Thursday, February 19, 2015

Evanston: some fools don't deserve to be saved; unwimped; early

        My initial subject line for this entry was ‘some fools deserve to die.’  Perhaps I’m mellowing in my old age.  I changed because I realize they don’t deserve to die—if they can save themselves.  What they don’t deserve is to be saved by anyone else.
        You may have read reports as I did of a father and son rescued last weekend from a sailboat 150 miles off Nantucket Island in a blizzard.  If you did you surely thought as I did:  What the hell were they doing out there?
        I googled and learned.  A pretty good report can be found here, even though the journalist uses the hackneyed ‘once in a lifetime adventure’.   Another of the infinite misuses of the word.  In this instance ‘adventure’ should have been replaced by inanity.  And I suspect this was not a ‘once in a lifetime’ occurrence with these people.  I deliberately don’t call them ‘sailors’.
        I don’t like those ashore who second guess and criticize those at sea.  They have often done so with me.  Wrongly as I have proven.  But the blunders here beggar belief; and on first thought I disagreed with the younger man’s assertion that “If anyone sat down and worked things out they’d understand why we left.”  Actually I do understand:  they were too stupid and inexperienced to know what they were getting themselves into.  This was a failure, multiple failures, of intelligence and imagination.
        I don’t care that they left Newport in February on an ill-prepared and perhaps structurally defective boat with a blizzard forecast.  I do care that they called for help and were rescued at considerable risk to the rescuers.  
        If you do something so foolish, I believe the Coast Guard should have the authority to require you to sign a waiver before departure that any distress calls will be ignored.  Even better, you shouldn’t be allowed to have a radio transmitter or EPIRB on board.
        If these people had not known that if they got in trouble they could call for help, I doubt they would have sailed.  
        On the other hand, they might have.
        In which case they would have already gotten what they deserved. 


        Chicago set a record low temperature for the date this morning:  -8°/-22°C.
        Yesterday was a physical therapy day for me.  It was not quite as cold when I left for my appointment, about 9°F/-13°C, but it was windy.
        I mentioned to several people I emailed that I might wimp out and take the train rather than walk.  But I didn’t.  With many layers and a good winter parka, I was fine except for the slight amount of exposed skin around my nose and eyes.  I don’t cover my nose with a scarf because that causes my eyeglasses to fog up.
        However I did walk the distance five minutes faster than usual.


        As regular readers will know, as opposed to the rescued Australians, I never do things at the last minute and always leave ample time.  However I may have just out done myself.
        The duffle bag arrived yesterday from CampMor and I wanted to be certain that all the stuff I’m taking back to GANNET fits inside, so this morning I tested.  It does.
         I’m packed three weeks and five days early.