Sailing is Fungible

Old Warrior

Sailing a boat is just the start of the thing. Some people see a sailboat and see a race and some people see as a way to travel. Sailing is fungible. You can race, cruise, live-aboard and never even pretend that you are ever going to use the sailing portion of what the boat you are living on was intended. Sailing can be a dead end or it can be an open end…you choose! What sailing allows is for you to imagine doing something else, something you’ve never done before. The AC 45’s that are being used as tune ups for the America’s Cup in San Francisco imagine a kind of Formula 1 approach to the endeavor. Let’s build sailboats that go to the extreme edge of speed. Let’s make them light, put 70 foot masts on 45 foot long hulls. Let’s build the boats with space age materials making them wicked light and super powerful. Let’s get rid of the sails and put wings on the boats. Imagine that a wing! Think one half of an airplane placed upright on two hulls. What’s that get you? They don’t sail these creations they fly them. So for our elite racing teams the journey is the ever greater increase in their team’s ability to operate one of these gizmos. It is impossible to imagine that it would require 110 shipping containers to support the racing of a pair of boats that weight something less than 6000 lbs all in. Cruising sailboats can weigh lots of things, but doing skinny isn’t native to their species. My Jeanneau is a rather lean machine at 36 feet, but still it weights something north of 12,000 lbs. But, with careful provisioning I wouldn’t need 110 shipping containers to support my sailings purpose. Likely I could load everything I might need aboard for an extended non-stop cruise. That could be but one edge to sail to, one of many choices a sailor can make. But, perhaps we measure the wrong thing. Perhaps 110 shipping containers stacked on a cargo vessel represents the collective efforts, the combined wisdom, the latest breakthroughs, and the tools necessary to mount an endeavor seeking to discover how to make the AC 45’s go consistently faster than anyone else trying to do the same thing. All this prototyping, all this engineering, all the testing, the
development of 5 men trained and synchronized in putting this creation to the purpose it was intended requires an out of this world effort. It is out of this world and with imagination, time and materials this assembled group of mad sailing creationists hope to make this dream come true. Then, Saturday morning I woke aboard my vessel and while walking my dog a mother, father and their two boys were pushing off from their slip aboard their Islander 38, destination Mexico, itinerary open-ended, final destination undecided. I helped push them off and shouted, “How is it a stranger is the only witness to your departing on one of your life’s biggest adventures?” He waved his hand and smiled, “You’re not a stranger; you’re a sailor, the gods picked you…”

Bankrupt Heart The Second Novel

“I love the harbor. It is a place of a thousand surprises.”

“It’s its own little world, this odd
little backwater and it’s right here in the heart of town.”

“What kind of boat?” She asked.

“What do you know, what do you
think?”

She closed her eyes again,
“Sailboat,” Her eyes sprung open wide waiting for the answer.

“It’s a forty-three foot sailboat,
wood.” Jackie’s eyes widened further when Ry said ‘wood’. “I’m sure you like
wood boats?”

“Everyone loves to look at a wood
boat,” Jackie reached out and turned Ry’s hands over and looked at his palms.

“What do you see?” Ry asked.

“I see you haven’t even started working on her.”

“True enough. I don’t know how to work on her.”

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