Every few years, somebody casts off a perfectly nice dock, heads out onto the bounding main, and breaks the record for exceptional adventuring.
Among ocean-goers, minimalism makes the record: go small, go solo, go alternately powered. For instance, the Norwegian-American fellas who rowed from Manhattan to the Scilly islands in 1896, and then, just 'cause, they continued rowing their 18-foot clinker-built oak open skiff to Le Havre, France. (George Harbo and Frank Samuelson were Jersey clamming buddies, and their 55-day record stands still for two guys rowing.)
The 13.5-foot long Tinkerbelle sailed across the Atlantic in the mid-1960's (78 days of salty solitary, chronicled in a book entitled, helpfully, Tinkerbelle, the Story of the Smallest Boat Ever to Cross the Atlantic Nonstop.)
Then there's Father's Day, a boat only 5'4" long, which made the crossing from Newfoundland to Falmouth in 1993. The boat has an uncanny resemblance –– to my way of looking –– to a large Igloo® cooler. That sailor famously was nearly unable to walk after his 105-day crouch.
It's my nature to draw parallels. A good metaphor makes me unaccountably joyful, much like cash found in the street.
So when Jeff reverse jack-in-the-boxes into his 2.4 Meter, I think, "Does it look as if he is sailing his own boot?"
Giving the boat a titanic boost off the dock, I wonder, "Is that what Paul Bunyan would look like if he traded Babe for Courageous?"
I almost think we saw models at the New York Yacht Club that dwarf the 2.4.
But as we say of one-design racing, if all your friends are racing turtles, race a turtle. Or in this case, race an HO-scale turtle.
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