Quality Of Time

If a man must be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most.

E.B. White, The Sea and The Wind That Blows

Sliding across an ocean, propelled by spirit and sail, is synonymous with freedom. It is not freedom from responsibility, for sailboats are the most demanding of mistresses and nobody laughs at the concept of freedom like old Neptune. But my freedom is the ability to shake off the grip of society’s expectations.

John Kretchmer, Flirting With Mermaids: The Unpredictable Life of a Sailboat Delivery Captain

One of my seafaring heros, Kretchmer “JK” amply mixes romantic philosophy into his fantastic storytelling, covering seemingly endless experiences at sea. As much as he absolutely loves being out there, JK will never sugarcoat reality on the ocean. If you have enough funds (and guts) for a first hand “heavy weather” offshore experience with John, I’d say it’s money we’ll-spent. While we’ve only experienced being offshore with John through reading his books, we have had the sincere honor of in-person storytelling on several momentous occasions. Referring to almost anyone he’s met as “a good friend”, he’s not difficult to track down – if you’re patient. Understandably, weeks could pass before he responds to your email.

Days before writing this post, Hurricane Ian partially destroyed Florida, and his wide girth is now galloping up the East coast, blasting the rest of us with what’s left of his gale-force winds.

We’re fortunate, or maybe lucky to have made the decision to divert west into the relatively protected water inside Sandy Hook, New Jersey. Now safely moored behind a breakwater, (and so far it’s definitely living up to it’s namesake), we can see breaking waves pounding, spraying us. Our host, Atlantic Highlands Yacht Club, and the entire marina has shut down, because the US Coast Guard has issued stern warnings against movement of small vessels, citing “hazardous conditions”. “Sorry, no launch service today”, Dennis, the dock hand telephoned me to say. “And likely not tomorrow either”.

Sailor Kelly adjusts mooring lines near the breakwater, before the storm hits.

Regardless, we are simply cozy here. After being awakened by the howling breeze, and checking outside for anything loose or about to fly away, I made delicious freshly ground coffee, and Kelly helped me find ingredients for baking blueberry muffins. A new first: I had to use the gimbal feature on the oven (while moored), as the pounding gusts tend to cause a swinging yet gentle rocking motion. Don’t want to screw up those muffins!

When the weather window opens again in a couple days we’ll continue following the sun. We truly hope that you and yours remain as safe, warm and dry as we are.

Time is the currency of our life—how we spend it defines our existence.

John Kretchmer

4 thoughts on “Quality Of Time

    1. Looking like we’re going to head out early this afternoon – Wednesday. Wind has diminished but waves still 6+ft. Need to time arrival with tide up Delaware R., and opposing wind starting later Thursday.


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