I love sailing!

I live in a part of the world where lakes are the top natural feature for leisure, especially in the summer. My family is fortunate enough to have a lake cabin that we’ve been going to since I was just a little gome. I have many fond memories of the place: swimming, playing games in the loft, eating grilled food.

Maybe five years ago now, my dad got interested in sailing. He started doing a lot of reading & research on it in the winter, and in the spring or early summer he found someone in the region looking to sell a Com-Pac 16 and bought it. That first year, I went from knowing nothing about how to sail to knowing how to competently man the ropes under my captain’s (dad’s) direction as he handled the tiller. Dad had an idea of what he was doing from the start, since he had done his research, but he also had to get a feel for the boat and what it could do in different conditions.

The Com-Pac 16 is a fractional sloop, if you know what that is (I don’t). The fraction is ⅞.

I had been on the water in motorized boats before, and I liked paddling around the lake on a kayak. But there’s something totally different about being on the water in a wind-propelled craft. The boat itself is totally quiet, and you just get to listen to the water splash onto the hull and the sails flap. On a beautiful day with gentle steady wind, there’s this happy peacefulness to it unlike anything else.

On top of the blissful feeling, it’s a ton of fun learning how to handle all the ropes and the other things you need to do to get the boat ready & sailing. Unlike a car where you can just get in & go, you kind of have to earn your sailing through active effort. But even though it takes more work, the manual aspects are for the most part very pleasant.

There’s always more to learn about sailing. The amount of jargon is kind of staggering once you start encountering it, and it’s fun because it’s all funny old words, due to it being such a long-standing profession. There’s also a lot of useful knots to learn & practice. My dad has learned a lot of them, and he sometimes likes to demonstrate them for us. Knots kind of remind me of cryptography, in that they both can achieve pretty amazing results with materials you wouldn’t think were capable of that (rope & math, respectively).

Even though we didn’t start doing it until I was an adult, times sailing with my family have become some of my happiest memories at the lake. Every year I look forward to getting out on the water again, in the center of the lake, ringed by the trees on the shore.

Have you gone sailing? Did you find it peaceful? What do you do for fun in the summer? Let me know your thoughts at my Ctrl-C email: gome ​@ ​ctrl-c.club.