#312 Learn to Sail


Just over 5 years ago I was adrift amid some stormy waters as life was thrown on its head. Now the dust has long since settled, but in reflecting on the turbulent times one of the things which helped to offer some clarity in amongst the storm clouds was undoubtedly the time spent sailing out at sea. Whilst sporadic in nature, these little jaunts have provided thinking time along the way; a chance to detach from the daily doings and put into perspective the problems presented.  My maiden voyage was a chance offering, and if I’m honest, perhaps not the enjoyable experience to encourage exploring the pursuit further. In truth, I spent most of the trip trying to quell the queasy feelings encountered in earning the sea legs as I traversed the Irish Sea northbound to the Isle of Man. It was the commencement of journey that helped me to establish the man that I am and thankfully it is one that I have been able to share with friends, father and sons, but it has been my sons in particular who have relished the trips more than most.


Despite our early eventful foray into sailing, the boys interest has not waned and a recent family trip to the coast appears to have been the catalyst needed to further the education. They have since become increasingly inspired to be admirals of their own sailing adventures and always keen to nurture their appetite and enthusiasm I began to investigate the options. Whilst I thought it would be complex there was a simple solution close to home in the form of the local sailing club on the outskirts of the village and with a quick call we were enrolled. No sooner had we arrived for the introductory evening to learn the proverbial ropes than the boys were assigned an aptly named ‘Optimist’ each to commence their solo sail. After taking to it like ducks to water, it has since become a regular feature of our weekends and a new hobby harnessed. 


Now I know I like a metaphor or two, as illustrated by this very post, but life is very much like sailing. The waters are not always calm, the wind does not always blow in the direction expected and sometimes we get knocked off course. However, with wind in our sails the voyage is made and our destination reached whether the sea is calm or the waters are choppy. Life won’t always go to plan, but the course we take with its highs and lows ultimately enrich the journey. Life on the ocean wave!

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