sailing

I have several wonderful hobbies. But none are as important to me as sailing.

The wordpress username “fullandbye” is taken from the nautical term “full and bye”. This term is a somewhat anachronistic term for keeping your sails powered (full) while pointing as near (bye) the wind as possible. I love the musicality of the phrase and using it instead of the more common “close hauled” is a quirk.

The image in my header is the S2 7.9meter Sloop “Avalon”. She is based in Seattle, Washington. I’ve been racing this boat since 2008 and hope to return to racing her after Peace Corps. She is fast, stiiff, and a particular joy downwind; especially in fresh breeze. The crew is great too. We take racing seriously enough that sloppiness is out of the question. But we also take cheap beer seriously enough that a long downwind leg without a can of beer is almost sacrilege.

I am also a sailing instructor and I teach sailing with the Center for Wooden Boats and with the Washington Yacht Club. I enjoy sailing keelboats, dinghies, catamarans and even sailboards. I have a real soft spot for classic boat design though and particularly love sailing the Lightning class of sailboats.

I’m also a bit of a Sailing Anarchist

I love sailing for the feeling of independence and self reliance it brings. I also love how historical it is. With rare exception, we are well past the age of working sail but every time I sail for fun I feel an overwhelming privilege and sense of thanks for being lucky enough to think of myself as a participant in such a venerable tradition.

Sailing is also remarkably refreshing because you cannot fool a sailboat. You are dealing squarely with physics out there and bullshit simply does not work. At all. Ever. Either the boat responds well to something you do, or it does not. But there is no faking it. In this world, such a reality is rare.

I also really like being able to use words and phrases like “cockscombing”, “marlinspike”, “full and bye” and “gybe ho!” without a shred of irony.

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