Sailing, Sailing Away…

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Well, it’s not far down to paradise, at least it’s not for me
And if the wind is right you can sail away and find tranquility
Oh, the canvas can do miracles, just you wait and see
Believe me

It’s not far to never-never land, no reason to pretend
And if the wind is right you can find the joy of innocence again
Oh, the canvas can do miracles, just you wait and see
Believe me

Sailing takes me away to where I’ve always heard it could be
Just a dream and the wind to carry me
And soon I will be free

Fantasy, it gets the best of me
When I’m sailing
All caught up in the reverie, every word is a symphony
Won’t you believe me?

Sailing takes me away to where I’ve always heard it could be
Just a dream and the wind to carry me
And soon I will be free

Well it’s not far back to sanity, at least it’s not for me
And if the wind is right you can sail away and find serenity
Oh, the canvas can do miracles, just you wait and see
Believe me

Sailing takes me away to where I’ve always heard it could be
Just a dream and the wind to carry me
And soon I will be free

Sailing Away by Christopher Cross

I’ve been listening to music while I work on the DIY projects for my daughter’s wedding – mostly at the sewing machine, where I’ve turned into a lace-decorating fiend. Mostly to a station that plays 70s and 80s music, which is my favorite period. Today Christopher Cross’s Sailing Away came on, and I had to stop and just enjoy it. It does take me away – to sailing on my boat and the wonderful sense of freedom one gets on the water with just the wind to push you along: lazy and soft or brisk and frisky or wild and exhilarating.
Next week I will post a bite-sized memoire piece of how I learned to sail. It was not pretty, but I survived it. I had my own boat, a National 10, which is actually a nine foot long tubby thing with a centerboard and a single main sail, although you can add a spinnaker. When I was young, it was called a Turnabout because it could come about on a dime. Mine was called the Yama, which means ‘hurry’ in Bahamian, and it was wooden. Newer ones are fiberglass.
Once I had the confidence to handle it no matter the conditions, I discovered the absolute freedom of sailing. Everyone should have this sort of experience – you leave your cares and work at the dock, and should never, ever take your cell phone! Turnabout are small enough to be handled well by one person, two people are a crowd, which is why the boat is so much fun. Flip it over? No problem – you can stand on the center board and right it, then bail like mad.

Turnabout
My current boat is 17 feet long and a lot more to handle, very sensitive to the helm and incredibly fast. Flip it? Call for help! And I usually sail with someone.

If you want the experience and exhilaration of sailing without actually getting into a boat, I recommend the Disney movie Morning Light, a documentary about fifteen young sailors who train for six months to take on a sailing adventure: racing a high performance 52 foot sloop in the TRANSPAC, a daunting open-ocean sailing competition. Here is the website where you can see a trailer: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0105824/

You can listen to Christopher Cross and Sailing Away at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7khQNR7s1Ho

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19 thoughts on “Sailing, Sailing Away…

  1. I love the Christopher Cross song, Noelle – and while I’ve never been sailing, I bet there’s a real sense of freedom and peace associated with being out on the water and feeling the salt breeze in your hair.

    How’s the book coming? I need my Rhe Brewster fix…

      • Oh yes, please do. You know how much I liked the first, and I’m anxious to read and review the second when it is released.

        I thought the cover on your first book very good. Can’t wait to see what you come up with for the second.

  2. I love being on the water. Any kind of boat ride is enjoyable to me. Recently, we took a trip on a small fishing boat, around the cove in Toba, Mie, to tour the oyster farm there. After that, we spent an entire day out on the water on a fishing trip. It was amazing. I’ve always loved boating, and I completely agree, it’s so freeing!

  3. I grew up sailing and learned to sail in a wooden flat front boat called a Pram, then I moved into a tippy wooden boat called a Penguin. I was in love with that boat and was sad to sell it when I went to college. I still dream about sailing! Great post!

    • Thanks! Although I have the 17 footer, I’ve been looking at turnabout for sail. They are mainly in New England but since we go there almost every summer, we could bring a memory back with us!

  4. Oh, I LOVE it. C. Cross describes sailing so well. I haven’t sailed much in my life, so far anyway, but I can not even tell you, by looking at the photos and reading your description, how appealing it sounds. I’m sitting here in 97 degree (the high) temp, dry heat, mind you, and really trying to imagine myself there with you on that boat. Sounds divine, Noelle.

  5. I haven’t thought of Christopher Cross in ages but I’ve always loved the song. I’ve never been comfortable on the water but I know people who are and you can literally watch the tension just fade away when they get within sight of it. Good luck preparing for your daughter’s wedding. it definitely sounds like you’re in the right frame of mind. Thanks for reminding me of this soung. It brings back a lot of good memories.

  6. Christopher Cross is a blast from the past. An enjoyable revisit. My husband had the NSW license to make JH8 and mirror sailing dinghy’s. He always wanted me to go out sailing with him but a) he didn’t know how to sail and b) as an Englishman he really didn’t know how to swim either. Reading your posts I’m now wishing I had (perhaps).

  7. Thomas Munzig

    Actually, the boat was not called a Turnabout “because it could come about on a dime”, it was named for its builder, Harold R. Turner. Turner built these iconic boats in Newbury, Mass and I was a proud owner of sail #946 in 1956. We raced in Hingham, Mass under the Crow Point Sailing Club burgee. These boats are now sailed under the N10 (National Ten) name and are still raced in junior programs throughout New England.

    • Thank you, Thomas for this information. What I knew came from my father! I would love to have one of these again, Right now I have a 16ft crazy agile and temperamental boat that takes two to manage it. I knew the Turnabouts had become N10.

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