AFTER A LONG COLD winter deprived of sailing, the time for renewal and reaquaintance has arrived. Time to take up again with the old flame.
Have you caught yourself marveling at how beautiful your boat is? Are you constantly planning to make her even prettier? Does it make you sigh and bring on that deep feeling of joy when you close your eyes at night and remember what she looks like? Do you show pictures of her to your friends?
Be careful, my friend, you may be in love. Love is dangerous. Love is temporary insanity, a mind, soul, and body out of control. Love is blind to all faults. It lives only in the present, ignoring the lessons of the past and warnings about the future. Love has no strings on its purse; it never balances its checkbook. This is a recipe for several disasters — definitely financial, possibly mental, probably social.
What to do about it? Well, this is serious. The usual advice won’t suffice. Deep breaths and cold showers don’t make it.
The answer is Controlled Love, Restrained Affection. You must act like a Brit with a stiff upper lip. Don’t wear your emotions on your sleeve. Conceal them. Stay away from booze, which loosens inhibitions; reject the glittering temptations of West Marine; ignore yachting magazines whose airbrushed pictures and panting descriptions are calculated to incite unbridled lust and take wicked advantage of the love-lorn.
When you can regard your boat purely as a form of transport, as a faithful dog without legs, as a means of keeping you dry when you venture out into the restless wet, you will be cured.
How soon will this be? Frankly, nobody knows. It hasn’t happened yet.
There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.
— Francis Bacon, Essays: Of Beauty
Doc, I need help.”
“I’m 88 and still chasing women.”
“What’s wrong with that?”
“I can’t remember why.”
(Drop by every Monday, Wednesday, Friday for another Mainly about Boats column.)