Monday, May 18, 2015

York Spit Lighthouse (5/16/2015)

There are a couple of things in life that are really my passion.   They include sailing, photography and teaching; although I have not biked much lately, I would almost want to count that as well as one of my passions in life.   I think what they have in common is that they make me live in the moment.   Doing these things I get in a zone and cannot think of much else.  You just need to concentrate on it, and do the best job at it; stay on course with a goal in mind: get (back) to the harbor; maybe where you started from, or maybe to your next goal (harbor).  Your mind is not allowed to wander much when you do these things; in particular in a boat with a tiller. I notice that I invariably go off course during those few times that I look at my GPS; it is amazing what that brief lack of concentration will do.  Just scanning the water, the horizon or just talking with the crew does not result in drastic course changes, but looking at a screen and concentrating on something else will do that.  Crazy maybe, but when driving a car my mind is often busy with something else, or as Dr. Amit Sood says in his "Mayo Clinic Guide to Stress-Free Living", working on my open files.  During sailing or teaching my file cabinet is closed shut.  Living in the moment is so important!

In the moment (photo taken by the admiral Donna Briedé)
It was a wonderful day of sailing on Saturday.  Winds were 10 to 15 knots out of the Southwest; just perfect to achieve one of my goals: sail out to York Spit light and back.  From the opening of our creek the course was set to 90 degrees (due east) and after about two hours of sailing in the open water of the Bay we approached the spit.  Near the spit, the waves were between one and two feet in height with a great frequency in between that made it a great rolling ride.

Word has it that York Spit used to be an octagonal light house, but ot was abandoned by the coast guard and dynamited.  Below is a picture I stole from Wikipedia:

Now it is just some remnants of the steel base, a light and a few radar reflectors that guard the opening of the channel into the York River.  It is a pity that they could find someone to take care of this historic lighthouse and that they felt the need to destroy it.

Remnants of York Spit Light

After rounding the spit we held the course as close to 270 as we could and zoomed back to the creek we came out of.  We had to lay in one small tack to make it.  The admiral was on the tiller and I had some time to experiment taking photos.  So much for being in the zone (maybe in a different zone).  We had some great encounters with dolphins on the way; it was an absolute great sail.  Very unlike most of the sails that sailors tell you about; they tell you mostly about all those bad experiences they had.

It was an absolutely great Saturday without many worries, except staying in the zone.  One of the worst ways of going off course is by looking back; come to think of it, that is a crazy metaphor for life isn't it?

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