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Photo by Rick Jamison on Unsplash

I’m not a Covid denier but it feels the pendulum has swung a little too far.

Risk is a part of life and it’s often what makes things exciting. Isn’t it that soupcon of peril that makes the adventure? You don’t have to take your life and put it on 50 feet of sailboat down the middle of the North Atlantic but at very least, get out of dodge! And there are plenty of reasons to take a clear, bright blue, sunshiner of a risk.

While the strict isolation of 12 days at sea is a quarantine in itself, if you ask the Medical Person in Charge about our ride down, she would rather have strapped on an N-95 and hopped on a plane. …


And So Appropriate in the Age of Social Media, Declinism and Fake News

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I know it’s not real but I thought maybe there’d be a fleeting hint of it

Or at least that’s the way it feels after two weeks at sea, heading down the middle of the Atlantic for the Caribbean on a 50 foot sailboat.

Maybe it was all those videos I watched, the cute couple who saved and bought a sailboat after living on ramen noodles, a vegetable garden and tap water for several years. That carefully documented dream where everything is so blonde and tanned and cute and perfect.

It’s the lifestyle equivalent of false advertising and yet it just looks so good and no amount of filters or staging can get that blue, that offshore, blue water blue. …


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There are traces of it online. Of course, there are traces of everything online, even the stuff that barely happened; fuck, especially the stuff that barely happened. That’s what gets all the clicks. All those mild pretenses everyone has the good manners to like just the same, politely investing in each other with an amused deference to ancient habit, to reciprocity. And yet, there’s still that cold, scarcely acknowledged anticipation, calculations we never fully made before the algorithm and its new values.

I can’t even remember the last time I was abroad. It was years ago, when Mom was still alive. She sent me this long, winding email, the sort I haven’t received or replied to since. Almost as if she knew something, knew that for a brief moment I was where I was meant to be. It was the South of France, even if it was working on yachts, barely scraping by scraping hulls, living in a tiny room with a shower and bathroom down the hall. …


Against Self-Consciousness

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I think it was being asked about my origin story. It seemed harmless, but I couldn’t get past it. I just stood there, stalled by the wrong sort of possibility. I couldn’t get past the sense of making one rather than finding it.

I couldn’t settle on the overall biography. The would be professional who put to sea, chasing one of the last earthly intensities? The East Coaster living the implicit dream of everyone back at the yacht club he worked at two summers? …


It Should Be in Your Habits

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Travel, as most people now know it, started as the Grand Tour, the travel and education of young English aristocrats in foreign languages, customs and cultures. Lord Byron getting about the Continent, gathering material for Childe Harold, scouring the ruins of the Mediterranean in search of that lingering magic from all the classics he read at Cambridge. Perhaps he sought a place where he might capture that correspondence between antiquity and the actual? What feels like a rare privilege, finding a fleeting or obscure quality that might still persist from ancient poet to present.

It’s still possible, but might take weeks of getting about the Aegean or Adriatic before you luck out with the right system of clouds and sunset to catch Homer’s wine dark sea. And by some contemporary, socially mediated insistence, what will it be, that open vista of richly colored water just off the stone quay, reaching out to Crete or Corfu. What for a moment etches itself in the memory — before a companion asks where the bathroom is, notices you’re sinking fascination and politely asks if you could send them a copy of the photo before they disappear (and inevitably complain about the facilities upon return). …

About

Notes from Aground

Surfing, sailing and writing things down, in no particular order. https://twitter.com/NoteFromAground

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