Liberty is being free from the things we don't like in order to be slaves of the things we do like.--Ernest Benn

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Other People's Boats. . .
The remnants of my evaporating crew of long-standing has vaporized. New and old recruits, alike, have spread out to opposite corners of the world. A day's race, one-way up-wind, occurs tomorrow. The Good Guys have never done especially well in the light air perennially scheduled for this event. So, it is not exactly with heavy heart that I try to decide which of tthree boats I offer to go on. I'm wanted as crew on a couple of small boats belonging to recent Good Guys' crewmen. However, I am assured there is rail-space saved for me on Slip Neighbor. That would afford learning some sailing from one of the best skippers I know.

So, I am divided equally between rewarding loyalty and observing excellence. How not to give offense? The outcome was not at all certain.

Epilogue: What did NOAA know? (And when did they know it?)

Right in the middle of this quandry, 7:00 AM-ish, Trophy Wife finds this NOAA bulletin:
My first impulse is to cancel The Good Guys

It would be reckless to (A) expose green crew I had never met to marginal conditions 
(B) undertake an all-day race without an experienced helmsman aboard. 

(Trophy Wife had taken herself out of it at this point.)

Then my brain exploded: call up the guys with the two small boats who wanted me to crew with them, and invite them back aboard The Good Guys. After all, they had amassed years of experience on board.

It worked. 

But they promised they would throw me overboard if the dire weather forecasts did not pan out. I was so grateful, I recklessly promised to 'assume the position' if it didn't blow like snot!

They came aboard, with their food, and we ate well all day, and drank well, too. 

But the sailing wasn't so good: 12 miles in an average of 6 knots of wind. 

The only redeeming quality of the day was that the wind afforded us a close reach up and back: there was no tacking. Still, it was taxing. The Good Guys don't do well in 5-10 knots, for sure. Don't know how we corrected out, but we only beat one boat across the line.

The only real hazard was kelp!

What is the moral of this tale?


  1. How about, "You can't make this shit up"?

  2. "Don't believe NOAA until you see the whites of her waters."

  3. Better: "Don't believe NOAA until you see the whites of her caps"!