By Nutchapol Boonparlit
Spring break is here! When they told me that junior year was going to be intense, they weren’t kidding. The months of cold winter were definitely an encouragement to stay indoors, trying to understand the propositions of Newton and the truly transcendental arguments of Kant, and while I’m excited about the break, what I’m really looking forward to will come a bit after that. Sure, Croquet is in April and Senior Prank is happening soon, but what I’m personally itching to do is jump back in a boat and go out sailing!
I miss having the wind blowing in my face, the thrill of skimming on waves, and the beautiful sunsets on the water after every practice. Even though sailing wasn’t on my mind when I first applied for the Annapolis campus, it certainly has become one of the biggest reasons why I’m still in Annapolis and not in Santa Fe. I got into sailing halfway through freshmen year when I was facing a similar bout of the winter blues. The sailing coach (who was also one of my closest friends at the time) took advantage of my boredom and made me promise to go out sailing with her once the spring came.
Unfortunately, my first practice didn’t go that well. For one thing, my skipper (the guy who steers the boat) knocked himself into the water when the boon swung over. This left me in a state of awe for roughly two seconds before the wind picked up and I found myself headfirst in the water and the boat capsized. Cold, wet, and exhilarated, I swam back to the shore where I spent the next half hour trying to get dry. Needless to say, some wild side of me actually found all of this fun, and I showed up again for the next practice. Cut to three practices later: I was no longer capsizing but riding the waves and having races with my friends on the water. Now I could finally enjoy Annapolis as it should be enjoyed: flying on a boat with the sun in the sky and the wind in my face.
I sometimes question why I ever returned after that first miserable practice. Perhaps a bit of the St. John’s spirit had rubbed off on me, telling me not to give up so soon. But the deeper answer is clear. Sailing is definitely thrilling, but it was the fun that I had sailing with everyone else on the team that really made it enjoyable. It didn’t matter that I had no experience or that I started in the middle of the year. They took me in, taught me everything I needed to know, and encouraged me every time I found myself in the water. I never felt that I was in it alone. There was always somebody on the team who had my back. That’s why I’m so excited for spring break. Spring is coming and with it, another season of sailing!