The swing of a compass in time with the easy motion of a well trimmed sailing craft is mesmerizing. The lubber line is a wandering, even elusive, target in rougher conditions. The combined mediums of wind and water can present frustrating problems. Sometimes it is easy to sense the timing and patterns of these forces but when things get confused trouble may ensue.
In general we tend to steer through an arc of plus or minus 5 degrees or a bit more. If you are consistent in the handling of the helm the variation will even itself out over the course of a passage. Steering by compass requires a strong focus. It’s best accomplished when there is another crew member to keep watch for solid things that shouldn’t be bumped into. When visibility is good we can reference our steering from selected landmarks or stars. Objects that don’t move are a great solace to the helmsman.
This is the part where I should reveal the inherent metaphors of navigation and living in a world of confused currents, strong tidal pulls and the rising tide of gas prices. That seems a bit weighty to me at 2:45 a.m. with another day of work in the cabinet shop looming so close. This week I renewed my hosting and domain names. Thus, Seaward Adventures has been afloat for one year. I have enjoyed every second and I hope my readers have gained something from my attempts at literary alchemy.
You may be interested to know that this blog reaches across the globe. I have been amazed at the scope of one small blog. The analytics show visitors from every continent except Antarctica. That’s a goal for the upcoming year. As a young man I dreamed of building a boat and sailing around the world. Life has had it’s way with me and my travels have thus far been more limited than my youthful visions. I truly love sailing. It is indeed a type of soulcraft. Which just means that I do it because it is one of the things that I must do to stay on course in life. I read the scriptures, worship God, work with my hands, play at pirate games with my Grandson and write words on a blank page. Keep the deck mates, steady as she goes, the voyage continues.