“Sail Tales” is about the adventures a humble sailboat owner had over the years. So where does one start writing about these adventures? You start at the beginning. That beginning was in 1967 when I was helping a friend of mine, Frank, re-build an old wooden boat that he had bought. Frank took the whole boat apart and then rebuilt it from the frames up. It was a sleek little craft and I found myself involved in his project. Frank found a similar craft and with his promise of help, I bought it. I spent the whole winter and most of the spring doing the things that had to be done to the boat to get it ready for the summer of 69. I knew nothing about about sailing. But how hard could it be to learn? I soon found out. My sailing adventures started that summer. I learned quickly that unlike a power boat, a sailboat is not a craft that you get aboard, turn a key and then drive it like a car. You have to sail the boat. You have to do what the wind lets you do. You can’t go directly where you want to go because the wind won’t allow it. You have to finesse, you have be diplomatic, you have to learn to tweak a sail rather than over trim. Well, I learned to get that sailboat from point to point. I also learned that time on a sailboat is not the same as time on land and I learned this on my very first trip on my first sailboat. That three hour trip ended up taking thirteen hours. Read about it. The time of a sailboat trip can not be predicted. If you need to get to a certain place at a certain time take a bus not a sailboat. An afternoon trip has more than once become a late nighter. “ Leave your watches ashore.” That’s what I tell everyone before they step foot aboard. I don’t know what time we’ll be back but I’m certain that we will be back. My very first sailboat trip was not a late nighter but rather an early morning return. Speaking of time, How long does it take you to hang a calender on your wall? You get a stick pin and put it through a hole in the calender and stick the pin in the cork board. Thirty seconds? It took me the better part of three hours to hang a calender on the boat. First I had to get the tape from the old calender off the wall. For this project I had to find the razor blade scrapper. Then I had to run to the hardware store to get new blades for it. The scrapper got the top layer of the tape off the wall but the sticky part of the tape just rolled up into little balls. I had to go back to the hardware store for some solvent to get the sticky balls off the wall. Then and only then was I able to re-tape the new calender to the wall. I have since put the scrapper in it’s place so I can find it next time. I hope I remember that place. Imagine what a project it is to install a new pedestal steering system or an new diesel engine. Imagine the time it takes to make an old boat a safe craft, a boat ready to sail, and the keyword is safe. It took me the better part of four years to make my Morgan 38 the boat I wanted it to be. And notice I’m not saying anything about the cost. That’s another story. And these are some of the stories I tell. This is the third boat I have redone. But it is the last boat that I will redo. I’m getting too old for this rebuilding stuff. Parts of “Sail Tales” tells about projects such as what I have just described. But the majority of the stories are about sailing trips where something happens. If you are a sailor or if you own a sailboat, sit back and try to remember trips that were dull and boring. They don’t pop into your mind. But what does pop are the adventures, the thrill of the wind that is blowing just a bit harder than you would like. You remember the trips where the rail is in the water for most of the day and how you were able to keep the boat under control. You remember the trips where there was no wind and the day became a motor day. You remember entering an anchorage and finding someone there from your marina or someo
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