Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Sailing Families at Play

Sailing is many things. It is adventure. It is challenge. It is competition. It is exercise.

But sailing is also play. And for many sailors, it is about playing with their families.

The final two entries in last month's group writing project, Top Sailing Destination on the Planet, illustrate perfectly how important sailing has been and still is to two such families.

In Comfort Zone, Baydog waxes lyrical about the Jersey Shore and, in particular, Barnegat Bay. This wonderfully nostalgic post (perhaps the best he has written so far since he started his blog) describes Baydog's many summers at the Jersey shore, growing up with his extended family.

As with our parents before us, there were always boats to play in, on land or in the water. Every family had boats, didn't they? It was just a given that the shore houses would always be there and we'd be down the shore all summer long, for the rest of our lives.

My2fish has written about Michigan: a great place to sail.  He gives us many reasons why Michigan is a wonderful sailing destination but, for me, the best part of his post is when he writes about sailing with his wife and his sons, and other family members. Oh yes, always in a Sunfish.

The fellowship of sailing with a friend, or the sheer joy I see on my kid’s face (or that of any other child I’ve had a chance to give a ride on the Sunfish) has been amazing. My 3 1/2 year old son has already asked me a few times this spring to take him sailing again.

I didn't come from a sailing family, and was never able to enjoy the experience of sailing with my father like Baydog did. But I did take my sons out on my Laser when they were little, just like my2fish in that photo. We never had a family shore house, but racing in Sunfish and Lasers was one thing that I was able to do with my sons as they grew up. Now I'm looking forward to the days when I can sail with my grandchildren.

Thanks to everyone who participated in Top Sailing Destination on the Planet. There will be a wrap-up post coming soon.

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