If there’s one thing Nicki and I love, it’s having guests aboard.
Ok, there’re lots of things Nicki and I love, but one of the many things we really enjoy is sharing the experience of sailing. Somehow it always seems that having someone else along for a day on the water helps us to see the boat and life on the water with fresh eyes.
What’s the sweetest moment on a sailboat? For us, it’s that point when we’ve got off the dock, motored out away from the floats and moored boats, listening to the roaring clatter of “Mr. Engine Sir” the whole time. (No disrespect, Mr. Engine Sir. We love you dearly, but you’re LOUD!). Finally, with the sails up we turn to the wind, feel the boat heel and accelerate to the breeze, and the helmsman pulls the engine shutoff…
Bliss. Soft swish of bow wake, flutter of canvas, creak of lines, call of a gull – and nothing else. You can actually hear the soft “ahh…” of shoulders relaxing and minds unbending.
So far almost all our guests have been for day sails – out and back, an afternoon on the water. The only exception so far was a weekend with one of Nicki’s nieces…
…which was a blast. Who knew you could get a pedicure at anchor in Clam Cove, Maine? She was a great hand at the helm, helped in the galley, drove the dinghy, and did – in two days – things most of her peers will never have a chance to experience.
Not that there’s anything wrong with guests for just a day, mind you. Most folks probably don’t really need the full immersion experience of a cruising boat underway. Last summer we took local friends, family, the former owners, and even fellow boaters who were curious about our somewhat unusual boat.
And one of the more unusual (and rewarding) things we did was to donate a day of sailing as a fundraiser for our church in the annual services auction. Folks could bid on our “day on the water” offering, and the winning bids were rewarded with a day of sailing, bird watching, harbor seals and porpoises, wine and cheese and generally fun times aboard the s/v Sionna. It was a big hit.
So if you’re a boater, don’t forget to share the experience. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.