Just Do It.
Allen the Ice Man, chillin’ on Mon Tiki late last November
So the guy who sailed with me from Norfolk to Atlantic City last week had been out on a “date that went pretty well” the night before we left, which is to say he showed up short of sleep and maybe even a little hung over.
No big deal. For the first several hours out of Norfolk he caught some Z’s in Mon Tiki’s bunk (best sleep of his life, he offered) so he’d be ready to take his turn on the watch later that night.
The next day Jesse told me he was pretty unhappy on that first watch. I guess I scared him pretty good with my Don’t Fall Overboard lecture. And it’s really really dark on a boat at sea at night.
But he also told me that his second watch, the one where the stars came out (there are no more stars than on moonless night at sea!) and he was more used to the whole thing — he told me that was fantastic!
And then the next morning he made us eggs with broccoli, peppers, onions and mushrooms and we had a great run across the mouth of the Delaware Bay and he smiled the whole time, except when he laid out on the deck and snoozed in the sunshine. Then we capped the whole run with a scary but ultimately harmless lightning storm (that’s him in the bunk, clutching the handheld VHF in one hand and the emergency radio instructions placard in the other, just in case I get hit by lightning), and then a good night’s sleep in a quiet anchorage in Atlantic City.
I’m telling you this because in the six months Mon Tiki and I have been away from home I’ve had about a dozen people express strong interest in sailing with me on Mon Tiki. Not mere “Hey wow, that sounds fun” interest. More like “Here’s where/when we’re going to meet, I’m packing my bags I’ve wanted to do this all my life” interest. But for whatever reason, most of them flaked, and here’s what I notice:
The first person who didn’t flake is a single mother who runs a PR business while raising her children with virtually no help. She’s also an extraordinarily accomplished crafter and small business woman. She’s made money selling jewelry, handbags, soap and pies to name a few things. She had no offshore experience before we made the overnight run from Montauk to New York City, yet she took on the task eagerly, reliability and without complaint.
The second fellow sailed with me from New York to Norfolk in freezing conditions and gale force winds. An experienced sailor, he knew going down in the cabin in rough conditions would make him seasick so he slept on deck in temperatures dipping into the high twenties. He spends the summer working 16 hour days running an ice business in upstate New York and spends his winters traveling with his wife and kids.
And then this last guy. I think I mentioned his and his partner’s business just got bought by the Norfolk Pilot.
I don’t know anything about the guys that flaked, that said they wanted to go sailing one day then had some reason they couldn’t do it the next. I’m sure they’re all fine people.
What I do know is all the people who actually did what they said they wanted to do are people who do stuff. The build businesses, they bake pies, they raise children, they make things happen. They do stuff.
Call this a complaint. Call this a kvetch. Call this the rich buddha trolling Freddie again. Take it any way want. I’m just reporting what I see.