Testing the waters is some-what a more literal phrase for those who lack a passion for adventure. But for those who are lucky enough to live surrounded by it, it’s more of a lifestyle. I am favored to have been blessed with that opportunity and way of life.
Part of my daily routine is setting out on the open waters that surround the Caribbean island where I’m from. Not only do I love boating, I live for it. It’s an art. There’s a rush that comes with it. From the time you mentally set up the journey, to the moment you step out to fulfill it, the rush continuously builds. That rush, that insatiable drive is so contagious. That contagion is why I like boating.
There’s a bliss feeling you get when you realize that as you set sail you get to leave behind a part of your day that is filled with stress out on the shore and you don’t have to worry about it until you return. At least, that’s how I see it. There’s so much peace out there on the vast ocean and so much more than meets the eye underneath it. There’s a different but functioning world down there. A world that has every right to be admired.
Sometimes, my uncle lets me sail and drive our outbord motor. He’s not really my uncle but I grew up with his kids so we’re practically like family. When we are out far enough, I get to steer the boat until we get close enough to the bay where we’ll be docking up. At first my heart would race uncontrollably from fear but now, I feel like I am one with the dingy. I move, it moves, it’s more-so a connection now than a reaction of cause and effect from the motion of my steering.
I can definitely say that every sail has truly been a learning experience, a humbling experience in fact. I like to learn, most of all I like what I learn. Whether I learn about sailing safety, passenger safety, or water safety, there’s always a life lesson in each experience. Did you know there’s a certain way to navigate your way to land if you are ever lost at sea? First there are clues to look out for like, lighter colored water, wave patterns, and the presence of birds but in the ocean there are signs too. There are fish that you can look out for that let you know when you are getting close to shore. These fish are often referred to as coastal fish. Identify them and you’ll be sure to find your way.
I had a rocky relationship with boats before getting the hang of it. They’re so much more fragile than I initially thought. Yet, they’re so powerful and innovative. With that in mind, I’ve come to realize that we’re not so different after all. Boating has taught me more about myself than it has about the world around me. And for that I will be forever grateful for the experience.