1 LiveBloggin' the ICW: Guest Blogger Adds Perspective....

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Guest Blogger Adds Perspective....

My good friend and fellow sailor Al, from Melbourne FL, has provided an important viewpoint on my last post, which I'm quite pleased to reproduce here.

I liked your article. Nonetheless, I do offer a counterpoint, just to keep everyone from jumping on their boats and sailing off into the sunset.
I guess that for some reason or other, most people, at some point in their lives, think the Tom Sawyer or Henry David Thoreu lifestyle seems much more appealing that their current lifestyle. I think I may have dreamed those dreams myself at various crossroads in my life. Everyone cannot live that Tom Sawyer lifestyle for any number of reasons. Those that do, as you have chosen to do, are enriched by multitudes of friends, beautiful experiences, and so forth, as you mention in your writing. The "Tom Sawyers" , however, are enabled by those who remain in their daily routines and create, produce, teach, protect, build..... you get the drift of this, I'm sure. My early jobs of delivering newspapers, and clerking in soda fountains were mundane, but necessary for society to function. My professional jobs as a chemist helped to create more reliable US Navy shells for ships guns (stopping unplanned explosions) aboard ships. Just about everyone that is productive in our job-oriented society is "enabling" those in our society that are unproductive. 
I do not mean that 'wanderlust' in unproductive.. it is not. Unproductive members are those that sit on their lazy rear-ends and live off the rest of us. We all know who those are. 
Your writings and friendships are productive in that they teach those of us that can learn from you. You are actually an educator, speaker and an activist of sorts. You enrich folks lives. Many who have gone before you years ago, still today provide us with writings and tales to learn from. 
I have chosen to remain a landlubber but I take great satisfaction in helping my son achieve his goals. I like helping... its a good feeling, as you surely know. A couple years ago, we went and painted a friends house while he was fishing in Alaska. It needed done, but he was not of a mind to undertake the project. His wife, who stayed home from the fishing trip, supervised the job. There are a lot of support people living the landlubber life that provide services to those 'full-time' cruisers. From medical professionals to marine professionals... those are the people that "enable" the "Tom Sawyers."
Look forward to seeing you.

One of my greatest concerns is my 'karma'. Now before anyone thinks I'm going all TM on you, what I mean is that I am constantly the beneficiary of the kindness of folks such as Al and his wife Joyce. I figure I am so far behind on my own 'good deeds' that I'm going to have to live nearly forever to catch up. 
This blog is, in fact, a 'payback' of sorts. I hope to share, help, inspire, encourage, entertain, even enable and otherwise educate people about this lifestyle, and I often wonder if it counts in my favour at all as I enjoy doing this so much. 
If it's good for you, does it count in your favour, or does it go in the credit column and you have to work harder still? Talk about an existentialist conundrum!
Meet Al Harmon, helping me with some work on
my boat at his home in Melbourne FL last winter
Anyhow, Al and his wife Joyce are 'helping' people, or, as he says, 'enablers', although that does make us 'Tom Sawyer' types sound like we have a problem, doesn't it? If the truth were known, there are many enablers out there as any cruising sailor can tell you. 
In fact, this lifestyle would be so much more difficult without the folks who - in no particular order - loan their car, truck, offer up their washing machine, shower, warm bed (keep the minds out of the gutter please, lol), tools, and much, much more. 
At some future point, I'm going to dedicate a post to the folks like Al and Joyce, who provide the grease (and margueritas) that lubricate this lifestyle. Margueritas? Oh yes, Joyce makes a fabulous marguerita, and I'm looking forward to enjoying one in the fairly near future.