Sailing industry luminary and personality Nancy Knudson, editor of the online sailing news website Sail-World.com these last eight years or so, is moving on to greener pastures. We here at Sailboat2adventure have had an amicable relationship with her from time to time and she has always been most helpful and friendly, and in my experience always over delivered.
Nancy and I have a connection in that we have both published books about our cruising life exploits and I would have to recommend her book 'Shooting Stars and Flying Fish' as an essential and thoroughly enjoyable read for all sailors. It is available as an ebook on Kindle or in paperback edition.
|Nancy's book 'Shooting Stars and Flying Fish'|
Life goes on of course and up steps Sail-World's new editor in the form of another very experienced sailor, David Schmidt, who is their current USA editor, hails from Connecticut and currently resides in Seattle.
By way of introduction we reproduce here in his own words, of his early introduction to sailing and his first post about his new job with Sail-World:
The years may have slipped astern more rapidly than I'd like to admit, but I can still remember watching my Mom and brother walking up the dock, and the flash feeling of pure child-like excitement and wonder instantly stir-in the pit of my stomach-with pure terror. Sure, I'd sailed outside of the sight of land before, but never at night, with a boatload of relative strangers, or far from my Mother's always-understanding embrace.
In short, I was entering the world of adults, of sailing offshore and of the unknown. And I was ready...at least so I thought. I must have already settled into my bunk for the night when the winds picked up, progressing quickly from the mid-teens to the upper twenties. Soon, 'Windancer's' IOR-optimized hull shape was bashing and slamming through some nasty square waves and green water started occasionally running down the decks. But just as I got used to the motion, it was time to visit the leeward rail...quickly.
Lightning flashed, thunder clapped, and a small, scared little boy dealt with his first real bout of seasickness. I can still remember my Dad's hand on the back of my harness, holding me safe, and the fact that Mike and Richard were both kind enough not to point out that accuracy was also not a strong suit in my first-time dance with seasickness (fortunately, I improved my aim over the years!). Once I had 'recovered' in the cockpit, my Dad handed me a plastic yellow boat mug that was stained with long-forgotten caffeine, piping hot with fresh-brewed coffee. I had my first sip of 'black magic', and the world of offshore cruising immediately seemed a bit less terrifying.
We made landfall the next day in Nantucket via the outside of Cape Cod (and a foggy passage through the Pollock Rip Channel), and I can still remember being plenty excited to find a stationary horizon and a pay phone (remember those?) to call my Mom. But when I got her on the line-oddly enough-I found myself reliving the glories of sailing offshore with the big boys and not the living-color terror of watching lightning illuminate the sail numbers in staccato bursts.
More importantly, Mike, Richard and my Dad chipped in and bought me my first watch cap and my first pair of sailing gloves-proof that I had joined a hard-won club of cruising sailors. [And yes, I still have the now-war-torn gloves and battered watch cap in my closet, proud souvenirs of an important coming-of-age.]
Flash forward several decades and many cruising miles, and I still love sailing at night, a hot drink in hand, watching the stars flicker in the heavens. Experience has taught me how to deal with wind, salt and waves, and I have fortunately learned how to quell my propensity towards mal de mer, but I still get a serious flash of excitement each time the dock lines are slipped and the sight of land fades astern.
These days, the waters of the Pacific Northwest are my home cruising grounds, but I'm careful to make it back to Connecticut a few times a year to go sailing/cruising with my parents. Some family traditions are simply too important to let slip!
As I step into my new role as Sail-World's Cruising editor, I look forward to creating many new great cruising memories, to meeting new friends and to hopefully sharing new adventures with old friends. Mostly, however, I'm acutely aware of the fantastic work that my predecessor (and Sail-World Cruising's founding editor), Nancy Knudsen, put into this position for many years, and of the massive seaboots she's leaving behind for me to fill.
The task is huge, and-much like my first offshore cruise-I'm excited about the experiences that lay over the next horizon.'
We also wish David all the best in his new position and look forward with relish to continue receiving the weekly stream of cruising news we have come to expect.
Article and images courtesy Sail-World.com
You can read much more about the cruising lifestyle in my book 'Sailing Adventures in Paradise' downloadable from my website http://www.sailboat2adventure.com/