Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Hilton Head Island: no destination

 Tuesday evening.

I am sitting in the living room, listening to music, at the moment Mark Knopfler’s ‘Prairie Wedding’, sipping Laphroaig, looking out at live oaks, Spanish moss, palmetto palms, Skull Creek and the marina.  From this angle I cannot see GANNET’s mast.  I enjoyed my grandparent’s house in San Diego’s Mission Beach, but this is my first real home and I owe it to Carol.

I had a great sail back yesterday which I will write about soon, but I want to quote an email I had from Larry, a long time reader whom I consider a friend though we have never met.  He said it better than I, and I am supposed to be the writer.

Hi Webb,

I thought, after the hassle of the sail change, that you wrote took so much more time to do than mention, you thought, “Why subject myself to the continual hassle of the many such required sail changes getting to a “ destination”, i.e, Bermuda and Iceland, when I can just go to sea, “seek good wind angles…and enjoy the “experience of being in the monastery of the sea”. 

And that’s why you decided not to sail to Iceland.

So to some extent some of us are in this together.  

And I subsequently wrote to Larry:

Hi, Larry,

As I expect you will read I just posted your email in the journal.  I thought it might be lost as a comment to a past entry.

As I noted in that post I am still sipping Laphroaig, and about to add a bit more to my glass—not too much I have to bike to a supermarket tomorrow for fresh berries and other essentials.

The situation on the Bermuda sail was similar, but not an epiphany.  It has taken me a while to understand that I have suffered enough to achieve goals that have meaning to few but me.  I don’t mean to be egotistical, but I have understood the importance to the species of spinning off original experiments, and the species invested a genetic lot in me.  I believe I have lived up to that.  Though from the beginning—and I think this might be in STORM PASSAGE—I knew that most original experiments are failures.  I do not know whether the experiment that I am is a success or a failure.

I am really old as you are.  Only about 1% of the world’s population is 80.  I am still trying to figure out what I ought to do.

Be well.  Be strong.  Be my friend.




Ernie said...

This brought to mind lyrics from over fifty years ago, from Blind Faith:

Open your eyes, realize you're not dead
Take a look at an open book, do what you like, that's what I said
(Do what you like)

ZMK said...

I was going to say I hope you choose to sail back to New Zealand instead...but then remembered you want nothing further to do with the Panama canal. Truck GANNET to a West Coast departure point?
Whatever or wherever you decide to sail, it will be the right decision for Webb Chiles.

tatali0n said...

As you know, I enjoy racing. My Laser is half the size of GANNET, a fraction of her weight and the waters I race her on are infinitely smaller than the oceans GANNET has sailed. I think the reason I love racing so much is that it gives a destination, and therefore purpose, to sailing the Laser.

But sometimes just reaching back and forth across the lake in a lovely bit of wind, just for the simple hell of it is, I think, the essence of what I love about sailing.