Monday, April 27, 2009

Sailing Blog Reader of the Year

I've honored the writers of my favorite blogs before in such lists as Tillerman's Top Ten Blogs of 2009. But today I want to honor a reader, someone who (as far as I know) doesn't have his own blog, but who contributes to the community of the sailing blogosphere by reading a number of blogs, by taking part in such things as group writing projects, and by regularly leaving interesting, funny and provocative comments on various sailing blogs.

And so without further ado, let me open the envelope with the secret name....

... pause for effect...

... TV cameras focus on the expressions on the faces of the possible candidates...

... more pause for effect...

and the winner of Sailing Blog Reader of the Year is...

O Docker.


Pause for thunderous applause followed by shocked gasps...

Please don't be scared children. Those aren't horns on his hat. They are actually natural. Everyone in his family, on his father's side, has them.

I first became aware of O Docker via Edward's famous EVK4 Superblog. Apparently O Docker is a neighbor of Edward in Berkeley Marina, but Mr Docker hangs out in a much more prestigious section than our superblogging friend, as Edward explained in O Dock, Living the Good Life. According to Mr Docker, life on O Dock is out of this world...

Yes, we live the lush life here on the Berkeley Riviera. On race nights, savory zephyrs of grilling sirloin and chanterelles waft down from the yacht club terrace, gently mixing with the jasmine of our manicured gardens. Peacock and pheasant patrol the docks. The washrooms and baths are adorned in Carrara marble.

All is not bliss, though. Last month, I was fined for failing to finish my docklines in Flemish coils.


Then O Docker started leaving comments on my blog too, such as a description of a day when there was "perfect breeze, perfect sky, perfect destination, perfect seafood dinner awaiting us ashore" in response to my post Just One of Those Days.

O Docker's coining of "Heyitwasgreat" in this comment inspired me to run a group writing project of the same name, and then he started contributing to other writing projects with such stories as Why I Don't Have a Bucket List and The Pied Pipers of Newport Beach.

And so it went on...

Most recently when Adam Turinas of Messing About in Sailboats ran his superb campaign to make April 22 Robin Knox-Johnston Day on the web, O Docker sent Adam an email which Adam featured in Postscript - On RKJ Day. Here is a small extract from what Mr Docker wrote...

Learning to sail is a series of terrifying 'firsts' for everyone. The first time on your own at the helm. The first dinghy capsize. The first time we back out of the slip in a boat big enough to do serious damage. The first time we take the family out and realize the trust they've placed in us. The first passage - even if only from one side of the bay to the other. We agonize over all that could possibly go wrong, and still we know there are things we must be forgetting - there are monsters out there we can never know.


It's in our moments of personal terror that we begin to realize just what Sir Robin accomplished - how much more terrible his monsters must have been than ours, and the courage it took to confront them - with a whole nation watching.


O Docker's contribution was so insightful and moving that it was picked up by Scuttlebutt, perhaps one of the greatest accolades for us sailing bloggers.

And there's the irony. O Docker is not a sailing blogger. But he writes about sailing in a way that is more impressive than almost all of the sailing bloggers out there. He is the sailing blogger without a blog. The Unblogger.

That's why he is my Sailing Blog Reader of the Year.

11 comments:

bonnie said...

Fantastic!

I always look forward to his comments, anywhere they happen to turn up.

O Docker said...

Tillerman, you ol' rascal, now you've gone and done it.

My face is red (kinda matches the helmet, though).

Thanks for this great honor. And thanks for putting up with my long-winded rants here. From the first, I've really just wanted to be a part of this cool community that you and the other sailing bloggers have created.

My only question: Do I get a free hat?

EVK4 said...

It absolutely kills me that I dock about 20 yards from O Docker and have never seen him. Except that one time in the 3BF when he was passing me so fast I couldn't figure out who he was. I've even taken a boston whaler over to O dock and couldn't figure out what boat was his (I even know the boat name and couldn't figure it out).

O Docker adds a ton to the sailblogosphere and is a really good writer to boot. I need to sail with this guy some day.

Tillerman said...

You know I have a sneaking suspicion that O Docker isn't a real person at all but just an alter ego of EVK4. If I am right it's an incredibly elaborate hoax.

I guess the only way to prove me wrong is for Ed and O (with horns) to be photographed together.

Greg and Kris said...

I've got an extra free hat, O'D. I'll share. It's the least I could do for the ongoing boat buying and sailing advice you have offered. :)

Carol Anne said...

Why do you need a free hat, when you have such a cool one of your own?

Of course, if you get one from the Tillermeister, I guess it has its own cachet.

Zen said...

A hardy round of applause!!!

Zen said...

O-dock ad EVK4 the same, hmmmmmm

O Docker said...

Maybe Edward and I, just like A Dock and O Dock, exist in parallel universes that intersect only in the Three Bridge Fiasco - which is staged by the Singlehanded Sailing Society. This is getting Kafkaesque.

JP said...

Very well deserved prize

I don't care what O'Docker keeps on his head as long as he keeps reading and commenting!

O Docker said...

Thanks to all for the kind words.

Carol Anne, this hat is fine for everyday pillaging, but it's too dressy for casual Fridays.

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