Wednesday, February 18, 2009


So I write a blog about sailing. Big deal! The real action today is "live blogging" while actually sailing. Time and time again I read sailors' blogs about their upcoming plans to sail around the world/ race across the Pacific/ dump their job and sail to the Caribbean... and they always promise to "live blog" from the boat.

Most of them never follow through.

I wonder why? Maybe the technology defeats them. Or sea-sickness. Or perhaps they are having way too much fun drinking rum and singing sea-shanties and getting naked with the crew to have any time for "live blogging"?


Because with Twitter and Facebook and iPhones and Barackberries and all that stuff, you would think it would be easy to inform your 3178 closest "friends" that you were sailing the ocean blue with your trophy wife while the aforementioned 3178 "friends" were sweating away in their cubicles worrying about whether they were going to be forced into early retirement and whether they would have have to find new ways of financing their weekend sailing habits.

Apparently it's not as easy as it sounds to be such an ass.

But sometimes I do hear from sailors while they are actually sailing. Usually it's some cryptic message like, "XYZ is definitely drifting today." And I get this image of XYZ holding the sheet in his teeth and the tiller between his legs while furiously thumping away at his Crackberry with both thumbs. No wonder such messages are usually so short. Of course if he's using Twitter to inform the world about his awesome sailing adventure then he's limited to 140 characters per message anyway. I think. What do I know? I don't Twitt.

I don't imagine that I'm going to be live blogging from my Laser any time soon. But if I could, and if I did, this is what I would have twittered about yesterday's sail.

Gorgeous day.


Light northish wind.

Beating up towards Barrington.

Practiced a few roll tacks.

Why am I so bad at roll tacks?

Uh oh. Wind died.

Still no wind.

Long way back to the ramp.

There's a wind line over there.

Here it comes.

Now it's from the west and still light.

Beating towards Warwick.

Hmmm. Smoke on the windward shore is going straight up.

That's not a good sign, is it?

Wind died again.

Still no wind.


Anybody know the number for Boat US?

There's a fishing boat a mile or so away, over by the Bristol shore. Maybe he'll give me a tow?

I see a wind line.

Here it comes.

Time to head back to the ramp.

Woo hoo. I can sail a Laser standing up.

In 3 knots of wind.

While Twittering.

Aren't I awesome?

Uh oh. Wind died again.


This is the second day it has done this. Maybe Stuart Walker could explain why.


Here comes the wind.

Thank god.

I'm back at the ramp. Cancel that call for a tow. Thanks anyway.


Greg Andkris said...

Lovely. :)

Wind died on me too.

My dog was my crew.

Sculled halfway back to the ramp.

Walked along a boat dock and pulled the boat for part of the trip.

Wind came up again; almost lost my crew.

I'm a one-thumb iPhone typer, myself.

Pics uploaded to Facebook when I got home.


Nearly hit sixty degrees today.

Almost sailed with Christy!

Found out that I'm not supposed to be sailing in my brown loafers.

B.J. Porter said...

Tough to picture what kind of hardware it'd take to safely blog from a Laser with regularity. Your boat's wetter than mine.

When I'm sailing I'm WAY more interested in doing all sorts of other things besides updating the blog. I'm either going there, or being there, or coming back, of planing where to go next. I'm not waxing poetic on the web.

When it's winter and I'm not sailing (no manly frostbiting for me) there's precious little to write about. The "Boat Maintenance Chronicles" isn't as gripping as "today we got knocked over by 60 knots of wind."

Technically it's not so worse than sending an e-mail. Mentally? Different question.

Pat said...

How would Stuart Walker ever fit a sentence into Twitter?

Mal's Team Gherkin said...

lol. Twitter... the latest excuse for wasting time! roflrofl

O Docker said...

I guess we old codgers are supposed to scoff at the new stuff and say, "why Sinclair Lewis didn't need no Twittermabob to do his writin'. "

But, somehow, I'm scoffless. I think all of this stuff is waycool. It IS neat to be able to send photos, video, and - OMG, even words - back to your friends while you're out there doin' it. And it's maybe waycooler that a group can reply and comment no matter where in the world they are, as long as they've got prehensile thumbs.

But other writing - like the coffee you serve up here - takes a little longer to brew. And it needs to be savored. I don't see how the two conflict.

Any new techie toy is usually overused when it's brand new. After a while, everyone gets bored with the novelty, and things settle back into perspective.

Television didn't do away with movies. E-mail didn't make the novel obsolete. I think blogs will be with us for a while yet.

Especially yours, I hope.

David Fuller said...

Lasers probably aren't the best showcase for twitter. Can't imagine Ben Ainslie twittering from a Finn in an Olympic race either, but that said, I did enjoy the occasional tweet from Jonny Malbon and still enjoy tweets from Rich Wilson.

A couple of people tweeted live action from the LVPS which gave those not living in NZ some clue as to what was going on.

You don't expect someone to call you in the middle of a race, so can't see why you would expect anyone to twitter. there is a time and a place for everything.

Greg Andkris said...

I dunno, but O'Docker sounds much more like an insightful journalist than a cranky IT guy.

Frankie said...

and they always promise to "live blog" from the boat. Most of them never follow through. I wonder why? ...because sailing upon the blue sea is not as much a sport as it is a way of life. You find yourself in another life, in another kind of reality, and it is very hard to word it to people back on land. Before sailing away you usually make plans of reading that book, writing that letter, taking that photo, etc, and once on board upon the blue sea, you have lost all interest in your former 'land' plans. That's how I felt.

O Docker said...

Thanks, Greg - but maybe more 'inciteful' than insightful.

I think I agree with Frankie. I actually managed to get off a comment to Edward's blog during the Three Bridge Fiasco. The wind had died completely, we only needed one on deck, so I ran below and fired up the laptop.

With the boat rolling around, it was hard to compose my thoughts - I zipped off one quick graph. But I really wasn't too into it - I wanted to be back on deck.

I'm amazed at the quality of the video Sam Davies was able to send back from the Vendée - and singlehanding an Open 60 in the Southern Ocean, no less.

bonnie said...

Sounds like a nice day for paddling!

Glad I wasn't drinking anything when I got to the line about Boat US...

PeconicPuffin said...

I thoroughly enjoyed that!

It also brings to mind a lyric from the song "Ocean Size" by Jane's Addiction that I've always aspired to:

"I want to be more like the ocean:
no talking, all action."

Rob Williams said...

I love new technology and twitter and such, but I don't think I'd be using it while at sea. That's the best time to "check out"

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