Today is Thanksgiving Day in the USA, a traditional holiday started by the passengers from the Mayflower in 1621 to celebrate setting the record for the slowest, most crowded, and most miserable east-to-west transatlantic crossing by a square-rigged sailing vessel of under 200 tons displacement (ratified by WSSRC on 23 November 1621). It is called Thanksgiving Day because the colonists were giving thanks to their friend Squanto for teaching them how to survive in the wilderness, especially the trick of planting a fish-head in the ground with every seed of corn. Historians differ as to whether the planting of the fish-heads was the first successful practical joke executed by an American against gullible immigrants, or a shrewd business move by the local Wampanoag fish merchant who needed to unload a large consignment of fish-heads well past their sell-by date.
So I would also like to celebrate this special day in American history by giving thanks to all the readers of the nonsensical jottings that I write on this blog. Yes, I mean you. Is anyone still here?
And I would like to give a very special thank you to everyone who has helped spread the word about Proper Course to new readers...
To all the bloggers who have put links to Proper Course on their blogs. According to Technorati, as of today, 90 blogs link here. God knows why anyone would go to the trouble of linking here, but thanks anyway. Those 90 links apparently place me firmly in the ranks of the C-list bloggers according to Dave Sifry's latest report on the State of the Blogosphere. I feel extremely proud to have reached these giddy heights of "middling authority" and will try not to let it go to my head.
In the last few months I've noticed that a few real sailing websites (as opposed to unreal sailing blogs) have also been directing readers here. Destination One Design has been carrying the occasional post from me that's actually about sailing in their D1D News ticker. The Laser Class Association of New South Wales has been placing articles from my posts on Dave Dellenbaugh's Top Ten Tactical Tips in its "What's New" section. And talking of non-English language sites, Västkustens Folkbåtsflottilj has been including a feed from here in its Nyheter och bloggar feature. (Don't ask me -- I haven't a clue what anything on that page means but it appears to be about sailing and I think it's in Swedish.) To the editors or webmastes of these sites, many thanks.
Other readers occasionally find me when someone emails them a link to Proper Course. Thanks to Ward Esaak of About Sailing for telling folk about the WD-40 and Duct Tape post in his weekly email sailing newsletter. And a super big thank you to Craig Leweck at Scuttlebutt for telling readers of his very popular email newsletter about a couple of my muddled ramblings this month. Man, the dials really started spinning off the gauges on my site meter on those days!
So as Americans celebrate this special day by stuffing themselves with turkey, watching some game that they call football on television, and by planting ceremonial fish-heads under their lawns... I give sincere thanks to everyone who reads Proper Course and to everyone who helps other readers find their way here.