For “Sail” : 1001 tales of adventure and discovery

     Scheherazade was an Arabian queen brought to her husband on her wedding night. Now this Sultan was easily bored. In fact he had his queen killed every day just to get a new one every night. (Sucks to be queen.) But Scheherazade had an active imagination and a plan. Every night she told the Sultan stories. Every day he wanted to hear what happened next so he stayed her execution day after day so she could tell him stories night after night. The stories she told are known as “1001 Arabian Nights.” She came to be known as “The lady of a thousand tales.” 

     That is why my father’s sailboat is called Scheherazade. Often, when coming back from a sail and tying up at the dock, dad will say, tongue in cheek, “we cheated death yet again!” To which I respond “with another tale to tell.”

      We have thousands of stories thanks to Scheherazade and like her royal namesake, she is well designed to playfully get out of dangerous situations.

     Dad is putting Scheherazade on the market this summer. She’ll have a new owner and teach new captains how to sail her. I’ll miss her, but she is happiest mothering along new sailors and giving them stories to tell.  So when she’s sailed on to new adventures without me, I’ll just visit the water and crew for my friends until the time comes to own my own sloop.  But until she changes hands, I’ll be on Scheherazade under an orange and yellow flag.

     She draws a full 4 feet at only 26ft long. This makes her unusually stable in the water. She is also narrow in the beam like a little dolphin. This makes her unusually responsive and maneuverable giving every opportunity to correct any little mistakes a new sailor might make before it comes to trouble. If you do get into sailing conditions over your skill level, just let go the tiller and she’ll stop, turn into the wind and let you bring the sails down safely and start the motor. Not like those tipsy, fat boats that give you lots of room inside but catch every wave and current bouncing you around the lake like a clumsy walrus.

     I like sailing best when it’s a bit of work, when the waves are choppy and the wind a little too strong.  Otherwise Scheherazade will sail herself and I don’t get to “feel” how good a sailor I have become.

     Dad taught me to sail the way mom taught me how to swim; by playing on the water until I was doing it without realizing it. It’s so much easier and more natural than riding a bike. I don’t remember the first time I swam or sailed. It’s just like you don’t remember your first step when learning how to walk. It just happens and it feels like you were born to do it and have done it forever.

     My mother spent the summers of her young womanhood as a lifeguard and is a powerful swimmer and diver. She is at home in the water. She watched over me while I learned to swim so I never felt any fear or danger and Scheherazade watched over me learning to sail so I never felt any fear or danger. She’s a boat I trust like my mother. Just as strong and capable in her love and protection.

     The last several years, I have taken Scheherazade out to play without Dad. I’ve been using my husband, children and friends when I need some crew and even started an annual “chic sail” where I introduce a few girlfriends to sailing.

     Maybe it’s silly, but when I’m on Scheherazade without Dad, I have a little orange and yellow flag I run up. When you see it, you’ll know it’s me at the helm. Stop on over and say “ahoy.” I’m always looking for crew and want to get out on the lake as much as I can. This might be my last summer on a sloop. It makes each sail a precious joy.

Published in: on April 18, 2010 at 1:32 pm  Leave a Comment