. I was out for my first sail of the year yesterday on something larger than an ironing board (translation: bigger than a windsurfer). I was guest captaining aboard the lovely Tanzer 22 christened Whisper. Never has a boat been more aptly named, especially when taking into account the multitude of stinkpots buzzing up and down my lake. . There are a fair number of motorboats on my lake, with many of these gurgling beasts sporting transom tags like 'The Other Woman', 'Eat My Wake' or 'She Got The House'. They speak of angst. . I, myself, used to captain a stinkpot. Her name was Maud and she was only a stinkpot by virtue of a having a 90HP Yamaha saddled to her stern. Everything about her said 'I am the lady of the lake', or 'I could be a sailboat', but she was plagued with a drinking problem. She had an insatiable thirst for fuel and there was no cure for her ailment, so eventually I sold her to a couple from the island of deer. . . I was sad to see her go, though my sporran cheered as she was hauled out of my driveway for the last time. I loved Maud. She gave me twenty-three feet of pure pleasure, almost four times the enjoyment that Wendy derives from my hull. Maud opened up a world of discovery for me. If I know my beloved lower St.John River valley at all, then it's Maud whom I need to thank (and Wendy for getting that gig at the Metropolitan Opera that paid for her). . I still admire boats like Maud, though I don't often see lazy cruisers on my lake. Sailboats aren't lazy, they're hardworking cruisers. The best definition of 'sailing' on my radar is: the fine art of getting wet and becoming ill, while going nowhere slowly at great expense. Funny, but not as clever as the definition of golf...a good walk spoiled. . Yesterday's adventure on the mighty Washademoak reminded me of how much I love the feeling of wind in my sails. I used to know that feeling regularly, beginning with my first sail in the early 1970s. In the late 1980s/ early 1990s I taught sailing part-time for the Humber College Sailing Centre, located in Etobicoke, just west of Hogtown's haunches. . Teaching sailing was enjoyable, but my co-workers were even more entertaining. It was like a school where the instructors were hand chosen based on their sexual appetites (I'm referring to the other instructors). One in particular, I think his name was Jimmy, could have given Wilt Chamberlain a run for his money in the bedroom Olympics. He was a handsome guy who threw his seed to the four winds. That's the poetic way of saying he was a slut. Let's just say, slightly less poetically, that he had many hands on his tiller. . I taught sailing basics to the animals of the concrete jungle. The sailing school had both keel boats (24 foot fixed keel Sharks, 25 five foot C&C) and dinghies (16 foot Wayfarers). It always felt great to distance myself from Toronto and get out on the water, even if the cold water was less than Speedo worthy (the Toronto beaches were often closed in the summertime due to eColi outbreaks, syringe strewn shores or mountains of goose dung). I never felt happier in my five years in Toronto than I did when sailing, although the time when the Maple Leafs won two games in a row was pretty special too. . Perhaps I should have chosen a career that saw me on the water full-time, but I just fell into leisurology with all it's hedonistic trappings. I'm stuck happily here in Cambridge-Narrows, forty miles from the ocean's infinite horizon. The ocean is near, literally and figuratively. I can't, nor should I, discount the voice in my head that whispers like the wind...always questioning.