Sunday, July 18, 2010

Noodling Around the Hog

A few days ago I wrote a post trying to explain why I like Laser sailing so much. I contrasted it with cruising in larger boats, those boats on which you can sleep, do the washing-up, maintain your winches, sand down your teak, and have a good shit if the mood takes you. I've never really wanted a boat on which I can do the washing-up.

I guess one of the commenters to that post misunderstood what I was saying. It wasn't meant to be an argument for racing vs cruising. It was really trying to explain why I enjoy little boats rather than those bigger boats on which you sleep and shit and do the washing-up. My confused commenter wrote...

Sometimes I like just noodling around, with maybe only one sail up and no particular place to go - something I think would drive most racers nuts.

For me, there's something magic about just being out there, just making a sailboat go - something very primal that I still don't quite understand.

Actually I agree with him. I like "just noodling around" too. Last Thursday I took my Laser over to Bristol (again) and just noodled around. Actually I sailed around Hog Island which is the island in the mouth of Bristol Harbor. It was downwind all the way until I rounded the lighthouse and then a nice long beat all the way around the south side of the Hog and back to the beach.

There was no purpose to it. I wasn't consciously working on any racing skills. It didn't drive me nuts. I was just making a sailboat go.

Very primal.


Does this mean I am not a real "racer"?

Or does it just mean I don't like washing up?


O Docker said...

I don't think I was any more confused than I usually am.

Your post was typically complex, redolent of varied themes, which is a polite way to say you were wandering again. But this is to be expected in folks of our age.

One of your themes was that some things in life you could take or leave - like visiting Philadelphia or sailing in 'cruising' boats, but that Laser sailing was something vital to you. As an example of that vitalocity, you said,

"...Even an iffy sort of day like the racing last Tuesday evening leaves me satisfied..."

From which I inferred or you implied (I can never remember which) that the racing part of that was one of the vital bits.

At any rate, I'm happy to learn that you like to noodle, which is, for me, one of the more enjoyable pasta sailing.

I do know that some racers are bored to just sail around without anyone to race against. And, curiously, I've noticed the same amongst cyclists, too. Some of us like to put a few changes of clothes and a toothbrush in a bag, strap them on the bike, and just take off for a week or two, but most bike racers would find that the most boring thing in the world.

I still think there is a racing gene that some of us have and some don't.

Hmmm... blog post?

Baydog said...

I'd never wear genes while sailing.
I wear shorts every day of the year, don't you know?

Don't like washing up? Tillerman, you don't at least spray your baby off after you noodle?

Tillerman said...

O Docker, you are right, there are some racers who don't see the point in just noodling around. I'm not one of them. In fact the older I get the more I enjoy noodling. Maybe there's a noodling gene too?

Baydog, my baby says it's none of your business what we do after noodling.

frankie said...

"Noodling or racing, that is ze question"... is that by Shakespeare or something? I tend to noodle round life.

Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

The way you describe it, Tillerman, is you were a far piece from 'noodling around'. You were getting a workout. If you were on one of those motorboats with sails, that wouldn't have happened. You were more like jogging than noodling.

Bubbles said...

Noodles? Like, I, like, totally like noodles!

Bursledon Blogger said...


I think you'll find the Tillerman implied that he just likes the simplicity of small boats, especially the racing.

We might equally infer that Tillerwoman does most of the washing up!

Pat said...

Noodling around on a boat is probably okay, but I'm not so sure I want to know about spooning.

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