, electrical items with little tolerance for voltage variations are all things to be aware of – and avoided for things that you can’t live without!
While everyone’s preferences are individual, you can often get good suggestions by asking friends with boats – and even if they don’t know the “best” item, they may have some good pointers on what doesn’t work! Many of my favorites are listed under Outfitting on TheBoatGalley.com – along with what I like about the item and any drawbacks I’ve discovered.
The sea has been a source of inspiration for artists for centuries – starting with the earliest epic (the Epic of Gilgamesh) which tells of the immense power of a flood. The contrasts of water’s serenity and raging power, it’s life-giving properties and the ease with which it causes death is part of it’s stunning allure. Well known writers such as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and William Shakespeare have written beautiful poems about the luxury and the dangers of being at sea.
One such poem that comes to mind is The Tempest by Shakespeare.
Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
Hark! now I hear them,--ding-dong, bell.
It was the imagery and beauty of the sea that struck Shakespeare most – as evidenced by his assertion that eyes become shining pearls and coral is made of bone. The immortality of the sea, its power and its unchanging nature, also moved him. Many of us are drawn to the sea for the very same reasons. We feel a strong affinity for the water because we identify with its calmness and are in awe of its power.
If you are as emotionally moved by the sea as these poets, you too can write a poem to capture your feelings about your experiences on the water. Here are some tips to get started:
1) Sit on your boat and stare out across the water. On a piece of paper simply write down words as they come to you, describing the color of the water, the clarity of the air, and the emotions you are feeling. Write down everything that comes to mind. When you’re done, start shaping those words into a poem. You can do this during a calm sea, or a storm, and you’ll get totally different poems
2) Unless someone else is at the helm, do not sit and reflect on your boat during a raging storm, despite what we said in tip one. This could be hazardous for your health and the quality of your poem
3) Look upon the sea during a storm, or at night when the darkness makes the sea seem less friendly. Reflect upon its power and its gentleness and the contrast between these two versions of the sea
4) Remember your favorite sailing experience and write about what you remember and how you were feeling at the time – the first time you ever sailed could be a good starting point
5) Write about how you feel as you step onto your boat for the first time in the morning and the difference between how you feel on land versus out on the water.
We hope some of you will go out this weekend on your boat, and try your hand at poetry! We encourage you to post any poems you create on our Facebook page or here in the comments – we’d love to read them!