Saturday, October 10, 2015

plagued by hindsight...

Tim from the Retirement Project writes a letter, a musical interlude with an important message, and in the "aid for me but not for thee" department...

The other day someone mentioned how awful cruising must have been in the "old" days (in this case I believe the speaker was talking about anything before 2005) and, since I was actively cruising in said "old" days, it got me thinking.

Having now pondered on this subject for a couple of days I can't really think of much that was awful... Sure there were some exciting moments, some stuff broke, and making ends meet was always a consideration but awful wasn't anywhere near the program.

Today, I'll grant that electronics are a lot better and the needful bits are actually cheaper than they used to be, so that's a plus. But, on the other hand, electronics (or anything electric) on boats are still just problems waiting to happen and while they may be cheap these days, they are no longer user repairable for the most part so I'll say we did a bit of a one step forward two steps back in the progress department on that front.

Boats are a lot bigger, more expensive, and carry a lot more stuff but I hardly count that as progress. As it happens, most of the people I see on bigger more expensive boats don't seem all that much happier than people on smaller, cheaper, and simpler boats. I'd make the case that the simpler the boat the happier most people are but, hey, I used to work in a chandlery in the Caribbean dealing with a lot of wealthy people needing to fix stuff on a regular basis and happy was never a word I'd ever use to describe any of them.

That said, cruising is different today and very little of the changes are in my view better... I won't go as far to say things are worse but they are different. A lot of the so-called progress is fixing stuff that never needed fixing and finding new and cunning ways to extract more profit from those of us who feel the call to sail away to some place where things are simpler and make sense.

So, the question... is progress without hindsight any kind of progress at all?

Listening to Julia Nunes

So it goes...