Latitude home Latitude 38



The Webmistress tried three times to delete the oldest items - and just couldn't do it. So they've been moved here, for you to enjoy - again!

Bookmark and Share

On piloting a Laser, and not racing:
"My competition is with myself and the water planet: Sailing a Laser, you hang suspended with one hand in the ocean (tiller) and the other hand connected to the sky (mainsheet). You are the pivot point between these two great fluids, the two worlds, and you get to go along for the ride." - Dennis Olson, Tomales Bay

Here is something that jumped out at me from the pages of an out-of-print book called Tinkerbelle by Robert Manry. It is the story of his solo 78-day Atlantic crossing in the mid-'60s from Falmouth, Massachusetts, to Falmouth, England, in a 13.5-ft sailboat.
"To me, nothing made by man is more beautiful than a sailboat underway in fine weather, and to be on that sailboat is to be as close to heaven as I expect to get. It is unalloyed happiness."
- Pat Brennan (now sailing a 14-ft West Wight Potter, but not planning on leaving the Bay.)

Aristotle was asked, "What things should an intelligent person acquire?"
He replied, "Those things which will swim with you when your boat sinks."
- Kurt Forrest Sears

Live every day as though it were your last, for one day you are sure to be right.
- Miki G, Santa Cruz (heard in the movie Breaker Morant)

Submitted by Bill Krumme:
"Nothing sucks. Atmospheric pressure pushes."
Thanks Bill, I'll use that one on my ten-year-old!

Here are a couple Zenisms that have been floating around the Internet lately:
"Duct tape is like the force: It has a dark side and a light side, and it holds the universe together."
"There are two theories about arguing with women. Neither of them works."
- Bill Harding

There is nothing that duct tape or roses can't fix. - John Egils Avots, Laiva

In the long run, all solutions are temporary, so go ahead and use duct tape.
- Garrison Keillor (submitted by John Parks)

Nothing is so permanent as a good temporary fix. - John Reinhart

The minimalist theory of maintenance: If it doesn't move and it should, spray it with WD40. If it does move and it shouldn't, wrap it with duct tape.
(submitted by Bill Harding but ripped off from somewhere)
Hey, Bill...Can we use the duct tape on the kids?
Russ Taft let us know that Bill ripped off (kinda) the Duct Tape Guys
(Jim & Tim) who have written two books (?!?!) about Duct Tape and WD40.
Dominic Haigh adds that if the duct tape left a sticky residue, clean it off with WD40.

Peanut butter works on old sticker/duct tape glue. - John Bachrach (Hunter's brother), Flagstaff, AZ

Erik Pedersen writes, "Not original, but this was on the best t-shirt (from Ala Wai Marine) I had in a long time (bought previous to my first passage on a '94 Pacific Cup yacht). With apologies to the fairer gender..." The gods do not deduct from a man's allotted span, those days spent sailing. - Ancient proverb

Taught the first day of Navy bootcamp.
If it moves, salute it.
If doesn't move, pick it up and stow it.
If you cannot pick it up, paint it.
- Jerry Steele s/v Seminole Wind

Cruising is fixing your boat in exotic places. - Co Webb

Elizabeth (Sissy) to Christomanos 1892 (Austria):
The points of destination are only worth seeking out because of the journey required to reach them. Wherever I may be, if I were told to stay there, even paradise would become hell to me. The thought of having to leave somewhere touches me and endears it to me. And so it is that each time I bury a dream, so quickly forgotten, only to yearn for a new one. - Bogdan Szafraniec

Found at a garage sale by Doug Nordby of s/v Trulah A.:
It's easy to drift with the current swift. Just lie in your boat and dream. But in nature's plan, it takes a real man [or woman], to paddle the boat upstream.

A quote from an old friend and boss of mine, Bill Sarima, "We are all HERE, because we are not all THERE."
Suitable for times when we question our choices and/or sanity, moments of shared frustration at work or when sailing, lost and/or scared and feeling it's all a little nuts. - Phil Foreman

David Turpin sends us this one:
"Them that dies'll be the lucky ones." - Long John Silver in Treasure Island

Marty Siefka of the Ericson 27 Aliel writes, "O Wise Webmistress," (obviously a very sharp reader) "Reference David's reference: David Fullerton of the Express 37 'Mudshark', sends us this rule of boat maintenance: 'For every big problem there is a simple answer, and it's wrong.' - Author unknown The original quote is a valuable guide for everything we sailors attempt, and continues to be a personal favorite, primarily from familiarity with the experience. It goes thus: 'There is always an easy solution to every problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.' - H.L. Mencken "

From Ted Rogers:
"Greatness is not in where we stand, but in what direction we are moving. We must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it but sail we must, and not drift, nor lie at anchor." - Oliver Wendell Holmes
Another version of this quote, submitted by Dave Mathers:
"We find the greatest thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of Heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it; but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor."
(I have this framed in my Catalina 36 2GODWEO)

John Vigor of Whidbey Island, WA, writes:
I know your prohibition on poetry, but this isn't poetry, it's doggerel, which is a fish of another kettle altogether. I memorized it decades ago, but have no idea where it comes from:
'Twas in the tropic latitudes,
While we were talking platitudes,
As any sailor might,
We forgot to take our longitude,
Which was a grievous wrongitude,
So we did not reach Hong Kongitude
Till very late that night.

Mike Geer writes, "I don't know where I heard this, but maybe you could use it...."
Sailboats are safe in a harbor. But that's not what boats were made for.

To quote Mark Twain:
"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than by the things you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

Thanks very much to Gregory Sherwood for this cool quote from Robert Heinlein:
"A Human Being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently and die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."

Theory & Practice: with Mike (Astronomical Society of the Pacific) Bennett

"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is."

It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
- Robert Gyori (Thanks to Erasmus Desiderius)
And don't we all know boats that fit that description on the race course.

Joanne Varney, quoting Herb Payson, says: "Between the dream and the deed lie the doldrums."

Steve Whitmore laments: "You can never get all the sand out of the dinghy." Or other, more personal places! (read on)

Heloise-ish hint from your webslave:
Even after a full day of bodysurfing a good hot shower should do the trick... especially if you invest in one of those hand-held shower head jobbies. You're welcome...

Ben Dahlin (F-24 Waterbug) ripped this off from the Corsair Marine Homepage
"Something about sailing a boat brings so many senses and sensations into play that it's very difficult to pinpoint what it is, specifically, that makes me like it so much: the sight of sails and sheets overhanging the water; the foam and spray flying as the bow(s) cut the water; the motion of the boat; the physical and mental ballet necessary to handle the boat correctly. A sailboat might just be the most beautiful, sensuous, and intelligent blend of man/machine/elements that exists in the world today. The relationship between the three is the most harmonious I have experienced so far. Besides, you can have a beer while you do it."

Ray Thackeray says:
"There are three types of skipper:
those who are aground,
those who are about to go aground...
...and the bastards who lie about it."
William Servais adds that if you haven't been aground, you haven't been around.

David Skillings has noticed that:
Cruisers don't have plans, just intentions.

Ed Koepsel's toast...
"May the warm wind at your back not be your own."

"It's not just a Jibe, it's an Adventure!"
Ricardo Grande (Richard Deveau) on Surefire

Ray Thackeray, on trying to work on both sides of the mast while hanging in a bosun's chair:
"I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous."

Jack Chalais...sailing's version of "Lather, Rinse, Repeat"...
You buy an 8-ft soft transom dinghy because it's inexpensive and stows easily in the lazerette, but will not carry 4 adults. You replace it with a 10 footer with a 10 hp engine that will take 4 adults, but will not go as fast as a 12-footer with a 20 hp. You trade the 10 in on a 14-footer with a 30 and go even faster. You put the 14 in the garage because you can no longer stow it on the foredeck. You buy an 8-ft dinghy that's economical and stows easily in the lazerette.

Submitted by Rob Moore (not our Rob Moore, Schwab's Rob Moore)
"Money is not the only thing one has to spend; the other thing is life. The difference is that you never know how much is in the bank, or what your balance is. Your life is your inheritance. As soon as you realize this, you start trying to spend your life wisely." - From "Advice to the Sealorn" by Herb Payson.

Rick Kennerly's rule #1: (Thanks to Russell Turpin)
A small boat and a suitcase full of money beats a 40-footer tied to the Bank every time.

This new ship here is fitted according to the reported increase of knowledge among mankind. Namely, she is cumbered end to end, with bells and trumpets and clock and wires . . . she can call voices out of the air of the waters to con the ship while her crew sleep. But sleep Thou lightly. It has not yet been told to me that the Sea has ceased to be the Sea. - Rudyard Kipling

Kent Benedict submits the following and reflects:
"The man who would be fully employed should procure a ship or a woman, for no two things produce more trouble" - Plautus 254-184 B.C.
Humbly admitting that I have fallen under the siren spell of both, and many times, I now believe I am beginning to understand the history of my life... And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Greg Sherwood's startup screen reminds him every day that:
"We're out here on the sea's sufferance - not as equals, certainly not as challengers. Because the sea can't lose. Only we can lose."

And on a lighter note, definitions:
"Navigation is what tells you where you are, even when you aren't."
Definition of Adventure: Agony in retrospect. (from the Georgia Canoing Assn. via Mike Kaplan)

And on a scarier note, Jeffrey M. Deuel shares one of his "pesky psychotic episodes." Hmmmm...
"I have smelled death and stared it in the face as the last glimmer of consciousness faded from the eyes of a man whose head I held in my hands. My greatest fear in life is not death, but waking up some morning ordinary and predictable."
Dear Jeff,
You should sail more, maybe in a sunny place?
Your Friend,
The Webslave

J.R. Dicks has checked...and he notes:
"There are three kinds of people in the world,
Those who can count and those who can't."

Seen on the Hunter Owners Web:

"There are only three kinds of (fiberglass) boats. Those that have blisters; those that had blisters and those that will have blisters."

An awesome quote submitted by Kay...
People have asked us many times if we miss friends when we're sailing. I wonder if they really mean miss. How can I miss something I actually have? Probably they mean long for. Yes, I can long for friends, but I don't think that's bad or painful. That type of yearning is due to an appreciation for someone or something and is a catalyst for feeling thankful. Ashore, on the other hand, where it appears as though everything is available all the time, I often miss the feeling of longing. - Deborah Shapiro & Rolf Bjelke, Time on Ice (about Northern Light's Antarctic expedition 1989-1992)

An inspiration to do it now - before a cruise ship is your only option...
"What if the spell of a place falls upon a youthful heart, and the bright horizon calls! Many a thing will keep till the world's work is done, and youth is only a memory. When the old enchanter came to my door, laden with dreams, I reached out with both hands. For I know that he would not be lured with the gold that I might offer later, when age had come upon me." - Viking's Wake, Richard J. MacCullaugh
(thanks to Bern Juracka - Now get out there!)

If it ain't broke only a Sailor will fix it. When is good, good enough? Is it just the paranoid in all of us, or just the need to repair that keeps us fooling around with stuff that just might go bad? Work all day on that one thing that may not need fixing and have a great sense of accomplishment. Oh I guess we call that Maintenance! - DPRMAR

Still on the subject of boat repairs: "Working on the boat is the reason for owning a boat. Going on a voyage is only to ensure that there will be something to work on when you get back." - spotted in 48 North by Bob Beda, LaBoo

Saline, Saline... Karen Wilhoite warns "Sailors who wear contact lenses should watch out for salt water in their eyes. According to a sailing friend, when she got salt water in her eyes while wearing contact lenses, she was unable to see. Her eyes focus properly while wearing the lenses when the saline solution is properly balanced. The salt water changed the balance and she was unable to see clearly." Which is kind of important.
Question to folks who don't wear contact lenses:
Can you see clearly when you get salt water in your eyes?

And a dissenting opinion...Pete Mohler replies:
The wisdom comment about salt water being bad for contact lens wearers is completely untrue. 180 degrees out in fact. I wear contacts (soft) and sail International 14s. Just had our Worlds in the Circle, you know. I never have a problem with salt water in the eyes, in fact this Worlds is the first time I lost a contact in 12 years of I14 sailing. Note that lots of water is bad, but the salt part doesn't hurt. Far more difficult to handle is fresh water. Now fresh H2O is less dense than salt, and screws up my vision. Sailing in the Gorge, Lake Tahoe, Clear Lake and the Delta are always more trouble than the Ocean or Bay. Tears are salt water, and the stuff you use to rinse and clean contacts is in fact a saline solution, salt water, only sterile.

"Life's a reach...Then you jibe." This one's been spotted in quite a few places . . . A red Miata, a VW Van and a tattoo where?!?!

From Raul Ronin...
"It is infinitely easier to shake out a reef when one is bored, than it is to try to tie one in when one is scared."

Hunter Bachrach's wife Charlotte says:
"A wooden boat is a temporary state between dirt and dirt."

Tom Leweck's tip for prospective ocean racers...
"If you want to be an ocean racer, you have to learn to take the bad with the shitty!"

Les Yamamoto's Foredeck Decree:
When I do something right, no one remembers.
When I do something wrong, no one forgets.

Physics 101 with DJ Parker:
An object in motion tends to stay in motion . . . until it hits the dock!
And a related definition:
EXPERIENCE, is what you get . . . about 5 seconds after you need it.

Phil Arnold defines EXPERIENCE thusly:
Experience is that what you got when you didn't get what you wanted.
(Phil's daughter got experience for Christmas...she asked for a pony)

Cruising Defined and Mother's Moods
Cruising is going from one port to another - to fix your boat.
While going to weather, Mother Nature always has PMS.
(submitted by Walt Lindsay)

More Definitions:
Flashlight: A cylindrical object that is used to store dead batteries.
Sailing: The art of going someplace slowly, while getting wet, enduring the elements, at great expense. - D Sawyer

Neil Calvert responds:
The definition of sailing was a little weak. It goes like this:
"Sailing: the art of getting wet and becoming ill while slowly going nowhere at great expense." - as quoted from my refrigerator magnet.
I basically disagree with that but it's conversational.

A definitive definition of sailing submitted by Tim Schaaf of Casual Water and Cabo San Lucas:
"Which is that sailing is the world's most expensive way to travel Third Class!"

Another take on the same subject:
To experience sailing, do two things:
1. Stand in a cold shower with all your clothes on.
2. Tear up $100 bills.
- (unknown) sent in by Paul Carr

And another version goes like this -
If you are thinking about living aboard a boat, perform this test before you commit: move everything you own into your bathroom, then take a cold shower while burning $100 bills. - Gary Jones, s/v Traveler, Alameda

Greg Stevenson of Orcas Island found something similar scribbled on the wall of the dockside public restroom at Mariner Square in Alameda: "Sailing San Francisco Bay can be simulated in the privacy of your own home by standing in a cold shower and ripping up $100 bills."

Here's a version for racers:
Racing a boat with sails is like standing in a cold shower and throwing $100 bills in the air. - Trevor Steel

Just This Once! (The only poetry you'll find on our site)

One ship sails east, and the other west
On the selfsame winds that blow.
'Tis the set of the sails and not the gales
That decide the way to go.

Like the winds of the seas are the ways of fate,
As the voyage along through life.
'Tis the will of the soul that sets its goals
And not the calm or the strife.

Edna Wheeler Wilcox
(submitted by Don Ziesmer, who pled ignorance of Latitude's firm NO POETRY position)

"If you are going to allow only one poem lets get it right," says Patsy Verhoeven. "The author is Ella Wheeler Wilcox (not Emma) 1850-1919 and her poem goes:

The Winds of Fate
One ship drives east and another drives west
With the selfsame winds that blow.
'Tis the set of the sails,
And Not the gales,
That tell us the way to go.
Like the winds of the sea are the ways of fate;
As we voyage along through life,
'Tis the set of a soul
That decides its goal,
And not the calm or the strife.

"Her quote 'Love lights more fires than hate extinguishes' can be seen inscribed on a paving slab in Jack Kerouac Alley in San Francisco (next to the City Lights Bookstore)

"Great page of wisdom!" Thanks Patsy. It got so long, now it's two pages.

And why do you, lad, look so pale? Is it for love, or lack of ale? - Old capstan chanty
There are three sorts of people: those who are alive, those who are dead, and those who are at sea. - Anacharsis, 6th Century B.C.
There is not anything in all the earth as wonderful as that first scent of shore to sailormen come in from deep-sea voyaging - except it be a woman's kiss, she the right woman. - Bill Adams (These submitted by Craig McClung)

"Powerboaters are always trying to get somewhere....sailors are already there!" - Mike McIntire

A couple of variations on the above observation:

"A powerboat and a sailboat both went to sea. From the powerboat, voices asked - when will we get there? From the sailboat, voices answered - we are!!!" - Jim Nelson

The difference between power boaters and sailors: power boaters want to BE somewhere; sailors simply want to GO somewhere. - Steve Gray, Weymouth, England

How can we miss you if you don't sail away? - Bill Schmiett

g.a. piffero (aka e.e. cummings - hates capital letters) replies:
how can i get lost? i don't know where i'm going!

Bookmark and Share

Want to help with the process? Send Wisdom submissions (sailing subjects only please) to the .


'Lectronic Latitude | Download the Magazine | Crew List & Party
Calendar | Letters | Changes in Latitudes | Features
Classy Classifieds | Place a Classy Ad | Advertisers' Links | Display Advertising
Links | New Stuff | Subscriptions | Distribution | Contact Us | Home
  The West's Premier Sailing & Marine Magazine.
© 2015 Latitude 38 Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.