Sunday, May 2, 2010


Displacement- The Weight, in tons, of the water displaced by the boat and its equipment.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Browsing Beth Leonard’s website A rare Sunday to take stock of what needs to be done and begin the daunting task of purging. We’re making our list - banking, medicals, inoculations, visas, coursework, insurance, provsioning, Crusty, and what to do with the house.

Robert Pirsig writes of the most common of phenomena, the idealist cruisers who, within a few months, have sold their boats in frustration and despair, and returned home. I wonder what we can be doing now to avoid becoming one of these disappointing statistics. Everything about our lives will change. How realistic are we about this lifestyle we’ve chosen?

Pirsig goes on to say that the desperation of getting off of the boat arises from a cruisers depression, where expectations of the romantic life on the sea hits head on with the realities of weather, finances, relationship tensions, equipment failure, language, and cultural dissonance. I wonder how prepared we are for the difficulties when we don’t even know what they are.

Displacement: the substitution of one for another. I’m reminded of the process of simply stepping on to the boat. Weight displaces from shore to boat and is only successful when balance is maintained throughout the movement. It requires being grounded and stable to begin with as the shift occurs. It also requires patience in knowing the precise moment for releasing full weight from the shore and onto the boat. I’ve fallen in because I haven’t paid attention and have been lucky to escape with a few bruises.

Pirsig goes on to write about the lessons learned from those who abandon ship early in the voyage, and how they were unprepared to live through the difficulties. The learning comes from difficulty, from falling in. I trust that we’ve been grounded enough in our lives so far to be able to face challenges with courage, patience, and resourcefulness.

Enough philosophy. Back to the boxes.

Cruising Blues and Their Cure By Robert Pirsig (originally published in Esquire, May 1977)

Their case was typical. After four years of hard labor their ocean-size trimaran was launched in Minneapolis at the head of Mississippi navigation. Six and one half months later they had brought it down the river and across the gulf to Florida to finish up final details. Then at last they were off to sail the Bahamas, the Lesser Antilles and South America. Only it didn't work out that way. Within six weeks they were through. The boat was back in Florida up for sale.
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I just found your blog. I appreciate your writing and your thoughts. We just ordered our boat to be delivered in September 2011.

Saturday, November 5, 2011 - 08:15 PM