A typical phrase used by sailors, meaning Hello!
Other terms you must learn if you are a sailor are “starboard” (right side), “port” (left side), “bow” (front of the boat), and “stern” (back of the boat). These are only a few of the hundreds of nautical terms used when sailing or boating. But in this article, I will focus more on the sport of SAILING; MY HOBBY, MY PASSION.
I have been involved with sailing for over 30 years, and now that I moved to Chatham and bought my own 26 foot sail boat (a TANZER 7.5 Class), I’m even more passionate about the sport and hope to continue as a member of The Thames River Yacht Club located at the mouth of the Thames River on Lake St. Clair, at LIGHTHOUSE COVE. Ours is a quaint little sailing club sandwiched between several larger motor boating clubs. We’re the wind powered boats.
I firmly believe that as we get older it’s even more important to get involved with some type of group and or club to enhance our circle of friends apart from our own family, and thus be active and involved.
In Chatham and in our current society as a whole we are seeing an increasing number of retired individuals. Compared to regular motor boating, sailing requires a lot more dexterity, ability to move quickly, coordination, balancing, and fussing about, since there are a lot of components, lines, and tackles involved and nautical and sailing knowledge required which comes only with experience. Not to downplay the skills of our motor boating crowds, motor boating is a lot easier. Cost-wise, price points can also be much more expensive with sailing since there are so many intricate pieces involved especially when making sure lines and sails and sheets are well secured.
And perhaps the above points contribute to the growing concern by sailing clubs that the younger generations are drifting towards power boating as opposed to sailing.
It’s a sport that requires skills building and power boating is therefore much easier. You just need turn the motor/engine on and you are off at tremendous speed. Sailing needs a lot of prep and is slower. Knowledge of wind directions, sails and tactical manoeuvring takes time to learn. Clubs worry as to where our future sailors will come from to sustain these clubs. Thames River Yacht Club’s many senior members worry and ponder on this too and hope to introduce a Junior Sailing School in the near future to help enhance and promote the love of this ancient sport.
Meanwhile, I remain a devoted sailor and even though I’m over 60, and the muscles and joints creak and grown the day after, I still happily challenge myself to get out there on the water and let the winds guide my destiny.
Article & images submitted by:
Regina M. Stockus Member, Thames River Yacht Club