Are we having fun yet?

Wednesday Afternoon, June 30, 2021
Latitude 44o 32’ N
Longitude 46o 21’ W
1528 nautical miles to Fastnet Light, Ireland (2/5 of the way there)

Is it fun sailing across open ocean? This is a question that I often get asked (especially by my wife) and my response is to search for another word to best sum up the experience. Inspirational, humbling, fatiguing, rewarding, many things, but typically not best described as fun. Since the individual asked the question to begin with, the next questions is usually a rhetorical, “then why do it?” Along the seafaring coast of Maine, the response to announcing that you’re going blue water sailing is more typically, “I wish I could go with you.” To the non-sailor’s credit, the question is asked to better understand an alien experience.

For non-sailors a good analogy might be a 10K road race. Rarely is someone asked as they pick up their race package, “And will you be having fun during the race today?” If you will be, then you are probably one of those strolling at the back of the pack with a police car on your heels as you chat and laugh with your running companion while checking out the houses and scenery along the way. In that case you are smarter than the rest of us who are sucking in oxygen at mile 2, wondering how we can possibly maintain this pace for another 4.2 miles, and asking ourselves the question, “why am I doing this?” Why are you doing it? The camaraderie, the challenge, the bragging rights to be able to say you’ve completed a 10K, and perhaps most importantly the feeling of accomplishment as you cross the finish line … and perhaps even the doughnuts.
I look forward to sailing into Bantry Bay on the southern tip of Ireland after having experienced 2500 miles of magnificent ocean first hand. Flying over first-class might be more fun, but somehow just not the same.

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