When we posted the story about Bryan and Jennifer Saulsbury’s Portuguese water dog Barley, we had no idea emotions on the topic would run so high. "If you think that dog’s a trimmer, wait till you see Peaches ‘operating’ the jib sheet," wrote Randi Harry, who sails with husband Sam Balsley aboard their Catalina 380 Barca a Vela. "Our five-lb toy poodle had never been on a boat until she was nine years old, but she absolutely loves sailing. She has her own life jacket (marked “First Mutt”) and she thinks we bought the boat just for her. She has even figured out that if she straddles the foot rail under the cockpit table, she doesn’t slide around the cockpit on a tack! As soon as we start packing up to go to the boat, she gets very excited and doesn’t settle down until she is aboard. So far, she has been to Half Moon Bay several times and Santa Cruz once, plus sailing all over the Bay and joining our yacht club on cruises to Benicia, St. Francis, Marina Bay and elsewhere."
It seems dog owners are particularly fond of having Fido join in on the sailing fun, as we’ve received a number of great shots from sailors everywhere.
But dogs aren’t the only pets that enjoy a fine day of sailing. Cats, for example, make fine sailors — they have excellent balance, don’t need to be taken ashore twice a day, and are just as happy snuggling in a corner when the ride gets a little rough. Birds also have a long history of ocean passages, if the old pirate tales are to be believed.
Do you sail with a non-canine pet? Tell us about it (and don’t forget the photos)!