Saturday of Labor Day Weekend. Winds blowing from the south at 10 to 15 knots, blue skies from the tip of the Vineyard to Aquidneck Island. Seas at the edge of Buzzards Bay and Rhode Island Sound a modest 2 to 3 feet. A perfect day and a perfect sail.
(Sally enjoying time the helm)
Time on the water. I wish I had more of it.
I am thinking, too, of something I recently read about a Native-American belief that important decisions should be made in consideration of the impact created on seven generations. Imagine that, the consideration of seven generations – 120 years. Imagine if we were to apply a test of the impact of just two generations. Heck, imagine if the test were but the consideration of how our important decisions impact a significant portion of those who share our planet.
Even a simple wooden boat guy would have problems applying this test. Sure, wind power is renewable energy, wood is more environmentally friendly than fiberglass, and through my labor I minimize the taking of new resources by keeping a 69 year-old boat going year-in and year-out. But before anyone tries to raise an environmentally friendly flag from the halyard of our old wooden boat, know that bottom paint – at least the type that works – leaches, my old cans of paint and vanish end up in the trash, and the 27 HP Yanmar auxiliary coughs out fumes when she’s running.
But on this perfect day my carbon imprint on this planet is very small. And along the way Sally and I have the treat of spotting a large beautiful fish running just below the surface. Then, not much later, a dolphin leaps through the air and descends back into the deep blue water – a sight that’s fairly unusual up here along the lines of 41 degrees North. Perhaps it’s the fish and dolphin that have me thinking about my environmental impact and the seven generation consideration of important decisions.
(Back at the F.L. Tripp & Sons boatyard in Westport, MA)
As much as I love being on the water – and I do – boating sometimes seems like an act of selfish leisure. Maybe not, though. Maybe the lessons waiting for us out there are about anything but being selfish.
By John M. UrbanShare on Facebook