The problem with Laser sailing (at least for me) is that every time I go sailing I come off the water feeling satisfied with my day... and yet... and yet I still want more.
I guess it's not really a problem. It's a feature.
But the observation got me pondering about the different kinds of experiences...
First of all there are the bad ones. Like breaking your leg, poking yourself in the eye with a stick, getting stung by a bee, or listening to Barry Manilow. Nobody ever says after doing one of these things, "Hmmm, that was fun. Now I wonder if it would be even more fun to poke the stick in my other eye?"
Then there are two kinds of good experiences: the ones you are quite happy to experience once and be done with it; and the kinds that leave you satisfied... and yet wanting more.
In the latter category are such things as having sex, drinking beer and playing sudoku (not necessarily simultaneously.)
Most people don't say after having sex for the first time, "Hmmm, that was OK I guess. Well I've done it now. No need to do it again." No, most folk think, "Wow! Why didn't anybody explain it was this good? When can I have some more?"
Beer, in some ways, is even better than sex. Nobody expects you to stick with the same brand of beer your whole life. Nobody calls you depraved if you drink three beers every day in different places with different people. Nobody thinks it weird if you have a beer on an airplane. It leaves you satisfied... and yet wanting more.
Sudoku... well, I wouldn't say it is better than beer or sex. But I am always satisfied when I solve a sudoku puzzle... and yet I always want to do another one. I guess it's not for everyone though.
But there are some good(ish) experiences that do generate that response of, "Gee, that was pretty OK, I guess. I'm sort of glad I did it. Don't really feel the need to do it again though." In this category I would place such adventures as watching the New England Patriots play at Gillette Stadium, visiting the Great Wall of China, and staying a weekend in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia is a very fine city if you like that kind of thing. It has a lot of history and museums and stuff. It has a rather fine old cracked bell with my name on it. It has some major professional sports teams, including a baseball team that lost to my favorite team in the World Series last year. It has a sandwich containing steak and melted cheese that some people say they like. It has a couple of rivers. It even has a Laser fleet. Tillerwoman and I spent a weekend there a few years back. It was good. But it left me with no urge to repeat the experience in this lifetime. Not at all like sex, or beer... or even sudoku.
I have to say that the sort of sailing known as "cruising" is in the same category as visiting Philadelphia for me. By cruising I mean going for a sail on a boat of length in the 30-50 foot range on which you cook and eat and do washing-up and sleep and shit and pee with a group of close friends and/or family for a period of more than one day and in which you attempt to sail from point A to point B and perhaps back to point A without racing other boats and with no other purpose in mind other than to enjoy going from point A to point B and perhaps back to point A and to do some boat maintenance along the way.
I've done that. I had a friend who was a serious ocean-going cruiser who had crossed the Atlantic in his boat a couple of times and retraced Viking routes etc. etc. He took me and some other friends out on his boat one weekend. It was very kind of him. It was an interesting(ish) experience. I learned a lot, such as what a winch looks like when you take it to pieces and how to shit on a boat. But it didn't leave me wanting to do it again. Any more than I particularly want to see that bell in Philadelphia again. Been there, done that.
Laser sailing, on the other hand, is more like sex or beer than Philadelphia. Even an iffy sort of day like the racing last Tuesday evening leaves me satisfied... and yet wanting more.
So I went sailing again on Wednesday. But that's another story for another post.
Honey... are you in the mood for a bit of sudoku?