Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Living Slow Sailing Fast

Yesterday I went and sailed my Laser on my favorite New Jersey lake, Spruce Run. It was a gorgeous sunny fall day with winds of 15-20 knots. To be honest, the fall colors in New Jersey are now a little past their best, but even so the rolling hills of Hunterdon County were all shades of orange and brown and it was delightful to be able to enjoy the views from the water.

I practiced for about 90 minutes and worked on all the faults that my coach in Minorca pointed out to me. It takes a while to break old habits and establish new ones at my age. Still, I'm making progress.

There were a few other boaters pottering with their boats on the land. Mainly packing them up and removing them for the winter. For some reason, many sailors seem to think that the season is over just because the temperature is dropping below freezing at night. Weird.

And not a single one of those other boatowners thought of taking their craft out for a late season spin around the lake. I had all 1290 acres of water and 15 miles of shoreline to myself. One little Laser blasting around the lake on a Monday afternoon in perfect sailing weather all on its own.

On the way home, I played the Beatles' Revolver album which, with the benefit of hindsight, is now ranked my many critics as their best recording ever. It's certainly very evocative for me being released in the summer of 1966 as I was heading off for college. From that blistering guitar solo on the opening track Taxman (played by McCartney even though Harrison wrote the song) through to the final trippy track Tomorrow Never Knows with its sitar and backwards guitar track and god knows what else, it sure is a classic.

That final track was playing as I arrived home and as always it reminds me of another superb autumn day, this one in 1966, crowds of students in the street, the song blasting out on massive speakers, and sniff sniff... is that smoke what I think it is? Aahh -- the sixties. What it was to be young.

But it's even better being a retired baby boomer with a sailboat. Living slow and sailing fast on a Monday afternoon. You should try it.


EVK4 said...

I was out sailing with my father in law a few years back and smelled that unique smell you're talking about. He, too, smelled it and asked what it was! He had lived in the San Francisco Bay Area most of his life including all of the late 60s and had never smelled it before!

I'm sure there's some other reason he couldn't be president but he's the only person I know who has that one in his bag.

Great Story by the way. Please sail every Monday so I can read about it from the comfort of my sad little office.

Tillerman said...

Yeah - I led a very sheltered life until I was 18 and went off to college.

They always say how smells can conjure up memories. But in this case it's always that music that reminds me of a smell.

Anonymous said...

They are right...the scent of Dolce & Gabana's Light Blue always reminds me of a woman I nearly married. The smell of a dark roast coffee brewing reminds me of the woman I did marry. She was a bit of a coffee gourmet... :D This Saturday would have been our sixth anniversary.

Zen said...

ahhhhhh, sweet memories of life and the gentle, yet turbulent times
Roll another one, just like the other one...don't boguard...

Tim Coleman said...

The Beetles? Remind me again? I think I read about them is some history book! ;0)

Tillerman said...

You must be older than I thought Tim. Fancy you remembering that before they were the Beatles they were the (Silver) Beetles.

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