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Old 11-15-2012
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Morgan 33 O.I. Perryville
 
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Re: The Cruising Community

This is my first extended cruise, and at my age, it may be my last. I've met so many wonderful people from the head of Chesapeake Bay to south Florida, folks that have been friendly, always willing to help when problems arrise, and I'm more than willing to assist them in any way I can. They are from a diverse life, but all seem to have one thing in common - the love of sailing.

As an entertainer, I'm constantly in contact with large numbers of individuals, many of which could care less about sailing, or boating. Most tend to live in small communities where no one knows or talks with their next-door neighbor. Things have really changed over the years, particularly with the advent of IPhones, the Email, and the impersonal aspects of the Internet itself. While technology is a wonderful thing, to me, at least, this same technology has eroded the personal aspects of everyday life.

A few days ago I visited my brother and his family. Everyone was physically attached to their IPhone. It never left their hand, they were constantly checking for text messages, emails, etc... The world beyond the end of their fingers didn't seem to exist. Little babies were allowed to freely run around the house and constantly get into things that could potentially harm them. The only time the phone was put away was when a loud crash and the sound of breaking glass was heard in another room.

People walking down the streets in this small community were glued to their IPhones as well. Young ladies were out walking/jogging, wearing headsets, and every one of them had a phone in their hands. Many were not paying any attention to where they were walking, some walked across busy streets without looking up from their phones and I was amazed that none were killed or injured while I was there.

The same holds true for those driving cars. While in many states it's illegal to talk or text while driving, it's a law that's completely ignored. Nearly every driver had a phone jammed in their ear, and many were seen texting with their Iphones and IPads resting on the car's steering wheel. This is INSANE!

Fortunately, in the sailing community, life seems to be a bit like it was before IPhones and similar devices. Sure, most sailors have them, but that electronic device doesn't seem to dominate their lives. To me, at least, this is a breath of fresh air. People introduce themselves to perfect strangers, friendships are developed, and old friendships are rekindled. That's the way life should be.

For me, that cellular telephone plays a minor role. It's a great form of communications, but it's secondary to the best form of communication - interaction with people by reaching out and shaking their hand, helping them with the docklines, inviting them for dinner, mixing them a Green Coconut Margaretta, and in my case, having fun while singing with me during one of my musical performances.

Cheers,

Gary
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