Monday, June 09, 2008


One of the few things I have learnt (apart from at work) after moving to London has been sailing. Sailing a dinghy or a Yacht simply using windpower is one of the most amazing things I have experienced.

Infact when reading "Three Men in a Boat" by Jerome K. Jerome (written in the year 1888) I came across this paragraph

There is no more thrilling sensation I know of than sailing. It comes as near to flying as man has got to yet - except in his dreams. The wings of rushing wind seem to be bearing you onward, you know not where. You are no longer the slow, plodding, puny thing of clay, creeping tortously upon the ground; you are a part of Nature! Your heart is throbbing against hers. Her glorious arms are round you, raising you up against her heart! Your spirit is at one with hers; your limbs grow light! The voices of the air are singing to you. The earth seems far away and little; and the clouds so close above your head, are brothers, and you stretch your arms to them

(Note: the book was written before the Wright Brothers had invented with the aeroplane) Anyways the principle behind sailing as well as planes flying is the same. The difference in pressure across the sail (or the wing of an aeroplane for that matter) gives a thrust and leads to the boat moving or the plane flying.

The book is one helluva hilarious read, and though it has been written 120 years ago, still describes London and the River Thames well, and makes me wonder so little has changed since then.
Even the humour about planning for a trip and packing, about different ways men and women tow a boat (can be extrapolated to any task though) remains true. It is one sure evergreen book.

And as for sailing I am extremely lucky to have been introduced to this sport by Hemant on the River Charles in Boston 2 years ago, and am lucky to be living in London which has a great sailing culture.


Achal said...

Sailing, good yar.

Can you swim? Or does it require one to know swimming?

Nirav Kanodra said...

@ Achal,

the main purpose of sailing is that one doesnt fall in the water, but I guess knowing swimming is a positive.
One might be able ot do without it since you are always wearing a life jacket or a bouyancy aide, and if sailing within a dock then there is help immediately available