A few days ago I asked readers to post stories on their blogs about who inspired them to take up sailing...
Frankie from Threefold Twenty kicks off the tales about who inspired us to take up sailing with a post entitled Sailing Lust in which she ponders where she picked up the lust to be out on the ocean, and concludes that the original inspiration came from two books she read when she was 16 or 17, Jules Verne's 'Les enfants du capitaine Grant' and Bernard Moitessier's 'Vagabond des mers du sud'.
Edward from EVK4 Bloglet tells us in Inspiration that sailing with his father was his introduction to the sport. Trips with Dad including sailing a 72 foot yawl in the Caribbean, and an Atlantic crossing which Edward says "still ranks simultaneously as the most boring and most exhilarating sailing experience of my life".
Og from LiveSailDie fancifully traces the start of her love for sailing back to her mother's womb and her prenatal crewing experiences on a Hobie 16, but realistically gives more credit to what her parents did to introduce her to the sport after she was born and the influence of Andrew Landenberger, a former Moth World champion and Olympic silver medalist, and his father.
Pat from Desert Sea has three stories for us describing his early encounters with boats. First boats with heavy cross starts with young Pat at 9 years old sitting on his regular stool in the Tradewinds Bar and ends with him as a 13 year old altar boy on the heaving deck of a cutter wearing red robes and swinging a heavy brass cross around. (It's not clear to me whether it was the Tradewinds Bar or the Episcopal Church that was his major inspiration.) Not Quite the Making of a Sailor tells us of Pat's adventures as not quite a sailor at the Rice University Sailing Club including a scary sailing adventure with a kindly old gentleman who was "literally shorthanded". The final act in this trilogy about how Pat becomes a sailor in spite of his earlier setbacks, How we got our boat, reveals how he was inspired to buy a boat in the desert when a salesperson was trying to sell him a condo timeshare. Must win the prize for the most unlikely source of inspiration!
Zen from Zensekai tells us that his Inspiration to take up sailing came from Wild Rose, Captn Ron, and a boat that used to belong to Jayne Mansfield.
Thanks to Zen for giving me the first opportunity to post a photo on Proper Course of a former Playmate of the Month. Geeze, did women really have curves like that back in the 1950's?
Where was I? Oh yes. Inspiration.
I wrote yesterday in Men from Mars about two sailors that influenced me to take up the sport. Pretty mundane tale really compared to some of the above.
So there we have it. Parents. Famous sailors. Famous authors. An in-the-womb experience. The Episcopal Church. A guy short of hands. Captn Ron. A Playmate of the Month. Wild Rose. A timeshare salesperson. All people that inspired us to take up sailing.
Thanks to all of the writers who responded to my request for stories on their sources of inspiration. You guys are the best.
Update 20 Dec 2006: Manfred from Germany has also written of his source of inspiration in How it all began.
Update 22 Dec 2006: Ant Clay from England tells us how caravans were the reason his father and he started sailing.