3 Reasons Sailing is like Reading

I have family up on Long Island, and we’ve been visiting them up there for most of life. And for much of that time, my cousin has had a sailboat. Yet, I have somehow never been sailing.

I’ve been out on motor boats, but this past weekend was the first time I have ever been sailing. The day started out cloudy, but once underway the day became delightful. Gradually, I have become aware of three ways sailing is like reading.

1. It is peaceful.

Out on the water, without a motor running, it’s quiet. Sure, you have the breeze and the waves against the boat, but these natural sounds are not grating like the cacophony of human noise that surrounds us each day. Reading is often similarly peaceful, as you find someplace quiet and secluded to curl up with your book.

2. It is intimate.

Unless you are quiet wealthy, a sailboat is rather small. The cabin is tight, and the outside seating area is cozy. This lends an intimacy to the excursion, as you are in each others’ pockets the entire time. When reading, you immerse yourself in a character’s POV, sometimes even privy to their thoughts. You can’t get much more intimate than that!

3. It is freeing

Skimming about on the water, with the breeze and sun on your skin lets the worries of daily life slip away. Reading is the same way. When you fall into a book, reality vanishes. Time vanishes. Just like our hour and a half boat ride became three.

Eventually, we docked the boat and clambered back onto land. The breeze died, and the relentless humidity weighed us down as we stood, blinking and disoriented, slowly coming back to the real world.

Exactly the same feeling as coming out of a good book.

Do you have any good sailing stories to share?

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