Offline, On the Water: Fresh Perspective

If you’re looking for me this weekend, you’ll have to get on a boat. Weather and details permitting, we’re heading off on Paul’s Archambault 31 for the first cruise of 2021. That means a welcome break from the many spring chores still on my list, like weeding the garden and varnishing Matsya and replacing that windblown downspout hanger and… you get the idea.

It won’t, of course, be a completely chore-free weekend. Paul worked really hard over the winter making improvements, and there may well be some bugs to work out. But somehow even the jobs that just don’t stay done, like cleaning, never seem nearly as much like work on a boat. Perhaps it’s the limited space; on a thirty-one footer, it’s impossible to change paths and avoid a cobwebbed corner, a skill I perfected over this past house-bound winter. Also, boats are members of the family. If we take care of them, they will take care of us.

(The same applies to houses, of course, but until the roof starts leaking or a railing rots, their needs are much easier to ignore; see “change paths to avoid”, above.) 

Fully vaccinated, and with both flowers and people busting out all over after our long New England winter of quarantined hibernation, this weekend will be even more special than the usual first cruise of the season. I’m especially hungry for the return to prioritizing weather, currents, and other natural events that are out of our control but relatively easy to predict. Three days offline, gaining a fresh perspective; what would the world look like if everyone went sailing this weekend?

There’s a quote that I can’t find attribution for, though I like to think it was Olin Stephens who said something like this: “If our global leaders could only sit down below on a boat and share a glass of rum, they would be far more likely to find a way to solve the world’s problems.” Maybe that seems too simplistic for our complicated world, but you simply never know where a change of perspective might lead.

Are you going sailing this weekend, or maybe you know who’s responsible for the quote above? Send me an email, or share your thoughts in the comments. I promise to read every single one—once I’m back at my desk again.