What sailor doesn't dream about a new or different boat, about the perfect fast run or maneuver, or the perfect cruising destination? Most of these dreams would probably be considered "day dreams" rather than dreams that occur during deep sleep.
But sailing dreams do occur during sleep. I have had many and have heard from other long time sailors about their dreams. But a lot of my dreams really don't make much sense and I really don't try to analyze them. One recurring sailing dream has to do with sailing my boat around on the streets of a city. It is a strange feeling to have the boat perched on it's keel and sailing on pavement. And it feels real! The height of the boat above the ground, the movement and eventually relaunching back into the water from a launching ramp. For some reason, this recurring dream is based in Tacoma, a place I really don't frequent much. After talking with several long time sailors, I find that some have had a similar dream only in different cities.
So why do we have non sensecal sailing dreams? I am not qualified to analyze these, but I do remember reading about similar issues that people had following a cruise. It was written that people who spend time on the water often have trouble releasing their tensions when they get home. This occurs more with the person in charge. I have heard that the Volvo Ocean Race crews have a hard time unwinding after a grueling leg. I suppose that it could be considered a mild form of PTSD.
My dad had dreams after he came home from a season of commercial fishing in Alaska and even after a couple of weeks of cruising with the family on board. He would actually sleep walk, shine a flashlight out the window and mumble about the anchor dragging and the boat heading for the rocks. He does not remember this, but it often scared my mom.
So Monday night, I had a strange sailing dream. What made it very strange was that I have not been on my boat for a couple of weeks and the dream was based on another boat.
This actually started with an Ebay auction. Something I wanted on Ebay was closing at 0419. So to do a quick fly in and last minute bid, I set the alarm for 0400. Probably in anticipation of getting up at 0400, I was having a hard time staying asleep. But I finally did fall asleep and then "The Dream" started:
I was somewhere on top of a hill that was dry and dusty. A Japanese guy rolled up in a car pulling a race car on a trailer. I chatted with him for a while and then we launched into a sailboat race. I was on a boat that I had recently raced on and we were racing against other boats like ours that were sailed by Japanese guys. We were sailing up a winding road toward what appeared to be a stadium. It was strange, we were jibing up the road with the spinnaker. We were jibing with the hull against trees, power lines and power poles. The spinnaker was taking an immense amount of abuse as it was getting plastered against all the obstructions along the road and I could see that the leech was tattered. Yet, we were fast and absolutely killing the other boats. And while we were racing, my mom made an appearance and was concerned about where I parked my car in a parking lot next to the road we were sailing on. Everything was so vivid! Then the 0400 alarm went off...
What would this dream mean? I have no idea. I think most of my dreams are just a way that my brain is relaxing and taking a "field trip" somewhere. And sailing is a big part of my life, it seems like a logical place to "go". And the Ebay bid was a success! I was the only bidder on a cool item, bought it for the minimum bid(there was no reserve) and saved about $75 under a "buy me now" or store price. And free shipping! And no tax!
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