Latest: Lotus

Pintles and Gudgeons and the Man Overboard Drill

My dad’s bigger boat, a Lightning with a 27′ mast, wasn’t ready for sailing yet so we took the little 12-footer. It was a buoyant little beast, capable of carrying four adults: Brett and I and our dad, and our friend Paul. Paul loved sailing and as a result was rooked into a boatload of unnecessary adventures. He spent a lot of his time with us wet.

We always packed food because sailing made us hungry. It’s only a mile across San Diego Bay from the boat ramp where we launched so we sailed over to Silver Strand State Park to have lunch on the beach.

I was at the tiller because Dad wanted to be the first one to step ashore. I realized as we were approaching the shore that the bottom inclined so gradually the rudder was going to hit ground before the bow touched the sand.

I said, “We’re running aground.”

Nothing happened.

I said it again. “We’re running aground.”

Still nothing.

I said, “Hey, we’re running–”

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Coming About; or, Aiming the Boat in a Different Direction

Cap'n Fiona on the Star of India with Mommy and DaddySomeone described the method of steering a sailboat called “tacking” as first sailing in a direction to the left of where you want to go, and then sailing in a direction to the right of where you want to go. The process of shifting from left to right is called “coming about.”

Get on a sailboat and everyplace you want to go is against the wind. Forces external to the boat, such as wind and currents and other boats, cause you to adjust your heading, even if you haven’t changed your destination. That’s also a possibility: discovering that the beach you’re heading for is crowded, but over that way is an open spot you’d prefer.

Same with any business venture.

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William Least Heat-Moon: My Own Kerouac

With all respect to those who loved him, I couldn’t find anything to hold onto in the works of Jack Kerouac. Perhaps it was because I dipped into On the Road after I’d read Blue Highways and expected Kerouac to write like William Least Heat-Moon.

I realized that I just wanted to read more Blue Highways.

Over the decades, as people seem to be reading less and less, Heat-Moon’s books have become longer and longer. He spends over six hundred packed pages discussing the land of Chase County, Kansas. Five hundred recounting crossing the United States by boat. Yes, it can be done. Over four thousand miles by water and less than one hundred by land.

His books seem to be written from the voice of his own needs. Continue reading “William Least Heat-Moon: My Own Kerouac”