Sunday, December 21, 2014

Find What You Love And Let It Kill You

"Find what you love and let it kill you. Let it drain you of your all. Let it cling onto your back and weigh you down into eventual nothingness. Let it kill you and let it devour your remains.

For all things will kill you, both slowly and fastly, but it’s much better to be killed by a lover."

I found this quote the other day. It is often attributed to Charles Bukowski, but like the "Eric Clapton owns the Blue Guitar" meme it seems to be one of those things that nobody can definitively pin down and it is hotly disputed on various forums.

It seems very dark. Especially if you interpret it as an invitation to kill yourself in overindulgence on alcohol or drugs or Big Macs.

But I embrace it in the spirit of the original motto of this blog, "Cheat the nursing home. Die on your Laser!"

But maybe these quotes don't really mean what they seem to mean? After all, I was accused by some of my readers of being too literal when I drew attention to a gross inaccuracy in that famous JFK quote about blood chemistry being the cause of our love for the sea.

Maybe the references to death are just metaphors for "give it your all." I'm not good with metaphors.

Truth is, although I am passionate about my Laser sailing, I don't work hard enough at it (or at getting really fit enough to sail a Laser well) to be anything other than a mediocre mid-fleet sailor. And I certainly don't work hard enough at Laser sailing to kill myself doing it.

A better quote to describe my attitude to Laser sailing would be this one from George Burns…

"I'd rather be a failure in something that I love than a success in something that I hate."

To all my northern hemisphere readers… Happy Winter Solstice!

The days start getting longer next week.

Friday, December 19, 2014


When the wind dies, will the RS Aero owner be the first sailor back to the club bar?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Blue Guitar - A Quiz

Today I have a quiz for you - with a difference.

When we were at Bitter End YC earlier this month, this boat was anchored there.

The Blue Guitar was also at BEYC when we were there last year.

In both years we were told by other guests that it was Eric Clapton's boat. But we never saw Eric Clapton. The only non-crew member we saw from the boat was a lady about our age who came over in a launch to BEYC a few times, apparently to walk on the trails there.

And here's the quiz part. It's all about how you decide what information you can trust on the Internet. I was reading a book a few months ago that said that one of the most important skills we can teach children today is to know how to verify sources, especially on the Internet. We are almost at the point where you can find any fact you want on the Internet. But can you trust everything you find there? And what do you do if there is conflicting information?

You will find many sources on the Internet which support the fact that the Blue Guitar is Eric Clapton's boat. You will also find other sources which say that Eric's boat is actually this boat, the motor yacht Va Bene.

You will find at least one source that claims Eric Clapton owns both the Va Bene and the Blue Guitar.

And you will find at least one source that names other people as the owners of the Blue Guitar.

So what's going on?  Should I believe what I was told - that the Blue Guitar is Eric Clapton's boat?

Have a dig around on the Interwebs yourself and tell me what you think. But I don't just want a yes or no answer. I want to understand your reasoning. Why should I believe some things I find on the Internet about the Blue Guitar and disbelieve others?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Red Wine and Duct Tape

Just got back from 10 days at the Bitter End YC in the BVI where I ate too much, drank too much... and sailed, kayaked, paddle-boarded, swam, hiked, ran and stargazed just the right amount.

While I was there, someone told me the secret about the difference between men and women that has eluded me these last 66 years...

Women think red wine will fix everything.

Whereas men think duct tape will fix everything.

I never knew.

I think I'll open a bottle of red wine now.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014


The next America's Cup will be held in Bermuda.

What a brilliant choice!

A natural amphitheater.

Excellent winds.

And it's British.

What more could you ask for?

And if you're still not convinced, read what Charles Doane - a much better writer and a much better sailor than me - has to say about this decision on his blog Wave Train.

Why Not Bermuda?

"We should just kick back and savor the madness…"

Monday, December 01, 2014

Best Sailing Blog on the Planet of 2014

Some years I have published a list of the top ten (or approximately ten) of my favorite sailing blogs of the year.

Some years I haven't.

It's tough to choose only ten blogs, balancing the wishes to include old favorites while recognizing promising newcomers.

Not to mention that inclusion on my top ten list has usually been the kiss of death for at least three blogs on the list which have been abandoned by their authors within a few months.

So this year I am dong something a bit different.

I am announcing that one blog, a relatively new blog, is the undisputed Best Sailing Blog on the Planet of 2014.

Pause for fanfare…


And the winner is…

by Damian

I could give you a long list of all the excellent posts that Damian has written this year. But please go and browse the blog yourself. There's excellent advice on how to be a better sailor. There are thought-provoking series of posts about important issues in our sport like how clubs can retain younger members and the ethics of protests. There's humor. There's poetry. There's sports psychology. There's a guest post by an Oppie Mum and hilarious advice on boat maintenance.

If I wasn't already writing a sailing blog, I think Damian's writing in the last year would inspire me to start one.

And so many times I have read one of Damian's posts and thought, "I wished I could write a post as good as that."

Subscribe to The Final Beat. Sign up to get it by email. Follow it. Read it. Leave comments.

It's the best sailing blog on the planet.

RS Aero at Carnac

RS AERO Carnac by voile-magazine

I can't get enough of RS Aero porn.

Especially when it's French porn.

I think I'll have a cold shower now.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Is Blogging Dead?

There's a great article over on ProBlogger, by guest author Steff Green, titled Is Blogging Dead?

Subscriber numbers are down. Younger people aren't starting new blogs. The action has moved to other social media platforms accessed by smartphones and it's all about shorter, punchier messages than the average blog post.

I expect all of my watery blogger friends have seen the same trends.

Is it time to recognize the inevitable and organize the wildest funeral party ever to bury all our blogs?


I confess I didn't tell you the whole truth.

OK. I lied.

The full title of Steff's blog post is actually Is Blogging Dead? How Blogs are changing and How You Can Stay on Top.

Steff is full of ideas on how to respond to the trends in the blogging world, with suggestions on how to take advantage of the swing to social media, rethink where the conversations about your blog posts will be happening, and make money from your blog in this new world.

Whether you are a blogger or a reader or both, tell me, do you think blogging is dead?

Or, if you think the patient may still be breathing, then what do bloggers need to do to resuscitate the corpse?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Random Things I Am Thankful For This Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for…

My sailing friends 
especially the ones who drove 
down from Massachusetts so many times 
to train with me in Rhode Island this year

The RS Aero 
perhaps the best new singlehanded sailing boat 
since the Laser

Cup-holders on boats 

The winter solstice

Trapezoid courses

Form N-400



My blog readers 
especially those of you who 
take the trouble to leave a comment 
or send me an email

Waking up





 especially rum after sailing 

The farmers, growers, fishers, brewers, and winemakers 
of New England 

The Oxford comma 

IEEE 802.11

Rule 43.1(a) 


The Leinster Burger 
at Aidan's Pub 

especially beer after sailing 

All the people who work in restaurants and bars and pubs 

Even More Extreme Sudoku
Antoine Alary 

Six little people