This week my sailing novel is out, Breaking Anchor. Yes, it is science fiction. That's how my brain is wired, but sailing has found a place in my imagination. I grew up with an outboard powered fishing boat my father saved up to buy. I like the water, but by the time I did a little sailing on Town Lake, the lure of sail had crept into my soul. Unfortunately, I've never bought a sailboat, nor been able to indulge my fantasy of renting and sailing the Caribbean islands.
Some years ago, my wife and I took a cruise from Barbados and visited a number of islands on a large sailing vessel. It was a 100 passenger cruise ship, and I have many fond memories of that trip, but this was really too large for my ideal vessel. I wanted something large enough to live in, for months at a time, but something I could handle. I wanted to handle the sails, and to set the course, and feel the wind and adjust the wheel in response.
When I was writing the novel, or shorting before then, I was listening to all of the Furled Sails podcasts. There were many inspiring tales of sailors, from the weekend sailors to the ones who had sold everything and lived their lives on the seas.
On one of my California trips, my wife, daughter and I took a little sail around the Santa Barbara area in a 40-foot sailboat. It was perfect. If anyone wants to know what I want for Christmas, look no farther. Properly outfitted, one person can sail a boat this sized, and yet there's no limit on where you could go. *Sigh*