Friday, November 21, 2014

R.I.P Old Friend

 For many years I was "the guy in the green hat."

Then for a few more years I was in my flowery hat phase. For part of that time I was in my flowery hatted bearded marxist phase.

In the last few years I have been "the guy in the orange hat."

It's true. Once I find a sailing hat that fits well, I tend to wear it all the time, year after year, until I lose it or it falls to pieces. I have been wearing my orange hat for…

… sailing with friends in Rhode Island...

….sailing with my granddaughter in Massachusetts...

…breaking Laser masts in the BVI…

…training in Florida...

…and hanging out in beach bars with friends in the Dominican Republic.

A lot of good times and happy memories.

That orange hat has had a long and fulfilling life.

But all good things must come to an end.

On our sailing trip to Menorca last month I noticed that my orange hat was falling to pieces.

It was time to arrange for it to be put to rest.

I've had this hat a long time.

As you can see it commemorated the East End Laser Series. As in East End of Long Island. I never sailed in the East End Laser Series. The hat was given to me by a friend who used to organize the East End Series. Maybe he still does. I guess he must have had some hats left over that year.

And so I had to say a sad goodbye to my orange hat in Menorca.

I did contemplate giving it a Viking funeral but, in the end, I threw it out in the trash.

So now it is rotting away in a landfill in Menorca.

Or perhaps it was incinerated and its ashes are blowing away in the Mediterranean breeze.

Either way I like to think it's a fitting end.

So now I have to choose a new hat for sailing from my vast selection of sailing caps.

Something I will proud to wear for at least 5 or 6 years.



O Docker said...

It is with great sadness that I read of the passing of your orange hat.

I think those of us who are follicularly challenged appreciate our hats more than do others. We depend upon them more completely. We are more vulnerable without them. They are all that separate us from the wind and the rain and the cold. And from the cruel and merciless sun.

Your hat stayed faithful to you and remained on the job until its very orangeness had all but vanished. What more can we ask of a hat?

The world will little note nor long remember what we type here, but it can never forget what your hat did here. Let us resolve that this hat shall not have died in vain, and that hats of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth.

Tillerman said...

Thank you O Docker. The scarcity of comments on my blog posts of late made me wonder if anybody is reading my blog any more.

/Pam said...

Doug's old, lucky, red hat started to fall apart too and as it became pink its luck seemed to fade as well. He's been interviewing a few replacements but they've all fallen short in the luck department. So he's decided to invest a little time training the one that tried to make a getaway at the Worlds since he was so happy to see it meet him at the ramp after a very long day that neither wanted to talk about. They came home yesterday all excited. They finished in first on a Snipe on a windy day when so many boats tipped that the fire department was called for rescues. And the memories begin ...

Good luck with your interviews ... don't be surprised if you have to take a couple of steps backwards as you train the replacement.

O Docker said...

You see, as /Pam's comment suggests, people develop emotional attachments with their hats more than with any other article in their wardrobe.

If you want to draw more comments, you would do well to focus on intense, personal stories like this one.

The blogosphere is rife with posts about the challenges of sailing an RS Aero upwind, or about the near impossibility of righting one from capsize. Where is the poignancy or pathos in that?

But an orange hat that has sacrificed its very orangeness to warm and comfort its wearer, with no regard for its own well being - there is the stuff of great blog posts.

Tillerman said...

Thank you for the advice O Docker. This orange hat did indeed make many sacrifices for me. It was almost lost in the Mediterranean until I gave up racing and went back to recover it. And it was almost lost in the Solent until that kind rescue boat driver went and rescued it and returned it to me.

The blogosphere is actually rife (now) with posts and videos about how easy it is do RS Aero capsize recoveries. Apparently 50 lbs sailors and 300 lbs sailors can do it with ease. Sailors are doing it in heavy winds and light winds. They are doing it dry and doing it wet. They are doing it with and without turtles. They are doing it over the side and over the transom. I can't imagine what has provoked the powers-that-be in RS Aero land to post so many videos of capsize recoveries in the last few weeks. There's certainly very little poignancy or pathos in them.

As to /Pam's point about lucky hats. I see that the last time I won a real Laser regatta (as opposed to the ones at Minorca Sailing or Bitter End YC) was in 2008 and I was wearing a blue running hat (which I still have.) I know this because the prize for winning the regatta was a framed photo of me winning the regatta. Maybe I should start wearing that blue hat again?

Miles Davis said...

...Maybe I should start wearing that blue hat again?...

All hats are derived from the blues.

What kind of blue?

Tillerman said...

"All hats are derived from the blues." Really?

I'm not sure if my hat is Delta Blue or Chicago Blue. Or perhaps it's more of a Memphis Blue.

Luke said...

C'mon. You won a regatta in the blue hat and you're still procrastinating? There is no decision to be made. If I won a regatta, i'd be sailing in the same hat, shirt, booties and underwear. Forever.

Ps We're reading every word.

Tillerman said...

I am still wearing my magic underwear from 2008.

Luke said...

I'll stand upwind.

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