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No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service – No Problems

Plot a course to improve your boating skills this season by pursuing new situations.
Plot a course to improve your boating skills this season by pursuing new situations.

I had a pithy status update that I really wanted to post to Facebook: “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service – No Problem.”

I was so excited to share with friends and clients all the details about my delivery of a 50-foot catamaran from Annapolis to Amelia Island, but technology was not working with me. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to go back to my day dreaming, stargazing and “old school” navigation problems.

We hadn’t had a cell signal since Hatteras, and in the 30 hours or so since we left the Graveyard of the Atlantic behind, we had slid about 200 miles down the coast. No signal, but we did have incredible stars, food, laughs and lots of time to reflect.

I spend most of my sailing time either teaching others or racing. I love doing both, but this trip was about anything but those two things – and it was wonderful. As we sailed from the Chesapeake into the ocean, the points turned to capes, the waves to swells and the sky exploded into moon, stars and bright planets.

All of that “differentness” overwhelmed me and made me aware of the power and importance of “cross training.” Simply by doing something different I re-fell in love with sailing for the umpteenth time.

Racers should cruise (you can stay in a hotel if need be).

Cruisers should race (you probably own a spinnaker even if you aren’t quite sure how to put it up).

Boat owners should sail on other people’s boats (or charter). Owners should crew while their crews should take the helm – all in an effort to learn again what makes sailing such a powerful part of who we are.

We aren’t racers and cruisers – we are sailors. Doing something different with our sailing can help remind us of that and can make us better cruisers and racers, too.

Jump start this season by planning to do something new. It will get you enthusiastic about sailing, and enthusiasm is at the very heart of learning.

Kristen Berry is co-director of JWorld Annapolis.

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