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Anke and I live aboard WAYWARD, and wrote about it's design and construction at

Access to the net comes and goes, so I'll be writing in fits and spurts.Please feel free to browse the archives, leave comments where you will and write... I'll respond as I can.

Fair winds!

Dave and Anke
triloboats swirly gmail daughter com

Sunday, April 2, 2023

Dream vs. Reality

Obi-Wan Squareboti


A bird may love a fish

    But where will they build a home together?

– Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof

Where are you going?

Who will go with you?

What vessel shall bear you?

Answer these in the wrong order

    And you are in trouble.

– Howard Thurman’s Observation, extended

Dream vs. Reality

Some of the very first advice we got when first moving toward the water was, whatever you do, don’t sleep aboard a boat you’re thinking of buying… you’ll fall in love with it and lose yer objectivity!

And so it was. Sorta.

Here’s the problem, though… the point entire of the whole sordid affair is passion. Practical concerns have their place of course, and maybe even the final say. How do we find the right balance between dreams and reality? 

In Fiddler on the Roof, Tevya is speaking to his daughter who has fallen in love with a young man of another faith and ethnic background. It’s a good question and lovingly posed. Against his wishes, they go forward in love as lovers must. Who knows the outcome, for them or for any of us in the real world? 

We love. We act on love. We live the consequences of our choices.

The western-ish Apollonian imperative - know thyself - is excellent advice, but a little passive for my taste. To it, I would add the eastern-ish, Zen imperative - seek balance.

Day-dreaming a vessel is a wonderful passtime. Not only does it carry us to far and fragrant shores, but fills our hearts with those things we relate to as the well-springs of passion. Sometimes its sheer escapism from our daily grind is a soothing and revitalizing relief.

For we are embedded within a life of our own making. Our priorities and choices have cocooned us within habits, relationships and obligations. I don’t disparage… we’re all entangled, one way and another. But these are more or less the ecography of our lives.

So, if we have made a life we wish to more or less continue - have a home ashore and full of family, perhaps - it constrains our passions for, say, a vessel. Or, maybe better put, it informs our passions.

Just as the parts of a vessel must work together to fulfill its purpose… just as it must be fit to face the waters it sails… just as its accommodations must accommodate its crew… so must it conform to its place within its owners’ life.

Here’s a subtle difference… I propose vs. I purpose. Americans tend to the former, British to the latter. In the case of adding a vessel to one’s lifestyle, I prefer purpose. It’s intentional, rather than hypothetical. Hypotheses have their honored place, but sooner or later, they’d better resolve… options winnowed to purpose followed by action.

And once in action, be persistant! More stubborn than mules!!

For adding a vessel into one’s life is no small affair, whether by one’s own hand or by simple acquisition. The success of the venture hinges on how well dream and reality comport. As in any other endeavor, the better matched our hopes and expectations with our actual wants and needs, the better the prospect of success. 

Wrecks of dreams on the bedrock of realities litter the boatyards and backwaters of the world.

Not enough dream; what’s the point?

Not enough reality: no dream comes true.

So here’s my advice, taken in order…

Know thyself. 

Seek balance. 

Dream as you purpose to live. 

Go fall in love.


Realize your dream.

[Note: Thanks to David Reece for the (facetious?) moniker; Obi-Wan Squareboti!]

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Duetude: Rowing in Tandem


The Owl and the Pussycat sailed to sea
in a beautiful, pea-green boat...

Image from the MirrorOnline

If you want to go fast, go alone. 
If you want to go far, go together.

-- African saying

Duetude: Rowing in Tandem

There are a few things in modern life, undertaken by couples, which require sustained, closely coordinated physical effort. Dancing, and folding large tarps come to mind.

And then there's rowing.

To row a boat together - each with a pair of oars - well... first there are the thousand or so strokes of bickering.

Our cockpit is on the small side, so we can bump if we're a little out of sync. You know. Scratch a nose. Adjust a cushion. Look at the birds.

Both of us are facing aft, and I'm usually at the aft, mid-ship oars (they're longer and I'm bigger). My job is to look over my shoulder as I begin to pull, matching Anke's stroke, and thereafter maintain a steady rhythm. Oh... and if a little bit of oar steering is needed, I favor the correct oar, and maybe even call out RIGHT OAR! or LEFT OAR! in a voice loud enough to hear.

You'd think that's simple enough. It is but it ain't. Takes a while to get each of those down, and a while longer to get 'em in combinations.

Anke, at the forward oars, is continuous power. Her job is to watch out for any quirks in my cadence and avoid collision with my shoulders. She too needs to be steady on the oars, to keep all four moving free. She's got to respond to steering commands promptly, and occasionally shout out some of her own if I've drifted off somewhere.

You'd think that sounds simple enough. It is but it ain't.

But the bickering dies down after a day or two, and the magic sets in...

The magic of moving our vessel... gliding across calm water or working our way into a headwind. The magic of passing through vast and wild land- and seascapes. The magic of our bodies working together in sync, muscles aglow and warm with the effort.

We pull together as one. Our hearts beat as one. We face the work and dangers as one. We savor the pleasures as one, not least those of our own company.


Happy Valentine's!