Saturday, February 15, 2014

Messing About in Boats

--Blog post written by Bob

My favorite quote is from Wind in the Willows, a children's book written by Kenneth Grahame in 1908.  It goes like this:

"There is nothing--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats."

For some reason I was never exposed to this book as a child.  Thinking that I should know more about the book, I recently purchased it and started reading.  This quote appears in the early part of the 183-page classic and Rat goes on further to explain to Mole: 

"Nothing seems to matter, that's the charm of it.  Whether you get away, or whether you don't, whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you're always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you've done it there's always something else to do..."

I have never encountered a better explanation what boating means to me.  It is like allowing your ambition to roam freely, doing anything you feel like doing at that moment.  One little action leads to another, maybe in an entirely different direction--so different that you wonder how you ended up where you did.

Organizing a drawer on the boat is an example of "messing about."

There are certainly times when I am very focused on a big boat project, but these are not the fun times of boating--it's hard physical work, usually in tight quarters, and often in the summer heat.  The fun times, on the other hand, involve dreaming and then doing little tasks--I don't even want to use the word "project" here.  The little tasks might be things like cleaning out a drawer (or the bilge!), putting a chafe guard on a dock line, calibrating a depth finder, or putting up a new colorful burgee (small triangular-shaped flag) on the flag halyard.  I hope you get the idea--it's doing a myriad of little (unrelated) things that you happen to enjoy doing at that moment.  These little things are done without obligation or pressure of any kind and time spent or schedule has no relevance.

Where else can you get this feeling?  Thanks for following our blog!

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