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Been Sailing Lately?
Erich Haubrich

Living and working in Puerto Vallarta is a double-edged sword. Yes, those of us who hang our hats on the shores of Banderas Bay have the ocean, the beach and all manner of other natural attractions around us every day. But, just like everyone else, we tend to get caught up in the day-to-day struggle to eek out an existence and sometimes fail to stop and smell the roses.

The day started as many Sundays do. I woke up about 10:30 a.m. to the sound of roosters crowing outside my window. It took a minute or two to get my wits about me and shake off the cobwebs from another Saturday night on the town before remembering my friend Scott's invitation to go sailing that day. Knowing I'm going sailing is the best feeling I know besides actually sitting under the canvas watching the ocean go by. It's a kind of anticipation that's hard to truly describe, I liken it to being a 16-year-old kid whose mom and dad are letting take the car out for a date on Friday night with the prettiest girl in school.

I hurried to the marina, said hi to a few friends, then got in the Team's dinghy and went to Iguana in search of the boat. When I found the slip, I found Scott, the captain, lying around on deck, recovering from a slight hangover, surprised that anyone had shown up. Since I'd brought a friend, I was glad to see that Scott, like most boaters, had a "the more the merrier" attitude. We got our supplies (beer) and headed out to sea.

Scott's an experienced captain, and as we got underway I was impressed by how smoothly and easily we reached a nice cruising speed of 8 or 10 knots. If you've never been sailing, you should know that with no engine running the only sounds you hear are the wind, the ocean, and maybe a dolphin or two. Scott supplied some really good music for the journey, enhancing the experience further.

During four or five of the nicest, most relaxing hours I've experienced in recent memory, we cruised down the coast a good ways and back again, enjoying, good conversation, nice cold beer and the amazing view of Puerto Vallarta that only an ocean-bound perspective grants. There wasn't a lot of effort involved in the trip, besides the occasional turn of the winch handle during a tack and going down into the galley to grab beer for all of us. The journey mostly consisted of enjoying the feeling of being on the ocean, soaking up the rays of sunshine and spending a great time with friends.

Using only the wind to cruise is a sensation unlike any other. Sailing is one of the few ways you can move about the earth in almost total peace. Whether a romantic evening cruise, a day with the family or a trip around the world, sailing is the best way to fly. If you get a chance to go sailing, take it. Even if you only go once in your life, the feeling you get will be one you'll remember always. It truly makes relaxation into an art form and a day into an event. Whether you live here or are just visiting, don't miss the chance to have an experience that only sailing can offer.

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