Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Good luck in the Pacific Cup, Edward

Long time reader of this blog, Edward K., is departing tomorrow afternoon in a sailing race from San Francisco to Hawaii --- the Pacific Cup. At right is the chair he'll be blogging from during the 2-week voyage. You can follow his progress here.

I love Edward's reason that he's doing it:
"Making landfall is an incredible feeling. One that could possibly only be topped by leaving port. All three landfalls we made on the Trans-Atlantic were at the end of a really bad storm and the view of the inviting harbor was really really special and welcome. On top of that, one of the few out-of-body experiences I've ever had was leaving the Azores.

In CS Lewis' "Out of the Silent Planet" trilogy, the second book is devoted to the idea of trying to recapture the taste of the perfect fruit. The book is actually about the idea that once the Original Sin happened, it couldn't be undone, but on the surface the message is that you can't recapture that taste, you just have to experience a new fruit and enjoy it for what it is. I can't recreate those incredible moments, I just have to prepare myself for the possibility of more, different ones.

That's getting really close to why I'm doing this trip. But I think the real reason is the Kids. I'm doing it for the Kids. All kidding aside, last year Camille's class asked for guest speakers to talk about travel. I went in and spoke about my transatlantic sail, brought in pictures and foul weather gear and the kids just ate it up. I want Camille and Noah to grow up thinking that adventure is good. That travel isn't a business class seat to London and a 4-star hotel. Travel is getting to know cultures, to take a risk and climb a mountain, to do something different than your day to day life.

And, of course, I really like to sail."
I hear ya, man.

During an all-night sail on my 4-day Chesapeake trip I was sitting on the windward rail, staring into the darkness smoking a cigarette while the 15 knot winds put the boat at 20 degrees and salt water sprayed onto my face from below. All around was pitch blackness and the sound of waves and salt spray.

My friend Jason joined me at the rail for a smoke. I turned to him and said, "I wonder if non-sailors know what we mean when we sail we're going sailing." He paused and thought for a second. I pointed into the darkness and said, "I mean, is this what they think of? I honestly can't imagine anyone NOT loving doing this. This is what feeling alive is like. I mean, if I died right now, I could honestly say that I have really lived up until this moment." Jason exhaled his cigarette and responded, "I know, man. I know exactly what you mean."

I suppose this only sounds foreign to landlubbers. 
Godspeed, Edward.

Make some memories and have a great sail for all of us back home.

Lonnie, I'm going to have time to get the package tomorrow...gracias. I'll be thinking about you and get some shots of phosphoresence (sp?).
Very true, I don't think most non-sailors know why we do it. For instance a few Sundays ago it was too early to buy beer before a day sail, so my buddy and I sailed 4 hours around the tip of St Pete to a bar we could have driven to in less than 20 minutes! Those pitchers never tasted better.
After reading your blog for a few months now, you've finally inspired me...I'm joing a local sailing club. I hope to someday have the same type of experiences you write about. Thanks, and keep it up.

Whoa, I don't know what to say. Thank you? That makes me feel VERY good. So yes, thank you for that.

And good luck. Let me know if you have any questions: lonniebruner AT gmail.
If only you knew how close to dying you actually were, what with me at the helm three sheets to the wind, filled to the brim with your Mai-Tai's.

They don't call it the Holland Bar for nothing.
Lonnie - you almost captured in words something that can't really be put into words. Using words to describe the feeling of sailing (especially at night) just does not quite do it justice. I mean you can describe the physical feelings, but the emotional part - well, you just have to experience it.
Hey, I think I thanked you already for the halfway gift but I have to tell you again how fantastic it was. At first, everyone loved the CD, then people started going down below to get away and then finally, the two people on watch got more and more uncomfortable but couldn't go anywhere so they turned it off. We made it through about a half dozen songs! I enjoyed the whole thing from songs to reactions.
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