Prior to our departure on this voyage we had a spectacular bon voyage party. Many friends and family members showed up to send us off. We asked everyone to 'sign our book' with favorite quotes, words of wisdom, that sort of thing. A number of people wrote or wished us “fair winds and following seas”. Such a nice sentiment. That is, of course, until one is out at sea, with following seas. More like walls-of-frothy-blue-water-towering-menacingly-from-behind seas! We found ourselves in just this situation during the latter bit of our sail from Neah Bay, WA to San Francisco, CA. We had crew for the trip, two capable sailors, who helped us with this leg of our adventure. Three of us sat in the cockpit, addled from lack of sleep, when I posed the question: WHY do people say this fair-winds-and-following-seas thing?? Fair winds, okay, yes, we are all about the fair winds. But following seas, especially when they are aggressively-stalking-giant following seas... well, we just couldn't sort that out. We decided a much better version would be “Fair seas and following winds!” How nice does that sound? Sweet rolling swell, put up the spinnaker, and sail off into the sunset. Now we're talking!
The next time you are wishing a voyager well, wish them 'fair seas and following winds'. They may give you a funny look at first, but wait for it... once they think about it for a moment they will flash you a big smile and nod appreciatively.