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Looking sternward...

Oct 22, 2014
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Being a self motivated history nut, I have been found poking about in SBO archives. Todays dive took me back into the SBO Forum archives. I think I found a gem in the dust .

In February 2010 a sailor, Douglas Pollard joined SBO and shared his love for his new Albin Vega 27.
Feb 13, 2010#1
HI all, I am the proud new owner of an Albin Vega 27 named Sea
Legs. I had been searching for suitable boat for an old man to to
single hand and for an old couple to go back to the Bahamas and the
Florida keys in. WE live in Virginia so will sail The Chesapeake bay and
likely some in the Carolina Sounds.

While this all sounds very normal, what sparked my interest was this essay, written by Douglas and posted in October 2019. I reposted it here for your discovery. Sailing the vast sky

Sailing the vast sky
by Douglas G. Pollard Sr.
I'll tell you something about sailboats. Sailing is both the worst thing
I have ever done and one of the finest. I sail year round in the
blustery cold of late fall and the calm of sticky summer heat. There are
times when I am so miserable, I cannot imagine why I do it. I have said
hundreds of times why the hell do I punish myself like this in this
misery of high winds cold and driving rain, I am wet shivering and often
tired, and can find nothing of pleasure in it.
Then I go out sailing on a beautiful day when there is a nice quiet
breeze. I fall in love with my boat and the sea all over again. My
little boat becomes my fellow adventurer a silent listener, that finds
no fault with my foolish musings. There is no motor running, little
sound, but that of water gently gurgling beneath us. Just we two,
"Sealegs" and I listen to the gentle whisper of the wind and slight
percussion of the wavelets lightly patting her buttocks with the
tenderness of a lover.
I awake early before the sun, make my coffee and fry and egg. Then climb
my way to a cockpit seat. I eat, then drink my hot brew. I have sails
set and tiller tied. My vessel makes her way to some distant
destination. I am going to a place that ends my sailing adventure. It's
a destination! Sailing home will not be the same, I think with a tinge
of sadness. It will only be returning and the magic of adventure will be
a memory.
I try once a summer to sail all alone, long miles into the sea. This in
part for looking at the night sky. Most places on land such a spot
cannot really be found. The sky is all awash in a glow of modern living,
cities and headlights finds the milky way mostly obliterated.
At sea I gaze at the millions of stars, the Milky Way and marvel that in
the clear sea air the stars go all the way to the horizon. They
disappear behind it first a whole then a half and finally gone. With a
look behind me there is nothing, then a half a star and finally the
whole of it rises to take its place among the others. This is a thing
not to be seen on land as the stars are hidden by pollutants below 10
or15 degrees above the horizon. I lay flat on my back and study the
night sky. It is amazing what you think about when you do. There are
ponderous things I think about when I leave my world behind. I see the
overwhelming vastness of the universe as man has seen it for hundreds of
thousands of years before the advent electric lights and I feel a
connection to them. I feel tiny and yet huge that I can view such a vast
greatness and even speculate on what it means.. I wonder who I am, what
is my place in this where did it all come from and where is it going. I
know this all sounds an absurdity but for a touch of this, go out into
the country away from cities and their night time glow and lay down flat
on you back in the grass. Study the stars and the milky way and you will
find a connection with all who are looking up and with every man that
ever has. You will wonder of things no man, scientific, religious or
fanciful can ever know. Until you do this you cannot know yourself or
your place in this modern world.
To look through a telescope reduces it all to a tiny spot and the
immenseness of it is lost. If I were an astronomer I would lay in the
grass and look up. In this way I might understand.
Sailing is for me is a way to know my self and find that I can function
in immense fear and at the same time enjoy a sense of peace. Without it,
I believe I could get bogged down in all the fear and hatred that
inhabits our modern world.
The End
Jan 5, 2017
Beneteau First 38 Lyall Harbour Saturna Island
It’s what makes night sailing so great, or just being in a quiet anchorage off the beaten path.
  • Like
Likes: jssailem
Dec 25, 2000
Hunter Passage 42 Shelter Bay, WA
It’s what makes night sailing so great, or just being in a quiet anchorage off the beaten path.
Agree totally, Michael. Some of our best sails have been in the dead of a moonless night with no light contamination. Wonderful.
  • Like
Likes: jssailem
Dec 25, 2000
Hunter Passage 42 Shelter Bay, WA
And then you begin to ponder the vastness of the universe and this little spec of a planet where we call home. When you consider the size of our galaxy and the billions, maybe trillions, of other galaxies around us and the immense of it all. What will become of us; our destiny? Sheesh, sail on my friend, sail on.

Bob S

Sep 27, 2007
Beneteau 393 New Bedford, MA
It's just plain beautifully written. I think we've all been there enough to understand what he feels.