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Wed Feb 17, 2016 10:33 pm

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Scot,
Yes, a personal matter says it pretty well, especially with your owner-builder experience....

But it's not such a simple task, is it, to know what might indeed approach a fitting personal orientation to this "race", or what kind of boat might yield the best chance of deep satisfaction in making the run?
The attitude up till now has certainly been driven by a "finishing is winning" state of mind, but clearly there are others who really want those steak knives, or more...

In the late winter run-up to year two, I am thinking these distinct goal differences have really become more clearly defined for the fleet...and has been encouraging the diversity of watercraft and kinds of people making up the event.

I was confused earlier when prospects or entrants would ask the question:
" Are we in it to win?"
Now, in the second year of divisionless participation, the need for the question is apparent, it gives life to a whole set of goals, expectations, and attitudes...essential values to enhance the experience beyond mere competition ..!

And " how and why we decide to accomplish these miles" is of course most accurately and beautifully expressed in the boats and crews themselves..

This is clearly an event where a win can be both objective and subjective..



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Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:44 am

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Good thoughts!

For me the orientation is clear: I'm a cruiser, not a racer. I'm mildly obsessed with creating the perfect boat for myself, for cruising. If it happens to be competitive in the R2AK, that's great, but not really important.

I think there are people who are interested in being the fastest in a particular category, whether or not that is "officially recognized" or comes with a prize - solo, primarily human powered, under 20 feet, mono-hull, etc.

And the conditions during a particular race period/year can also have enormous impact.

So, the result is this wide variety of designs. It is one of the many wonderful results of the R2AK!



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Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:48 am

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Most certainly, Scot!
The variety of craft and psychology displayed in the preparation and attempts at involvement in this meet are a credit to human enthusiasm for life and small boat maritime history!
However, the true wellspring of the spirit behind this striving for "success" is most appropriatly based exactly where you just identified it!

By that I mean personal satisfaction, and not just isolated, standing by itself... of course, that remains as the kernel....But in the context of the larger group event a synergy develops, there is a common goal to motivate and innovate, a time honored device labeled "Competition". ....We are social animals, after all.

* * * * *

When you were doing your lower course cruising a few summers back, weeks out, on the "Marsh Duck", what was it that really pleased you about the adventure?

Of course parts of your attitudes have evolved as time has passed, but if you could access the core happenings that were full of deep personal satisfaction , forgetting about any semblance of competition or a pose, there would be your best lead in.

After all.., figuring this key element out, and having the wherewithal to actually build it and do it, is the best this world has to offer us, whether we are talking about boats, or life..!



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Tue Feb 23, 2016 3:33 pm

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Dirk Visser 166 wrote:
When you were doing your lower course cruising a few summers back, weeks out, on the "Marsh Duck", what was it that really pleased you about the adventure?


A few things stand out for me:

simply being out in the wonderful beauty of the natural world - which is especially rich in the Salish Sea; I particularly enjoyed the abundant wildlife, but all the rest as well . . . wind and waves, scenery, salt air, physical activity, gently rocking on the water, occasional excitement, connections with people, etc.

exercise, getting in shape, being in good physical condition, relaxing . . .

learning that the Marsh Duck did everything I'd hoped, performing better than I had any reason to expect; and in the process learning new things about myself and about the design and building of small boats

All of this can be there for me in the future. Of course if I build the new design I'll have to wait until I'm out there to learn whether it will be as successful.



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Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:53 pm

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Nicely captured!
And... I'd venture you'd have solid agreement on every aspect of your comprehensive list from other like-minded adventurers in our day and age.

I most liked the part though, about how you said, "All this can be there for me in the future." True, of course, but it will be different too, won't it? You are different now, your boat will be different, as will your thoughts..

I guess what I am struggling to define and get at is an attempt to find some universal features of our shared experiences that cut across these specific pleasures...independence? freedom? pride of accomplishment? meaningful responsibility? self reliance?

Small boat cruising rewards often include everything you brought up, for sure, but what about next time ? Is there some hard work or profound insight we can use to keep all that magic alive, give it a worthy intent, and keep it uniquely personal, every time?

Uh-oh...., is this the factor underlying why some of us are "constant builder-designers", or at least serial modifiers ?



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Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:50 am

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Yes, all you say resonates.



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Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:09 pm

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So the action of observation, and reasoning, applied to material and, by extension, the surrounding environment, lead to this tremendous reward cascade that has the power to please us for a lifetime?

Could it really be so simple?



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Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:17 pm

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I'd guess the answer is both yes and no . . . yes, and . . . not really simple . . . and probably lots more going on as well.



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Wed Feb 24, 2016 1:48 pm

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Ha, ha!
Yes, I get that there is a lot more holding all this up, allowing us to even ponder psychology and physics and the implications of that powerful and inevitable relationship, thank you for paddling along for a few miles of the crossing...

The quick take away for me follows on what you originally said, that is, that there is an intensely personal linkage to any great breakthrough of art or craft, experience or satisfaction. Only we ourselves know what truly makes us happy, and it can be the work-in-progress of a lifetime to fully reach it..!

***
I recently had a good thought shared with me by my Chinese friend, Stanley.
I have long known the old axiom:
"You don't need to own it to enjoy the use of it.."

But at lunch this past weekend he supplied an ironic corollary:
"If you don't use and enjoy it, you don't really own it."

I guess I'll chalk that insight up to typical old school Eastern enlightenment..



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Mon May 16, 2016 8:32 pm

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Recent insights from the http://thepocketyacht.blogspot.com by Howard Rice have shifted my views on how the concept of perfection applies to boats.

Beauty in the world is kind of a beacon that gets our attention, as at sea...or a simple green traffic light on the road.. The point is, it is our best guide and confirmation that something is going right.
The truth of this holds up in the built environment as well as the natural. It holds for the artist, as well as the scientist, the athlete along with the craftsman.
This quality goes by many names, form following function, elegance, efficiency, etc... but it consistently shows up as a validation, encouraging efforts when we are on the right track

A boat is shaped by it's purpose as well as the local waters. The perfection in the achievement of both influences can be sublime.

Take a good look at the current r2ak fleet with this in mind, the perfect boats will not be hard to spot, and there are plenty of them.



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