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I enjoy dinghy races (maybe I'll even win one someday)The way I see it, a good sail is short and fast. Nice daysails, short races, and similar trips are what I like. Beyond that, sailing is a way to get from one place to another. There are people who sail for fun whenever possible. There are people who single-hand around the world, or through very difficult passages, because they want to. There are people who don't even own engines because that is not true sailing. I am not any of these people.

Sailing, like most activities, has many forms and many degrees. For example, I enjoy dinghy sailing. I will happily crew in a short (only a few hours) sailboat race. I even enjoy a short, fast daysail where the speed and getting the most out of the boat is its own excitement. I don't mind a short, calm daysail, if I can read or do something else to wear away the hours. What I do hate are long passages, very rough conditions, or anything that requires standing night watch.

Vava'u, in Tonga, has a yacht race every week. I always join up as crewI do not care at all for passages. It is extremely boring to see nothing but blue around you for days on end. I can't leave the boat, can't go swimming, and can rarely use the computer because of electricity conservation. If it is rough, I can't even do schoolwork or read. Basically, there is nothing to do but get wet outside, or try and sleep in a hot, stuffy, noisy, shaking cabin. The other problem with passages is that you never get enough sleep. I can't possibly imagine how two-person crews maintain a 24-hour watch; it is difficult enough with four people. I need several days at least before I can sleep comfortably while sailing, and even then I usually feel groggy much of the time since I lose three hours each night to watch.

With the exception of the excitement of short races or joyrides in our sailing dinghy, I wouldn't choose to go to sea. Life on a boat is fine, and I have no objection to travel by air, road, or trail. However, like Arthur, (our cat) I would be quite happy if we never had to move Ocelot.

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