Basic Terms

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Dear Santa....


It's the holiday season! A time for joy, cheer, and goodwill towards men! I know, it's a bit clich├ęd  but I love this time of year as I'm sure many of you do. No matter how old or young you may be,somewhere in the back of you're mind you are wondering if you made Santa's naughty or nice list and hoping that the big box under the tree has your name on the tag.

As of late, I have been working on my Dear Santa list.  I really hope he understands it this year since I'm not really sure that I do.  There are many unfamiliar items on it this time around and I hope Santa is checking it twice. I've had to check it ten times already to make sure I'm asking for the right things. For instance, never before have I asked for blocks and sheets!  Well, maybe the blocks -when I was a little boy-  but I was never happy when I got new sheets for Christmas!

Now, for the veteran sailors who may be reading this, they know exactly what I am asking for when I say blocks and sheets.  However, if you are new to sailing like me the next paragraph might  be helpful. 

When it comes to sailing terminology, A 'block' is actually a pulley that helps to guide and work the various ropes or lines on the boat. The ropes or lines that I mentioned above are actually called 'sheets'.  So if you have a rope that you use to work the mainsail that would be known as the main sheet.  Now you try.... What would you call the rope used to work the jib sail? (5 second pause for jeopardy theme music...) Correct!  A jib sheet.  (I really hope Santa is reading this)

So there you have it. Sailing is a different world and with that comes a different language. I think my next post will be all about the language of sailing.  I may even add a reference tab so we can easily access unfamiliar terms (hint-hint Santa) and learn the new language together.

In closing, I am going to try to answer a question I am often asked, "Why do you want to learn to sail and eventually live aboard a boat some day?" Although, there is no specific answer to this question I have been inspired to provide a poetic response. 
In keeping with the spirit of the holiday season, I rearranged Clement Clarke Moore's "The night before Christmas"  and present to you...     

"The night before Passage" 

'Twas the night before passage all set on the hook,
 I gazed at the stars for the night's final look...

With sheets neatly coiled, not a fray or a kink, 
I headed below for an end of night drink...

Reposed and content, with good spirit in hand,
I pondered the life I endured once on land...

A time so trite, filled with chaos, unrest,
I traded it in for a life without stress...

This new world I choose, it suits me so well.  
I'm at home on the water, be it a wave or a swell...

Tomorrow I sail, to a far away place...
With wind in my hair, salty spray on my face...

A new port awaits with a welcoming smile,
At this journeys end, I'll stay for awhile....

So I say to my friends, some go and some stay,
Some stick to the path but I sail away...


I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Safe and Happy New Year!!

Curious Sailor


  1. What a wonderful poem!! Thank you. Merry Christmas to you, too! :-)

  2. Thank you Cee.. Welcome Aboard! I was inspired... ;)

  3. Great Poem Cap'n. ;) Great blog - very enjoyable read! Can't wait to hear more! how is all this effecting the other members of your life? The Dog? The Crewmembers?

  4. Thanks Diane and Welcome Aboard! Ne crew yet, the dog however, shares my excitement!

  5. Nice Poem!! Good luck with your journey!


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