Vision: Sailing Takes Me Away… by Howard Hanger

September 28, 2018 |

You can meditate at the Taj Mahal, pray at Machu Picchu, roll your rosaries at the Vatican, yabber in your yarmulke in Jerusalem, shave your head in Nepal or squeeze a snake in the mountains of North Carolina; but in my humble opinion, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more satisfyingly sacred act than sailing.  Hard to connect with anything more holy, life-giving and undeniably indispensable than a time at sea with a sail.

There’s something compelling about the sounds and the absence of sounds when you’re sailing:  No engine sound.  No engine sound at all; only the creak of the boom, the swoosh of the bow in the water and the call of the gulls.  No ear-gouging horns; just the rustle of rigging and stretching of ropes.   No clunks with the shifting of gears; simply the gentle thwap of the waves, the whispering wind across the deck and the sound of the cooler being opened.  Again.  And again.

And now, for the first time in 29 years,
you have the chance to Sail and Celebrate
with Jubilee!

On our last family visit to the Florida Keys, we sailed on an extraordinary 68’ sloop called the “When and If.”  Mahogany, teak, polished brass and three tall masts. But its history also caught my attention. Built in 1939 and first owned by General George Patton who named it. The story goes that he had decided when the war was over and if he was still alive, he would sail that fine vessel around the world. He did live through the war, but died in a car wreck shortly after and never got his round-the-world cruise. But now, we Jubilants can sail into the sunset together, singing and chanting, praying and partying.

This fall, on Monday, November 5th, from 4:30 to 7:30 pm, in Charleston, South Carolina, you are invited to board the “When and If” for a sunset sail. Daniel Barber and I will lead some singing and shouting along with some rocking and rolling (isn’t that what sailboats do?) and we’ll maybe have some poetry, sweet vocals and stories shared. It will be our first ever sail!  The good ship can carry 32 passengers. Cost is $200/sailor and each sailor is responsible for getting their sea legs to and from Charleston and arranging land accommodations for their sailing selves.

Our species has spent far more time in sailing vessels than in motor craft.  Many more hours mending sails than repairing engines.  Much more time mounting masts than fueling tanks.  The earliest representations of sailing that we know about are on Egyptian pictographs dating from 5500 years ago.  But chances are, we biped bozos have been trying on sea legs from the moment we waddled and waded in puddle, pond, river or sea.

And now, we have the chance to sail together, enjoying the sunset, the water, good music and each other. And yes! There will be some fine communion served! If you are interested, scoot an e-mail off to me ( and we will get more info to you. Raise the sails, Mates!