The magic of sailing …

Orbit checking out the headsail

Orbit checking out the headsail

Each time Orbit is on deck he discovers something new.  On a recent sail from Moreton Island back to the ‘mainland’ or Manly, we had the perfect conditions for Orbit to be on deck and this time he discovered the sails. It was the first time he has really taken notice of the them, stopping, watching and contemplating for a significant period of time.

As he was doing so, I did my best to explain the magic of sailing.

How, in the seconds just after the engine is turned off, there is the apparent silence and then as our ears adjust, the lack of engine noise transforms into the noises of sailing and the boat being pulled through the water.

Orbit checking out the main sail

Orbit checking out the main sail

I went on to describe how I have a feeling of my immediate world altering and not just by heeling over to varying degrees! It’s a like a weight has been lifted or a sense of peace descends. Maybe it’s being one with nature, like an unconscious connection back to the environment, as we are driven by the wind and not the engine. I asked Orbit if it could be described as a feeling of freedom?

Or maybe its just as simple as the lack of engine noise, the relaxation that comes with the beer after the sails are up and the wind in our hair …

Orbit patiently listened as I rambled off my attempts to explain the magic of sailing. I am sure he will come up with his own explanation in time (which will be more articulate than my own), but now just the look of joy on his face is articulate enough.

Orbit telling the Skipper how to trim the sails

Orbit telling the Skipper how to trim the sails

The Skipper and I are really looking forward to the day that we can have Orbit on deck so he can see the magic happen. At the moment Orbit is just hearing the magic as he is tucked up in his bed out of harms way. He is usually asleep by the time the sails are up and trimmed. But when he does wake during a passage, he is keen to be in the cockpit and to be on deck (if the conditions are appropriate) and have the wind though his hair.

One of the wonderful things about sailing with a toddler is the opportunity to see things through their eyes. It makes me look at things differently, to re-evaluate what I think I already know. Although I still ‘get’ the magic each time we are sailing, watching Orbit looking at the sails was an opportunity to try to articulate the magic and a reminder to appreciate our adventures, no matter how big or small and for this I am truly grateful.

Medina, between Moreton Island and St Helena Island

Medina, between Moreton Island and St Helena Island (Orbit was asleep when this photo was taken)

Thanks to Cam and Kim from Trio for the photo of Medina

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