Wednesday, August 31, 2005


It’s necessary to take a moment away from regular content to acknowledge the unfolding disaster on the Gulf Coast of the U.S. and to extend thoughts and prayers south to the people suffering in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. I believe what makes sailing so unique as a sport and pastime is its dependence upon, and interplay with, one of the most powerful forces on the planet – the ocean and all she brings with her; wind, waves, beauty and destruction.

As oceangoing sailors recognize intimately - and the rest of us who dabble along the coast or inland on lakes also may also understand – when we expose ourselves by harnessing nature, we peel away the thin layer of civilization and comfort that shield us from our extreme insignificance and vulnerability. This awareness is what makes people who confront nature – mountain climbers, desert crossers, wilderness tamers…and sailors – very much brethren in the face of a modern culture that numbs us to the natural world.

It is in the spirit of this understanding that I would humbly ask every reader of this to click on the Red Cross web site (if you haven’t already done so) and donate whatever you can afford to the relief effort. As people who go to sea, we recognize how illusory and tenuous our comfort and safety is. The people on the Gulf Coast are now learning this difficult lesson. We owe them our compassion and support.


robin said...

I just wanted to say thank you: for your very interesting daily blog and for introducing me to blogs. I have just sailed for 3 months with a friend on his 42 footer in the southern seas (Australia to New Caledonia and Vanuatu) and kept my friends informed of my exploits through my blog - FYI on:

wingssail said...

I am angry about what happened in New Orleans.

This disaster was totally predictable.

It was more than predictable; for days before it occurred it was a certainty.

So everyone could and should have seen it coming.

Yet New Orleans and Louisiana and the US officials and emergency departments seemed to be caught flat footed. Their response was shamefully and criminally slow and totally inadequate. For three or four days it seemed like our top government officials were in shock and didn’t know what to do.

George Bush stayed at his ranch for two days.

The governor of Louisiana called a press conference and cried.

This is unacceptable.

I have more to say on this subject at ttp://

wbm said...

Good thoughts wingsail - I agree 100%