Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Soak of a Windward Beat or...Reality Bites

Here's a jump to an article in the Portsmouth Herald written by a "boat carpenter" who trained for the trade expecting, "...hand tools with sharp blades and materials like bronze, leather, canvas, and sweat." As anyone who has spent even a little time in a modern boatyard knows, these days you're most likely to, as the author puts it, spend your time, "staggering around wearing sticky rubber gloves and disposable body-suits with a respirator..." The old expectation vs. reality equation - an equal opportunity cliche but one that dovetails with sailing quite nicely. The newly arrived yacht owner who expected leisurely daysails to quiet, pristine coves for undisturbed picnic lunches. His inaugural cruise turns into a nail biting, soak of a windward beat to a rocky anchorage crowded with obnoxious power boaters. The cooler shipped sea water and they ate soggy sandos and sipped bottled water in a cloud of diesel fuel. The anchor? Stuck on the bottom.

The young 20-something kid who in 1994 signed aboard to be yacht charter crew expecting huge tips, nonstop sailing, swooning stewardesses and adventure in the Leeward Islands. Remind me to give you the reality check one of these days. I could (should) write a book!

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