Airborne

In sailing there is a term called “lift” which is both technical and poetic at once. It describes the moment of acceleration in a sailboat—the moment when the sails harden against the wind forcing the keel sideways against the water, and the boat begins to slide forward, faster and faster, until you can suddenly feel what William Buckley meant by the title of his sailing book Airborne. How something moving so slowly—about the pace of a moderate jog—can impart such exhilaration in this moment is probably unanswerable. Hang gliding, dropping in a parachute, doing barrel rolls in a light airplane—the thrills are easy to understand. But at seven miles an hour the moment of lift in a sailboat is just as much a leap off the earth. Airborne.

From “Setting Sail”, by Tony Chamberlain 
Boston Globe, July 20, 1979