Alas, they do indeed exist: tell tales, dials, digital arrows, analogic indicators and even mechanical wind finders. Any sailor wondering where the wind comes from on a boat built after the cold war ended would look like a cook unable to mix butter and flour. And see? After three simple lines the beauty, the passion and the poetry of sailing vanished from the painting. Would you listen to a symphony just looking at the digital graph from the synth? If this was sailing I’d rather stay on the couch and watch the AC on TV. Digital sailing, no salt and no love.
Even eyes I would consider overestimated. Yes, because you really sail only at night. Because a sailboat is passion, vice and scandal. It’s not a lovely woman with silky skin to caress in the sunset light. It’s a dense intercourse, dirty and violent. It’s sweat, saliva, sperm. Eyes are useless.
Shut them and dive into the dark. Other senses will magically explode!
Sea and smell? You surely knew the smell of the sea. What about sex and shellfish? Taste even… The gorgeous power of a scallop in your mouth… But now we are talking about something even subtler.
The sound of the sea? Well, that’s easy. Water along the keel is peace. Wind in the shrouds is terror. Strength in the sheets is power. Its a baroque symphony of romantic insistence, every movement similar to the other, but with infinite variations.
But no. Here we are talking about touch. Not your hands on the tiller. The stars are your hair, your locks, your sensitive and invisible body hair covering every corner, every fold of your body, face, hands and earlobes. Don’t picture the wind in your face. Sailboats do better alone when close-hauled and wind-bound. But imagine your delicate runs down the wind, when a small error will loose your bow towards the wind or worse will shatter your main. Do you really believe a dial will help you now? Feel the air flowing from your neck towards your face, choosing an ear instead of the other. Play with it, let it guide your arms on the helm when a turbulence hit the wrong ear, or when too much flow hit your cheek. Now the wave comes along and the airflow moves first towards your nose, then back when the wave is gone. You slowly realize that your hands must do less and less, that touch is playing with your body and your boat.You are making love to the sea.
Now you have it. A night at the helm in the middle of the ocean is a symphony of sensations running between invincibility and terror, an orgasm with the woman we love in the constant fear it would be the last.