Tuesday, June 26, 2007

No Croakers, No Nervous Lubbers

There is a peculiar charm in the indefinable feeling of undivided responsibility to which the single-hand cruiser becomes a willing slave as he roams over the high seas in his wee barkie, free from care, far from the harassing annoyances of the world’s artificial life, his own master, in close relations with a boon companion, his ever-ready, trusty little ship. Though friends be left behind in dusty cities, he finds a fresh and congenial substitute in the intimate acquaintance of his boat, for soon he learns to invest his floating home with a personality, causing the boat’s character to appeal to his appreciation as though being endowed with actual life. He discovers the brave, sturdy qualities his ship may possess, and approvingly recounts them over and over to himself. He finds she is not perfect, and seeks to correct her weaknesses and caprices. He handles her tenderly and with care. She becomes the apple of his eye. There are no “guests” forever asking to be put ashore, wanting to catch an impossible train or boat, nuisances who no sooner board the yacht than their selfish thoughts are concentrated upon the best method of fetching up where they came from. There are no croakers, no nervous lubbers chafing at a few hours’ calm, fretting about getting somewhere in the least possible time, as though the yacht were a tiresome prison, and the sea and its ever-changing attractions tasteless for heroes of the barroom, billiard cue, or for the dandy knights of the carpet. There are no sideshows underway, no cards down below, no boisterous skylarking under the lee of the mainsail, no store clothes to mar the ideal of amateur life at sea, nothing to interfere with the devotion to the cause and the realization of the dream fancy has perhaps depicted to the longing tar through dreary months of waiting. His ship, his world—the rest of the world, his convenience.

That’s the opening paragraph
to an article that appeared
1887, in a magazine
Small Yachts

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