Is it wise to try and repeat an experience from a different time in your life? If you had a good time doing something special in a certain place will you be disappointed if you go back and try and do the same thing twenty five years later? Things will have changed. People will have changed. You will have changed. Will you enjoy the changes or not? Can you wade in the same river twice?
Twenty five years ago, around this time of year, I learned to sail on the Spanish Mediterranean island of Minorca at a windsurfing and sailing center operated by Minorca Sailing. I remember long afternoons sailing around the bay on my own, making every mistake that a novice can make, capsizing and laughing and recovering, and learning from my mistakes, and slowly getting the hang of this thing called sailing. I remember picnics on an island, sardines grilled on an open fire, gazpacho, lemon ice cream, lobster dinners. I remember my first sail in a Laser there... and my first death roll. I remember sailing a 470 in big ocean swells just outside the protected bay... and a scary capsize in a 470 when I ended up trapped underneath the boat pinned by the tiller through my buoyancy aid. I remember sailing with Tillerwoman in the beginners' race... and winning it.
Those two weeks changed my life. They hooked me on sailing and on racing for good.
Tonight Tillerwoman and I head off to Europe to make some family visits and also to spend another two weeks at Minorca Sailing. I'm excited but also wondering how it will be different. I know most of the boats will be different... but in a good way. They have Lasers and Musto Skiffs and RS 700s and RS 800s and 49ers and 59ers and... the list just goes on and on. More toys than I could ever try in two weeks. They have Laser racing every day. It sounds like dinghy sailor heaven. Hope I'm right.
So this blog is taking another vacation. Normal service will be resumed some time in mid-October.