Thursday, April 14, 2011

To Go Before the Mast

It may come as a surprise; it may seem out of character. For many years I have had a love affair with historic tall ships; those that depend on the power of the wind to fill their expansive sails, those that were manned by accomplished sailors who navigated their courses by the nighttime skies. These ships, with their undisputed beauty, speak to me of adventure, of romance of times gone by, of courage, of stout-hearted men.

While certain that I am not hearty nor courageous enough to have sailed the seven seas in this manner, in my dreams I do long to take my spot next to the great captains which I read about in books. Indeed, I have already outed my obsession with Horatio Hornblower.
Last Tuesday, I had the unique opportunity to "go before the mast and on the deck of the world", to test out my sea legs and to feel the exhilaration of the wind in my sails. It fulfilled a lifelong dream, and despite the debilitating cold of our evening cruise, I will always treasure the experience.
We sailed out of the bay in Newport, Oregon, on the Lady Washington, an historically accurate wooden replica of the original Lady Washington, one of the first U.S.-flagged vessels to visit the west coast of North America. This beautiful movie-star ship has appeared in "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" and "Master and Commander:  The Far Side of the World."
I appreciate my family and their patience with me as I pursue the things I love.  They are very supportive and adventurous as well, and I love them.  Together, we could sail to the ends of the earth, or wherever we decide to go.
"I did not wish to take a cabin passage, but rather to go before the mast and on the deck of the world, for there I could best see the moonlight amid the mountains. I do not wish to go below now."
~Henry David Thoreau~


neffie said...

What a cool adventure!!!

Nancy said...

Ardith your pictures are beautiful and I felt like I had stepped back in time! What a grand adventure you had ;)

Laura said...

I love this!!! What a cool outing!!