Saturday, October 18, 2008

Why I Don't Have a Bucket List

My frequent commenter Mr O'Docker sent me these thoughts on bucket lists...

Reading Tillerman's post, and Edward's, I saw many familiar thoughts about compiling a 'bucket list'.

I didn't think I had enough 'must-do's' to make a decent list, either.

I've never crossed an Ocean, but that's fine with me. I have sailed in some cool places and don't feel like I need to add many more to the list. (OK, I've got to sail St. Barts, but that's it - really.)

If I have one 'great quest' it's to sail down the California coast, from San Francisco to Catalina, taking my time and stopping in as many harbors as possible. But even that is no heroic feat. There's not much risk in it and hundreds of people do it every year.

But I think I may have already achieved one of the most elusive accomplishments any sailor can - one that both Tillerman and Edward mention. I've gotten my spouse to actually like sailing.

This is a subject that almost deserves its own blog (the next writing project?). Since man first went down to the sea in ships, he's been trying to get woman to go along. Sometimes, the roles are reversed, but not often. My own struggle has lasted almost 25 years (and began on one of those confounded Lasers). But finally, this summer, we did our first long trip out the Gate and my wife returned eager to go again. There's a good chance now that we may spend much of our retirement afloat - together, on a sailboat, of all things.

How cool is that? I'm a very lucky man.

I may need a bucket, but not a list.


Anonymous said...

I read an article somewhere that bqsically said if you want your wife to like sailing passages you have to make it less work than being home. If she has to pack, stock the galley, cook and wash etc she is not going to enjoy herself. Help out as much as you can and make sure it is a vacation for her too. The article was well written and more thorough but that was the basic premise.

Joe said...

I love this post, it has inspired me to pull a bucket out of the basement and paste it onto to the side of the barn.

Anonymous said...

Oh no! I started on a Laser and faced a 25-year struggle. And Tillerman says Tillerwoman still doesn't like sailing.

Joe, if I'd started on a Force 5, would life have been easier?

Tillerman said...

Tillerwoman and I actually learned to sail together on a two man dinghy called a 350 at Minorca Sailing in the Med in the early 80's. At the end of the vacation we won the beginners' race which created in me the delusion that I might actually have some talent at sailboat racing and started a lifelong, mainly fruitless, quest to win some more sailing races.

The experience created in Tillerwoman a lifelong delusion that she doesn't like sailing. About ten years ago she did weaken in her delusion one summer and suggested that I teach her to sail (again) in a Sunfish (not a Force 5 or a Laser). Things were going really well for a few weeks until she decided she was ready to try a capsize drill. (In my experience teaching others, people usually find this more fun than they think it will be and it is usually a real confidence builder.) We gently capsized the boat and Tillerwoman successfully righted it and climbed back on board. She then announced that she was right the first time and she really doesn't like sailing.

However about once every two or three years I do persuade her to go sailing in something like a Rhodes 19 or a J24 on the strict condition that "I don't have to pull any bits of string or hold that stick thing, and you have to make sure it doesn't tip too much."

I live in hope.

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