Sailing by Feel
Wayne Kislinburg is a retired Navy lieutenant commander whose final sail before retirement was to bring a submarine tender under the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco Bay. He later developed macular degeneration and is now legally blind, but you’d never know it. At the encouragement of his family, he took the helm while sailing the York River and asked to be steered by degrees. I called out “45 degrees starboard” and he promptly swung to exactly the right mark. He effortlessly tacked back and forth in a light breeze, with a lifetime of mariner expertise guiding his hand. He could see the wind better than any of us.