Tuesday, March 01, 2022

on the passing of Les Powles...

A simple explanation on the proper use of a song, something from the "Freudian slip" files, and a side hustle of note...

Maybe it's just part of being a certain age, but it seems that everyday there's at least one more person I admire shrugging off the mortal coil.

Les Powles is no longer with us.

Les Powles is a good example. Back when I was building a catamaran outside of Paris, I came across his book "Hands Open" which chronicled building his 34ft sailboat "Solitaire" and sailing off to points further.

I'm not really a big fan of autobiographical sailing books but "Hands Open" was an exception. It painted a picture of a man who was troubled, clueless, and modest but with the sort of spirit that overcame any number of disasters. Maybe a trait not as rare back then, but when compared to the current norm of narcissistic and self-aggrandizement in media, a book that is honest and real is a rare thing.

That Les, with only a day's instruction in sailing, took off for Barbados in what was to become his first circumnavigation is a bit of impressive lore in single-handed sailing circles. That he missed Barbados and wound up in Brazil is another thing altogether. Like I said, Les was honest about his adventures and his disasters.

After finishing his first circumnavigation, he felt that he could have done it properly and did it again the correct way which speaks volumes about the person. On his rather disastrous third circumnavigation, he took so long sailing from New Zealand to the UK that when he arrived, he found that not only had he been reported lost at sea, but that there had been a memorial service for him.

"Hands Open" and later "Solitaire Spirit" tell his story a lot better than I can. I'll just say they are both well worth reading.

Listening to the Tedeschi Trucks Band cover Sly

So it goes...