Go Now, or Forever Hold Your Peace
Posted by Darrell Nicholson at 01:07PM - Comments: (11)
September 3, 2013
By now, some who read this blog regularly may be wondering if Practical Sailor will be covering the America’s Cup. The answer is . . . sort of. I’m not going. The votes are in; the jury has spoken. Practical Sailor readers have made a persuasive argument that they don’t see much value—apart from the gee-whiz factor—in expending our limited resources on an event that is already over-hyped. Let Larry Ellison play with his toys. (Yes, I’m a closet fan of the Kiwis.) The racing so far has been a flop. We’ve got real boats with real problems that need to be solved. And frankly, I’m so crushed with work these days that I can’t peel away from the desk . . . not now. We’ve got a few too many anchor tests in the air, and I just hope they all don’t land at once.
One of the most exciting bits news is that one of our main contributors, Capt. Frank Lanier, is a few quick heartbeats away from realizing his dream of setting off aboard his Union 36 for an extended cruise. Lanier, a retired Coast Guard officer who does a lot of our electronics testing, is also a marine surveyor. I don’t think there are many Union 36s as ship-shape as his.
He was supposed to set sail earlier this month, when he injured a bicep lifting something. The doctor recommended surgery or rest. He has opted for the latter and seems to be well on his way to good health.
Frank’s experience reminded me again how quickly time passes, and how suddenly health issues can creep up on us and interrupt our cruising dreams. How many well-equipped cruising boats do you see on the market with the comment that “health issues” forced them to change their plans?
This is hardly news to most PS readers. We hear the clock ticking. Just one more year until retirement. Just one more year until the boat is ready. Just one more year until the house is sold. Just one more year . . .
I sometimes wonder whether sailors, because of the nature of our addiction, have too strong an impulse to go with the flow. We are trained to wait for the right tide, to avoid the dead air on the back side of the squall, to play the eddies in the Stream. Confrontations are those we can’t avoid, like midnight squalls and hurricanes. I think it’s just as easy for us to get caught up in the flow of modern life—such as it is today—from university to work, to family, to retirement . . . only to wake up a few months from departure day with your arm in a sling. Or worse.
I’m not the first to say this, surely won’t be the last. Go now. Don’t wait any longer. Go now, while you can.
As for the Cup. We haven’t written it off altogether. My wife, Theresa, is going on her own dime. She’s always been more fascinated by spectacles than I, and being less jaded, she might well find something worthwhile to report on. “It’s something I want to see,” she said. “I may not get another chance.” Amen.