Friday, January 29, 2016

No need for Speed

I used to like to go fast, really fast. My personal “best feel of speed” came from flying inverted at somewhere around 150 mph, just a few feet off the ground. (Not sure how few, more than 10, less than 20.) I once did mac 1.5 inverted, just feet above the ground. But that was in an FA-18 sim so, though the sensation of speed was pretty real, it doesn't really count as moving at the speed of heat. (I'm not a big fan of the military but I will say this, they have some of the world's coolest toys.)
A close second was 160+ on a motorcycle. Third was any speed through a corner fast enough to get a knee down close to or on the road, again on a motorcycle. (I wonder if anyone has done that on a bicycle, maybe at the bottom of a steep hill?) Oddly enough, flying a jet at 500+ mph never felt that fast. Still, once upon a time on a flight from Little Rock to Chicago in a CRJ700 with its mach .87 cruise speed, and being pushed by a jet core of nearly 200 knots, we were crossing the ground at better than the speed of sound. Chicago sure came up in a hurry that day.

But sailors don't go fast, measuring trips in days. We measured three days of travel to get from Vero Beach to Daytona, though it looks like it will take five. After the first day the forecast turned a bit sour, with heavy rain, thunderstorms, and tornadoes...again. It seemed prudent to put some land between us and the wind, so we nestled into a place called Eau Gallie NW. The Mantus went down at the end of nearly 100 feet of chain and was set hard. Day one and the weather faded with a stalled front. Lots of rain with just a bit of wind. Day two has been more of the same. We hope to be on our way again tomorrow. Estimated time of arrival in Daytona, sometime on Saturday.

I have gotten used to moving at human speeds rather than machine speeds. In fact I've grown kind of partial to it. The fact is most of us are not really going much of anywhere. The journey that we make through life is one of the heart and the head, not so much the feet. And to get anywhere important in the heart, or the head, means being connected with the world, taking time with the people, being passed by dolphins, and moving in concert with the weather. In the journey that matters, the more we hurry the less distance we cover. 

It is impossible to hurry on a sailboat.

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