...take one entire summer, hit the road, and sail for one day in each of the 50 states, meeting different people, and racing on unique local boats on different waters... the more remote the better...
It got me thinking.
First of all, how many of the 50 states of the USA have I actually sailed in so far? Let's see...
- Mid-Atlantic: My old stomping ground. New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania.
- New England: Where I live now. Connecticut (my old frostbite club), Massachusetts and Rhode Island (most of the sailing written about on this blog in the last year). And Maine. I had a vacation at a very weird resort in Maine with the family many years ago. And there was some sailing involved. But the full story can wait for another day.
- Chesapeake: Delaware (a memorable Sunfish North Americans in 1995), Maryland (mainly regattas in Annapolis), and Virginia (several regattas at Fishing Bay YC).
- South: North Carolina (a Laser US Nationals at Wrightsville Beach), Texas (a clinic with John Kolius), and Florida (various midwinter regattas in Laser and Sunfish, a Sunfish Worlds, and a couple of clinics.)
I think that's all. How many is that? Thirteen states? Pretty pathetic really, considering I've been living in this country for twenty years. I really should have been more adventurous in my sailing.
So should "sail in all fifty states" be on my bucket list?
On the one hand a target like that does make you start thinking about interesting ways to explore other sailing waters. Not sure I would try and do them all in one summer like Jobson suggests. But picking off four or five new states a year for the next ten years might be fun.
On the other hand it seems like an awfully artificial way to plan your sailing. Sure it would be cool to sail on a mountain lake in Montana or Wyoming, or try some of that desert sailing in New Mexico and Arizona that Pat and Carol Anne are always writing about. And I can't believe I haven't yet sailed the Columbia River Gorge or San Francisco Bay. But it would seem odd to say, "Let's see. I think I'll go sailing next month in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota," just because I need to tick them off my list.
Pause to allow readers in IA, NE and SD to leave abusive comments about all the superb sailing venues in their states.
Where was I? Where am I? Oh yes. Bucket list.
So maybe I will and maybe I won't put the Fifty State Strategy on my bucket list.
Or perhaps I will add instead "Sail a world championship regatta on all six continents." (I'm not counting Antarctica). I've already done Sunfish Worlds or Laser Masters Worlds in North and South America, Europe and Australasia. So all I need to complete this one is Africa and Asia. It's a while since the Laser Masters Worlds was in Africa. Maybe I would have to sail a different class?
I also have a feeling that it's slightly immoral, given the current concerns about global warming and climate change, to set out on a quest of burning up thousands of miles on the road and in the air to travel just for the sake of travel. Part of me feels that it makes more sense to go to the other extreme and maximize the boating enjoyment I can have on all the waters within fifty miles of my own house where there are plenty of aquatic opportunities of all kinds.
So what do you think? Does a goal like "sail in all fifty states" make any sense? Would you want to do something like that? (Translate to counties, provinces, or whatever if you don't live in the USA). Or is it just too artificial a way to plan your sailing activities? Would you rather just pick and choose the outings that happen to appeal to you, without bothering to do the research to even find out what boats they sail in North Dakota, say?