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Why two retired apple growers sail

By on June 22, 2020 in Outdoor Fun with 0 Comments
Sailing with friends from Chelan: “A major factor in our enjoyment of this lifestyle is having friends and family visit to share these fun experiences,” said Sharon Podlich.

Why two retired apple growers sail

By Sharon Podlich

I grew up in northern Vermont. Spent lots of time on lovely lakes, but never sailed.

I like relaxed journeys. I resemble the description a friend once gave of his wife — “Jane likes sailing when there is no wind.”

My husband, Chuck, grew up on the Chesapeake Bay and started sailing at age eight. He spent much of his youth racing small sailboats. He calls out sail trimming instructions to me while tinkering on his project de jour.

He thinks high winds, full sails, heeled 20 or more degrees is our boat’s sweet spot.

What drives the two of us to live and travel on a 44-foot sailboat for part of the year?

The list is quite long. A day of sailing can include so many events.

Typically, I start my day in the cockpit with a cup of tea — one of my favorite times.

I watch the happenings in our anchorage. What is on shore? Are there other boats anchored nearby? Who is out and about on land or vessel?

When Chuck joins me, we may plan for the day, if so motivated. Some days we kayak or snorkel to explore our new “digs.”

Planning to sail involves checking the weather and wind apps, calculating the distance to our destination, and figuring the best time to pull the anchor.

Once out of the anchorage, we will raise the best sails for the wind speeds and direction and get into the rhythm of cutting through the waves and keeping everything adjusted for optimum speed.

Strong winds will have my husband “yee haaing” at the wheel and me white knuckle gripping a hand hold, while some item or two we forgot to stow flies across the salon below.

Sailing weather like this rarely brings out the marine life. We will get where we are going quickly or even in “record time.” After heavy sailing days, we are pleased with our well-built boat.

Today the water is truly azure. The white caps are small, which indicates that the wind is blowing a steady 15-18 knots.

Sailing speed of 6-7 knots, a fair fuel harvest for this tack. Heeled at about 10 degrees. This is my kind of sailing. In these conditions, I am often at the helm. These are the days the sea creatures come out to play.

Up head I notice a spurt of water — whales. I stay our course as they cross ahead of us, then breach 150 yards to our starboard.

An hour or so later, I hear breathing alongside us. A pod of dolphins is playing in our bow wake.

Sunlight flashes off shiny orbs on both sides of us. We have met a herd of turtles. That seagull who looks like he walks on water is hitching a ride.

I like to arrive at an anchorage early enough to enjoy a margarita in the cockpit and watch the sunset. Mexican sunsets are stunning. A secondary treat is the 360 degrees of pink that will follow a few moments after the sun has sunk into the sea.

A little dinner and it is almost time for the rays to start flying out of the water, thinking they are birds before they splat back to the surface.

What a sweet day it has been for two retired apple growers out at sea.

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