It had been a while since I was on the sea but what better way to reacquaint myself than with a harbor cruise? My wife and I were visiting St. Augustine on our anniversary and as a surprise for our last night I booked passage for the two of us on the Schooner Freedom. I am so glad that I did.
The ship, a two-masted schooner, turned out to be the perfect platform for renewing my love of sailing. Once we pulled away from the slip and cut the engines, the sounds of sail and sea were sweet in my ears, drowning out the noise of life as I have come to know it. Getting a chance to participate in hoisting one of the sails carried me to a time and place rarely visited since my childhood when I first dreamed of faraway lands reachable only by bluewater vessels. The ship abounded with comfortable seating but I stood for the entire cruise, holding onto one of the lines and gazing over the bow as we chased the horizon, savoring every moment as we raced the setting sun.
The crew was as much a joy as the vessel. Knowledgeable, courteous, and genuinely friendly. There are few places I have visited where I felt as comfortable as we did around this crew. They were quick with answers to questions, sharing their passion for sailing, supplying the occasional adult beverage, and even throwing in a sea story or two. I truly did not want to return.
If you have ever felt the call of the sea, or have an ounce of salt in your veins, do not pass up the opportunity to take this trip.