This time of year the land bound Lake Ontario sailor resorts to memories of past voyages aboard vessels now vanished but not forgotten. Here’s a tribute to various old boats that have taken me across the lake.
It‘s a different world out there Here a traveler defies gravity with water and air.
Ten tons of boat moves from the dock with a gentle shove while a shaped sail captures energy above.
In this world inconsequential air has density.
Like water, air flows as it goes over curved surfaces creating the magical force of lift. Lift gives my craft life.
On a gentle day she speaks and sings to the lake Astern she leaves the eddies and swirls of her wake.
When waves build and break in white froth, More forces come into play harnessed by hull shape and sail cloth.
Gravity pulls on the leaden keel while wind pushes against the sail.
Waves build then lift and twist and test the hull.
The pressure is constant, there’s never a lull.
Water strikes hard and bows or boat’s side as she drops and lurches during a wild ride.
Buoyancy is a force to be cherished then preserved by the bilge pump. Alone upon the sun glittered lake, no land in sight.
Surrounded by constant liquid movement that pushes and shoves in swings and surges, the tiller tender braces against the forces and watches for the next looming wave crest.
Will she rise?
She has done this before.
She has ascended ten thousand waves in her long life.
The boat knows what to do. As long as you keep the water out buoyancy will come through.