Thursday, May 08, 2008

Poppasquash Poppycock

It is good to be solitary, for solitude is difficult;
that something is difficult must be a reason the more for us to do it.

Rainer Maria Rilke

I'm worried about me.

I'm afraid that I'm changing from that aggressive, kick-ass Laser racer that I used to be .... check that, I mean that aggressive, kick-ass Laser racer that I used to aspire to be... and that I'm turning into a contemplative, philosophical guy that likes to sail around on his own staring ecstatically at his own bow wave.

I went for another solo sail on Tuesday on the west side of Poppasquash Point in Bristol. It was warmer and less windy than my previous sail. No icy waves slapping me in the face. No cold water down my neck. Almost idyllic.

I sailed upwind for a while then headed back down. Tried starboard tack for a while and then gybed on to port. As I bore away to sail by the lee I suddenly hit a magic angle. I could bear away a little and ride the waves down and then head up slightly and break over the next crest. Down up down up. Surf the downhill then up and over the hump. It was hypnotic. I just wanted to keep sailing at that magic angle for ever. Down up down up.

I pondered how this solitary enjoyment of riding through the waves would never happen in a race. I would be thinking furiously about how to keep my air clear and how the racing rules apply to the tactics for passing that boat in front and which side of the course is favored and which side of the fleet I need to be at the mark rounding and how my boat speed is compared to that guy and whether I will have an overlap on that boat at the mark...

I'm concerned that I'm becoming addicted to this solitary sailing and losing my passion for racing, or even for practice with other sailors. Maybe I'm turning into one of those moody single-handed sailing types that Edward loves to abuse on the EVK4SuperBlog? Next thing you know I will be quoting Rilke and Camus and posting peace videos on my blog.

I'm worried about me.


The only real progress lies in learning to be wrong all alone.
Albert Camus


10 comments:

Turinas said...

Worried? You should be delighted. Sounds like a bit of inner peace and actually enjoying sailing for its own sake. My bet is you'll be a lot happier and probably do better in the races you do take part in.

tillerman said...

Thanks Adam. You could be right. As Camus said, "In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion."

EVK4 said...

Put down the Bartlett's. I'm feeling inferior every time I have to stop and try to figure out what you're saying.

I'm with Adam on this. Sailing is fun. Enjoy it.

Last thing, what's the 26?

tillerman said...

I feel inferior too when I have to stop and try and figure out what I'm saying.

Thanks for asking about the cosmic significance of my 26 image. It's the number of twistie-ties on a Unicron. Thank you for asking.

EVK4 said...

26 twist-ties, holy cow! My 2 year old son has become obsessed with Optimus Prime and somehow expects me to buy him a NIB original 1984 Transformer from Ebay. I'll tell him no and blame the twistie-ties.

I think I know what 27 will be (does it have to do with a cube?) and you already hinted at 28. What do you do with a prime number like 29? that will be tough.

Tillerman said...

29 will be tough. But it is the sum of three consecutive squares which is fascinating, don't you think?

EVK4 said...

ooohhhhh, that is cool. when you add sequential orders of 3 consecutive squares, the difference between each of the sums is always 6 (29-14=15, 50-29=21, 77-50=27). I was hoping that it would always add up to a prime number but nothing that cool.

PeconicPuffin said...

This used to be called a "soul session" in windsurfing maybe 15 years ago. Einstein came up with some good ideas while presumably enjoying his bow wave! And wave sailing in general is magical and fun.

Team Gherkin said...

Hey! I sail like that all the time! Sailings' about fun. Lifes' too short (for me) to worry about over-competitive people out on the water, when the wind is just right - I say - GO for it!

All I know is - I like Apple Pi.

Cyalayta
Mal :)

Tillerman said...

Prime numbers, pi, twistie-ties, soul? This started as a post about sailing. I think I'm losing my bearings.

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