Monday, June 02, 2014

Who am I?

On Sunday I had the choice between driving over three hours to a regatta in New Hampshire, or driving about an hour to join some friends sailing in a local fleet in Massachusetts. So being lazy I chose the easier option and went to sail with my friends in Massachusetts.

I arrived at the same time as another Laser sailor whom I vaguely knew - we had sailed in some of the same regattas last year - but we had never spoken. So I introduced myself and he replied, "Oh yes. You're the Facebook Guy"


Facebook Guy?

Where does he get that from? We're not even friends on Facebook. Although I guess he has seen the odd Facebook post from me in sailing related groups or something. But I'm not that much of a Facebook fanatic, am I?

I'm not the Facebook Guy.

This is the Facebook Guy.

Anyway I unloaded my boat and rigged it, and my friends showed up and we launched. I was one of the first boats out on the course so I practiced a bit and the race officer blew a few practice starts for us. It was a glorious sunny day with about 8-10 knots of breeze and it actually felt like summer... at last.

It was way past the time that racing was supposed to start but some Lasers were still making their way out to the course so the race officer ran a "practice" race for us. The pin end of the line was favored and I nailed a pin-end start, led the fleet out to the left side of the course (which turned out to be the favored side all afternoon) and I was first at the windward mark and went on to win the race. That felt good.

Once the real races started I was usually around the middle of the fleet - as per normal - but I wasn't far away from the leaders and I was having fun.

The afternoon was passing quickly and somehow in the sixth race (or maybe the fifth or seventh - I had lost count) I played the left side again and won a "real" race.

Man, that felt really good.

So good in fact that I decided to call it a day. The wind was dying anyway and I didn't think they would get many more races in. (Only one as it turned out.) And by quitting while basking in the glow of victory I would enjoy that feeling all week.

I sailed back to the dock and derigged my boat. As I was packing up, a couple walked by and the man looked at my Rhode Island license plates and said with an incredulous tone, "Surely you didn't drive all the way from Rhode Island to sail here?" There may have even been a bit of a sneer on his face when he said "here."

Hmmm. I know Rhode Island is almost like heaven - sailing heaven anyway - but there's no need to put down other perfectly fine places by the ocean. So I explained, in my defense, that I had come "here" to sail with some friends, so the couple accepted by excuse and walked on.


Guy Who Drives All The Way From Rhode Island To Sail Here?

That is not who I am.

This is Guy Who Drives All The Way From Rhode Island To Sail Here.

This is who I am…


Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

Reading this post reminds me to check my Lotto tickets to see if I can afford to sail my next 'bucket' boat in Rhode Island. Or anywhere!

Tillerman said...

Second-hand Laser $3000. Launching fee at RI state park $0. Sailing in RI - priceless!

O Docker said...

I love these existential posts that appear to be about sailing, but actually ask much deeper questions.

Who are we, indeed?

Are we all parking meter repairmen in our minds, defined by our work, who happen to have chosen sailing as a way to unwind and to convene with other professionals who are similarly recharging their emotional batteries while disengaged from what brings real meaning to life.

Or do we come alive as sailors, only tasting life's richness at the helm of a boat, secretly hating the mindless grind of fixing one parking meter after another, down a one-way street to eternity?

I guess we could be none of that, and merely defined by the confusing drivel we post in the comments page of someone's else's blog.

Tillerman said...

Well said O Docker. The post is, of course, merely a parable intended to give deep insights into the meaning of life and the mysteries of personal identity.

George A said...

I lead a very rich life, in between shifts at the tooth paste factory.

Tillerman said...

I just saw a Geek Squad van parked outside one of my neighbor's houses. And I immediately had this vision that I really really want to be The Guy Who Drives The Geek Squad Van And Goes To People's Houses And Fixes All Kinds Of Techie Shit.

Wouldn't that be even more rewarding than winning a Laser race once every 5 years or so?

George A said...

Hmmm, I can see it now: "Tillerman, the cable-guy". Wow, what a vision.

Tillerman said...

Actually the Guy Who Drives The Geek Squad Van And Goes To People's Houses And Fixes All Kinds Of Techie Shit whom I saw this morning did look a lot like Larry the cable guy.

But it's never going to happen. I am hopeless at fixing techie shit. Even solving electrical faults with the lights on my boat trailer sometimes stretches my techie skills to the limits.

George A said...

Not to worry. You'll be perfect. Larry can't fix a damn thing either. All you need is an air of unpredictability--tell your customers that you're a busy guy doing busy guy "stuff" and that you'll arrive some time between 8am and the next winter Solstice.

O Docker said...

I think if I were young and single there might be no better way to meet damsels in distress than to be The Guy Who Drives The Geek Squad Van And Goes To People's Houses And Fixes All Kinds Of Techie Shit.

harrymvt said...

Next time, take the 3-hour drive up to our regatta in NH. We'll call you by your proper name, "the man from Mars."

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