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Why Is Sailing Like Reading Latitude 38?

What’s the greatest escape on the planet? Sailing. When contributing editor Ross Tibbits interviewed Roy Disney for our recent Good Jibes podcast and asked why a powerboater would want to consider sailing, Roy responded, “When we turn the motor off, and any sailor will tell you this, there’s a sudden calmness and peacefulness that happens when you just hear the sound of the ocean passing by. And the boat tips over, which is fine. It’s designed to do that. And now you’re relying entirely on your instincts and your awareness of your environment and everything around you and the subtleties of change, which happens, you know, 100 times a second. And it’s all you. It’s such a communion of nature, and physics and beauty and design and your own effort.”

When we produce Latitude 38, we try to capture the same feeling of escape, fun, calmness, engagement and peacefulness that comes with sailing. We were thinking about this when we walked into Barnes & Noble to find a book, and passed by the magazine rack — it was packed with great reads. This reminded us that, despite our device-based life, there is a more comfortable way to engage with the torrent of information in the world. Shutting down your devices and picking up a magazine feels like the moment you turn the engine off.

Magazines at Barnes and Noble
Five racks packed with magazines on all subjects at Barnes & Noble.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Another reminder of why we like reading ‘unplugged’ was Latitude 38 contributor and podcast instigator Ryan Foland’s recent Twitter photo that he posted as he started the new year. Ryan is a digital native with active social media, podcast and Twitter channels. Yet he and his wife Cynthia like to escape on their Cal 34 Bingo, and enjoy some quiet time with a paper. Ryan’s January 1 Twitter comment with the photo was, “Current Mood = In no hurry to do anything. I feel like I’ve got a full year ahead of me.”

Ryan foland
Ryan Foland and his wife Cynthia unplug for some undistracted reading.
© 2022 Michael Houlihan

Yes, we get the irony of posting this story for you to read on our active ‘Lectronic Latitude page, but we feel it’s our duty to remind everyone (including ourselves) to take a break to go sailing, or unwind with an undistracted read. Both will help you cruise through the new year with more ease, adventure and enjoyment.

If you’re lucky you can combine both. John Abbott is pictured here aboard his Catalina 30 Shellback in a close-to-home escape at Ayala Cove.
© 2022 John Abbott

We think picking up a magazine, newspaper or book is a healthy digital detox and makes for an excellent New Year’s resolution. Of course, it doesn’t match the escape of sailing itself, but we do our best to provide just enough humor, fun, adventure and inspiration that you’ll have a moment of escape wherever you are. If that sounds good, make sure, on your next visit to your boat, that you swing by the marina office to pick up a free copy and say hello and happy New Year to your friendly harbormaster. Or find a copy at any of these other locations.


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Stories to Feed Your Sailing Soul
Rich Jepsen, who has been sailing since he was a child, is the president of US Sailing. He has spent 34 years as managing partner of OCSC Sailing, has spent multiple decades on numerous sailing committees, and has served three separate stints on the US Sailing Board of Directors.