Kick motorboats to the curb and embrace the wind

By Mary Rose Roberts
A few years ago, I was privileged enough to be invited to join a sailboat racing circuit on Lake Michigan. It wasn’t the first time I sailed. As a young girl, my brother would pull our used AquaCat off the sand dunes and drag it down to the water’s edge. We’d fight the waves while we pushed it offshore, and then would run through the chilly water, hop on the AquaCat’s trampoline and check in. It was a thrill, until he’d take us a mile offshore and purposely flip the boat over. I hated it at the time. But it taught me how to swim to shore and toughened me up enough to be able to handle rough days on the lake.

Racing was an adrenaline rush. But the best part of racing was the fact that the wind powered us, followed by our captain’s smarts, the Zen of the crew and the design of the sailboat. To some, it’s quite a spiritual experience. The only disruption to the sail was seeing massive SeaRay sport boats that preferred man-made motors rather that God’s wind. They polluted the lake, while missing the essence of it all and the beauty of the natural environment. I always felt sorry for them, because they were missing out on an adventure and hurting an already dying lake.

If you haven’t had the chance, I highly recommend a sail with skilled seamen and women. You’ll never go back to the motor.

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