More Sailing Quotes

Posted on Saturday 4 March 2006

Here are a few more of my favorite sailing-related quotes and a little about why I like them.

“The wonder is always new that any sane man can be a sailor.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning to sail my ship.”
Louisa May Alcott

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Mark Twain

The first quote always reminds me of my twin, David, who used to say “Sanity is highly over-rated.”

Sailing, especially long-distance voyaging, as Dee Caffari is doing, is always a challenge, and one often seen as something the less-than-sane would attempt. Webb Chiles, with his attempt to sail around the world in an open 18′ 9″ Drascombe Lugger, is another good example of a voyager, taking on a challenge that most would view as extreme. I see getting my boat, the Pretty Gee, as just the start of a long voyage of my own.

The second quote reminds me that even when things are bad—there may be good things to be gained from the experience.

I see bad weather as the opportunity to both test myself and to learn about how my boat handles herself in difficult conditions. Sailing under only blue skies is both unrealistic and boring. I would like to visit Opua, where Webb has moored the Hawke of Tuonela. The photos he sent me of Opua are breath-taking. But to get to Opua will require sailing in all types of weather, both good and bad.

The third quote is one I often read to remind myself that life is not a dress rehearsal.

Gee had wanted to go to Seattle, and start her life there—far from everyone she knew. What she found once she got there—was that the reasons she had for going no longer existed—that she longed to be in northern Virginia, beside the man she loved. So six-and-a-half months after she left Virginia for Seattle, she came back. She was diagnosed just after she came back.

The quote reminds me of how Gee took what little time she had left and tried to make it mean as much as she could. She told me—just a short time before she died—that the only two regrets she had with her life were having to leave me and not having a chance to have children. Gee believed in my dreams, and supported them. She wanted me to sail again, and get a boat that we could see what lay beyond the sunset on. Even though my Gee is gone, I have decided to do just that. She will be with me in spirit, as I truly believe she will watch over her namesake and protect us both.


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