SailNet Community - View Single Post - philosopher's club, anyone?
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Old 03-26-2009
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CalebD CalebD is offline
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They were all smoking something Smacky, and had too much time on their hands. Immanuel Kant with his 'a priori' condition of our internal intuition postulates that we can only think in ways that we are pre-conditioned to. This explains a lot about the world of politics and even sailing.
Many say you should not sail a MacGregor 26' on the ocean yet it has been done. Robert Gainer crossed the Atlantic in his 20's on a nearly 25' sloop which was considered a daredevil feat by most but was just something he tried to do and succeeded.
One of the things I love about sailing is when there is almost nothing to do but monitor the sails, rigging, sea state and weather. It gives one a lot of time to think about how small we actually are and how by the grace of the elements we are slowly progressing across the surface of this vast globe. I guess that the globe seems a lot smaller to those who have been around it a few times: "Turn to starboard after Cape Horn and head NW for 2000 nm or so." Different minds and different mind sets = different strokes fo' different folks.
My only blue water experience gave me a few philosophical thoughts to ponder. Being trapped or free on a 51' sailboat with just one other person for 400 nm was enjoyable and our small microcosm of society did just fine for the 3+ days it took. Once back in the circus that is Miami airport with the throngs of our society flooding around me I missed the solitude and quiet of our little floating world where everything was dependable except the weather and even that had been pretty benign for our crossing from Tortola to the TCI, Provo. The hardest thing I found to deal with rationally was the loss of a horizon after dark on a nominal 3' ocean swell. The mast light hovered and moved like a UFO which I reasoned was not very likely but seemed quite apparently real. The noise of the boom as it tried to jibe against its preventer would produce a sound that to my ears was a short dog bark, yet we were over 100 nm from any shore with no dog on board. No, nighttime is the time when our imaginations can and do run riot over our mind and senses. Whether through an inner strength or if the hand of some higher power was in it I was able to reason through all of these seeming anomalies. There are many strange things that are out there that can either be 'the usual' to the experienced or 'mind bending' to the uninitiated.
The wonderful thing about being on a sailboat in decent weather is that you have some time to think about some of the conflicting signals your senses may be telling you and reason with your own demons.
Nietzsche may sneeze at this in his grave but I'd like to see him out there.
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