Friday, May 26, 2006

Sailing Romance

A couple of days ago I wrote about how Paul McCartney wooed Heather Mills by taking her for a sail on his boat. It's not the first time I've heard of a man using the enchantment of a sailing boat to impress a woman he was pursuing. I remember working with a young woman many years ago who was totally blown away that a suitor invited her out to sail with him on their first date instead of the more conventional drinks or dinner.

Makes sense. What could be more romantic than sailing? And of course if it's just you and the object of your desires alone together on a boat in the middle of the bay as the sun sets... you can use your imagination.

So how common is this ploy? Male and female readers please comment. Have you been involved in a romance that started with an outing on a sailboat? Or perhaps a date on a boat that ended disastrously? Please tell us your story on your blog or in my comments.

I have to confess that my courtship of Tillerwoman did not start with sailing. Indeed, given what I know now about her general antipathy to small boats I might have blown the opportunity of a lifetime if I had invited her to go sailing with me for our first date. Luckily I did not even know how to sail then so I wasn't able to frighten her away.

But I was a guitar player when I met her. And she confessed later that she first realized that we had something special going when I played my guitar just for her. (Wonder if that ever worked for McCartney? I should think so.)


This old guitar gave me my lovely lady
It opened up her eyes and ears to me
It brought us close together
I guess it broke her heart
It opened up the space for us to be
What a lovely place and a lovely space to be



17 comments:

seadated said...

My first date with my now ex girlfriend consisted of a sail out of the Elizabeth River from Portsmouth, VA, to the Hampton Roads Harbor. I tossed out the anchor, fired up the grill, and cooked up some filet mignon, shrimp, steamed broccoli, hollandaise sauce, and french bread. I brought both red and white wine because I didn't know what she liked, and we dined watching the sun set over Craney Island. She was putty. Three years later, we couldn't get along at all, and had to call it off. Maybe we started out too strong?

Zen said...

When I was single a few years ago. I was living in the back of my Kung Fu Studio and on my boat. So whenever I wanted to have someone over it would be on my boat. Only a few I would take out for a sail before hand. One special jewel from Hawaii the first time I asked her out was for a sail. I was just learning how to handle the boat a 26 ft Ariel. The wind was just right, I only used the mainsail. We sailed for about 2 hours just back and forth no where special. Afterward back at the dock, I fixed dinner. Salmon, some stir fried veggies, a little pasta, some wine. We talked, laughed and watch the sunset. It was perfect, I floated on ground for the next week. The relationship did not flower, but the memory is stored under Special Moments...

EVK4 said...

Careful here, don't go romanticizing this "meet on a sailboat" phenomenon.

My parents met while both were crewing a race on my Uncle George's boat. They fell in love, had sailing in common, and then while in the midst of having two kids realized that they hated each other.

Sailing can be such a unifying event, people are so happy that they are enjoying an incredible experience that they overlook such things as : 1.radically different political views, 2.radically different social views, and 3.radically different personalities.

Luckily it happened and my sister and I exist but don't go romanticizing the sailing magic for more than its temporary effects.

EVK4 said...

On another note, how cool is it that Zen lived in the back of his Kung Fu Studio and sailboat. How kick-ass Bay Area is that?

Tillerman said...

Good point Edward. So far, the long-term track record for sailing romances reported here (McCartney, Seadated, Zen and EVK4 parents) is 0 and 4.

Doesn't anybody have a story about a romance that started on a boat and actually lasted?

Fuff said...

I don't have one. I know one couple whose relationship progressed through sailing. He has now lost the helm to his boat in most races. He has recently put the boat on the market so that his fiance can race the boat of her choice.

bonnie said...

There seem to be some kayak romance stories - none for me, but you have Cheri and Turner at Kayakways, Melissa and Steve at Sea Cliff Kayakers, Leon and Shawna at Body Boat Blade, Bill and Janice at Atlantic Kayak Tours.

Me, I've found that people who meet me on the water suddenly lose interest when they find out that the bulk of my income is earned while sitting in a cubicle crunching numbers, and the people who meet me on land get a little weirded out when they find out about the schooner and the kayaks. I particularly recall a phone call during which I actually heard the interest go out of the guy's voice the minute he found out about the day job. He'd met me while I was working on the schooner - ordinarily I don't make a habit of handing out my number to passengers but he'd just sort of asked me point blank & I figured why not live a little. Yup, so much for that, the real me clearly wasn't romantic enough to bother with.

Oh well, not giving up either of 'em - I like the balance I've got.

Dirk the Feeble said...

Does canoeing or paddleboating count? Some of the best lovin' I've ever had in my life came after a day paddleboating on the lake.

Pat said...

Im my pre-sailing days, Carol Anne accepted my proposal and an heirloom engagement ring while we were on a Boston Whaler in the Gulf of Mexico off South Padre Island, 23 years ago.

Tillerman said...

Sure broaden the question. Kayaks, canoes, paddleboats, even Boston Whalers if you find them romantic.

OG said...

From a girls point of view, saying you sail comes across as quite impressive, and yes, I have taken the odd few for a sail. When they suggest "dinner & drinks", I say "why don't we go for a sail on Sunday afternoon instead?" Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Hmmmm... I am single at the moment...

Zen said...

Well, ok, we need to defind the term "lasted"

In term of our modern time lasted is more than 5 - 10 yrs. In our parents time 50-60 yrs or Death due us part.

I know of a couple in So Ca who met on a blind date, via boating friends, went on their boat date first and are married & still living the love dream years later...they have not reach thdeath due us part age as yet.

So is there a time value on lasted... or is it death due us part still. In that case no-one that I know, these days, yet.
That is a good question I will post on a couple boating sites.

Perhaps in evk4's case had his parents keep sailing together they would have carried the need of working together on the boat over to their land lives and stayed together. Then again the hating each other is a pretty strong downer.

Pat said...

Hypothesis: Maybe sailing, especially either living aboard or undergoing the stress of racing or cruising in extreme conditions, is enough of a high-pressure crucible that you find out the best and worst about someone more quickly than you would on land? If a guy turns into a Captain Queeg/Bligh on the boat, maybe that's advance warning that his real nature on land will someday show up as not so wonderful? Is it harder for someone to hide her or his true nature on board a boat?

CHuck said...

While dating my future wife she took me sailing on her Sunfish. I thought this was soooo cool and that she was an "adventure woman" and it really cemented my interest in her. She also had a canoe! and a horse!

We've been married 14 years and have 2 kids.

Becky said...

Alas, none of my potential beaus ever took me sailing. But I can honestly say if I were on the market, being invited for a sail and then being serenaded by the guitar wielding captain would make me putty. Very romantic indeed.

bonnie said...

er...I might end up having to change that "none for me" part...

I don't want to jinx things by talking about it (you know about that, right?) but Memorial Day ended up being a lot of fun.

In this case it wasn't so much that boats were used as a device, though, it was just something we both like doing & was pretty much the only rational thing for us to do for a first date.

raiderreader said...

Ah a sailor. They have a very definate plus in my book. But of course I own and Oday 23, a laser and a sunfish. I could think of nothing more romantic than a moonlight sail with a special person. Having a steady breeze would help but a good captain would know how to bend the best sail to keep the work to a minimum and the cuddling to max. I'm a single grandmother in Texas and there just doesn't seem to be many guys out there who catch on to this wonderful way to date. Putting down an anchor and having a romantic dinner sounds wonderful. If the girl doesn't fall for that, drop her and find someone who will.

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