I’ve got nothing to do and all day to do it. [any Styx fans?]. The COVID pandemic and resulting lockdown have taken me– and I suspect most people– through a series of moods that are finally culminating in pure and simple boredom. This blog itself is an archeological record of initial boredom resulting in experimental cooking, premature planning for future events, and general musings by somebody entirely unqualified to share musings.
But the truth is that the unqualified musings were only a small part of what has actually been a relatively pleasant period without much airplane travel, a lot of family time, and some cool developments.
Call Me Cap’n
After a lifetime of boating and several years of concentrating on sailing, I decided I wanted a U.S. Coast Guard Captain’s License. (I highly recommend the class at Modern Sailing. The amount of information is astounding, and some of it pretty complex.) Technically, what I got is a Merchant Mariner Credential rated for Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels.
That is a fancy way of saying that I wanted to be qualified to take up to six paying passengers out on a boat as a charter captain. That, by the way, is entirely different from wanting to actually take six passengers out on a boat as the charter captain.
So, why the license if not the desire to be a charter captain? First, it seems irresponsible to me to plan on owning a boat that will be available for charter without having the appropriate qualifications. Although licensed charter captains will run the charters, responsible ownership dictates a good understanding of the training and responsibilities associated with charter boats.
Second, and this is not obvious to those who don’t know me well, (or, frankly, those who do know me well, those who don’t spend much time with me, or those who do spend much time with me) but I am a people person– can’t you tell?
I enjoy interacting with people and love to teach. Since I graduated from law school a million years ago, I have regularly helped my alma mater with its Professionalism Program and its Trial Techniques Program. I help coach moot court teams (law school football), and have been a guest lecturer at various college classes and large industry events. For the last several years, despite my dislike for infants, toddlers, pre-teens, and teenagers, I’ve even been a coach for the Redwood High School Mock Trial Program.
To be fair, I enjoy teaching, but it is unclear to me whether those I am teaching enjoy it as well. In my head, I am Gabe Kotter.
But, I suspect that to the law students and mock trial students I likely come across as– well– this:
I am 100% confident that those poor college kids and folks at the industry forums who thought they would just hear some war stories, but were instead lectured on the intricacies of contract law saw this . . .
Bottom line, I think I’d like to teach sailing when I am done with the law (or the law is done with me). So, my next step is to get certified as a sailing instructor. More on that as things develop.
Modern Sailing School and Club was closed for much of the Bay Area lockdown. As a result, I was boatless. As soon as it opened for limited sailing I was out on the water!! They had staggered checkouts of the boats, all paperwork was done electronically, and other precautions were taken to keep things nice and safe. Below are some of the better lockdown sailing memories.
Now that parts of the Bay Area are re-opening, we took the opportunity to explore the town of Sonoma. We had limited time, our kids had limited patience, and that darn drinking age rendered wine tasting inappropriate (though in hindsight Sam could have driven us home), but we had a great lunch and hike.
Lunch was at a nice little Irish pub with a much appreciated Guinness.
And we hiked along a trail from town passing the veterans cemetery.
Which ended with a great view!
I hope to be a bit more active, have more sailing thoughts and adventures to report on, and delve deeper into seriously unhealthy foods. Until then, fair winds!