WHEN I LOOK at a marina full of boats, I wonder if the boats are really as deserted as they look. Just because they're not out sailing doesn't mean they're not being used. I have spent many happy hours down below on docked boats. Some of them were bigger than I could really afford, but they offered comforts that smaller boats could not match.
Nothing feels cozier than the cabin of a yacht when the wind is howling from the southeast and cold rain is drumming on the skylights. What better way is there for the harried city worker to relax than to stretch out on a bunk with a favorite book or good music on the stereo?
To go below into the womb-like confines of a cabin smelling of teak and lemon oil is to shut out the worries of the weekday world. And alone, or with a loving companion, there is a satisfaction approaching bliss in doing nothing in peculiar, in simply relaxing in a snug little vessel floating on a highway that — if you wanted to — would take you to all the exciting, exotic places in the world.
Even in summer, an afternoon spent in the sunny cockpit, happily tying a Turk's Head on the tiller, or lazily re-varnishing the little spot where the jib sheet rubs on the teak coaming, revitalizes the spirit and feeds the soul.
You may sometimes feel the pressure to go sailing when you don't particularly want to, simply to fall in with the popular notion that you have to leave your slip to prove that you're a proper sailor and not a veranda yachtsman.
But you don't have to fall for that. How you enjoy your boat is up to you. And if you can afford a big boat in which you can goof off standing upright, why should you make yourself miserable in one with no more than sitting headroom?
The bow that's always bent will quickly break;
But if unstrung will serve you at your need.
So let the mind some relaxation take
To come back to its task with fresher need.
— Phaedrus, Fables
TailpieceConfucius say: "If man think by the inch and talk by the yard, he will be kicked by the foot."