Ajax

The Rant

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I'd had a shitty day at work today, so I stopped off at the tiny, family run convenience store in my neighborhood to buy a bottled coffee.

The nice, young Asian kid behind the counter chatted me up. He asked if I had vacation plans for the summer and I replied that I planned to take a month off and disappear on my sailboat. He sighed wistfully and said "That sounds great, I wish I could do that."

Something inside me, just. fucking. snapped.  In front of me, was a young, fit, able-bodied man who damned well COULD do that, if he really wants to. I looked him dead in the eye and said "You think sailing on sailboats is only for rich, old white folks? Well it's not. Sailing is for anyone with the energy and the burn to make it happen." 

From there, I informed him of the metric shitloads of marinas all a mere stone's throw from where we were standing that were positively jammed with old, 4 knot shitboxes that could be had for a song, just waiting for someone to give them purpose again. 

I told him that I started off with a $2300 shitbox and learned to sail with a book, Youtube videos and advice from this forum.  I told him to walk the docks of the marinas and ask for help.

I told him that he could learn quickly, but that it takes practice and it never ends.

I told him that he'd have to sweat to fix up a cheap boat but after that, it's your magic carpet, your escape pod. 

I informed him of Maryland's (for now) liberal mooring laws that let you plant a private mooring ball to keep that boat on, for free.  I told him that he lives in the sailing capital of the East Coast and that all the resources he needs, are practically at his finger tips and that even he could make it happen on his pay. I told him that the time to do it is now, while he's young and unencumbered by wives, kids, mortgages and student debt.

I just couldn't bear the thought of this young guy assuming that he just "can't" and sinking further into his sofa, playing X-Box, so I told him that it could be done.  I wasn't calm about it. I fucking sermonized him and I'm embarrassed about it.

But...  I saw his eyes open. His face lit up as he listened to me and considered the possibility.  He nodded, encouraged when I broke the stereotype of "who" should be sailing. He smiled and his gears were TURNING in his head when I walked out.

I'm embarrassed. I don't know if did the right thing. Maybe I should have just kept my mouth shut and walked out.

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Nah Ajax, you did good. Now go back in a few days and check in with him to see if he has any questions.

 

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8 minutes ago, bmiller said:

Take him sailing.

Plus 1000!

 

Mentoring, a lost art!  Sounds like a great opportunity to pay it fwd.  When I was 19 and had just bought my first boat I was wandering down the dock in Friday harbor and met the owners of the San Juan Canvas Co., I asked if they built sails and said I was going to buy a new set from Lee Sails what did they think?  They said to stop by in the morning, that turned into a six month internship making some new sails, but mostly tweaking the perfectly fine ones I had, and a lifelong friendship into a amazing community.

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17 minutes ago, bmiller said:

Take him sailing.

God damnit, I wasn't looking to take on a student.  I'm crotchety now, and I just want sail alone in peace.

After I posted this, I sat here for a moment feeling really bad.  I railed on this kid and stomped out, without really giving him the necessary connection points to the sailing community. You can't just yell at someone "Go do it!" without giving them any information.

I went back to the shop and gave him a CHESSS burgee (www.chbaysss.org).  I gave him a little more insight into the different types of sailing (day sailing on a fast beach cat or racing in the Cal 25 fleet and cruising the Cal 25 on weekends, for example).  It turns out that he lives in my neighborhood, just a few houses away. He says he's seriously interested and wants learn more. I gave him my contact information and we'll link up.

I'll show him the Hobie cat and the Tartan so that he can see the contrasting types of sailing and choose his own path. I offered to ride with him to some of the local yards to look at 4 knot shitboxes with cabins that might be had cheaply.  I offered to connect him with some beer can race boats this summer. I even offered to just give him the Hobie cat, if that's the type of sailing he decides interests him. It's fully functional, and on its own trailer.

I'll introduce myself to his parents and assure them that I'm not a creep and not trying to drown their kid.

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35 minutes ago, Ajax said:

I'm embarrassed. I don't know if did the right thing. Maybe I should have just kept my mouth shut and walked out.

You did.

Everyone you bring to sailing is a win, and you can't if you don't try.

Two stories.

1) My uncle was a railroad engineer before he retired. The guys on the railroad are mostly not college educated, working class guys. Nice guys, comfortable but not wealthy with decent benefits. He had a friend who wanted to try sailing, and I told him to tell the guy to call me. He came out with me and loved it, but despaired about being able to get a boat himself. I gave him the "yards are full of cheap boats, get out there" speech. And he did, he bought a $5,000 boat and learned to sail it. Scaring the piss out of his railroad buddies every time he heeled it, BTW...

2) On a recent flight back to Oz I started talking with a young couple about our cruising lifestyle. The usual "that's so cool, I'd love to do that" comments ensued. So I told them about some sailing opportunities in Sydney and how to learn to sail. About affordable boats, etc.. Handed them a boat card and wished them well. A couple of months ago he e-mailed me through the blog that he and his GF had started sailing lessons somewhere around Sydney and were loving it.

Yeah, I feel like a freaking evangelical. But there's no other way to get the truth out.

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@B.J. Porter Regarding your point #2, it blows my mind how many people live so close to the water, yet it never enters their head that there's this entire other world right next to them. I get a lot of that here in the Chesapeake.

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Well Ajax, i'm not so sure if it was the right tone.  You seem to have assumed the kid assumed sailing was only for the rich white and old but he could have been reflecting on the fact that running a family convenience store is ALL CONSUMING and perhaps not all that lucrative and given that the whole fam gave everything they have to keeping the doors open that the time to disappear for a month seemed like an impossible dream? "young guy assuming that he just "can't" and sinking further into his sofa, playing X-Box", that's pretty harsh.  All across the prairies, every town had a chinese restaurant and everyone was operated by the family from cooking to waiting to cleaning, open 7 day a week, 12 hours a day, 365 days a year.  In every one the kids had a role to play.  Now many of these were actually pretty successful, my friend phil grew up in one...he's a pharmacist, his brother's a dentist and his sister is a lawyer but that success was earned by living above the store and working every goddamn day.  It's good that you engaged with the young man and had this conversation, i just hope the tone of your conversation was kinder than the tone of your rant here.

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My sailing water is about 30 miles from Manhattan.  There are about 50,000,000 people who could reasonably sail here though some have more convenient options. From shore you can see at least 5 miles east and west. Typical number of sail in sight on a sunny day in high summer? Five.

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Nothing wrong with being who you are and sharing your passion.

One fact to consider is that there are a number of barriers to sailing that are invisible to most anarchists because they have become second nature to them.  Mainly these are "building block" skills that were taught in summer camp, boy scouts, community ed, and similar programs in another generation:

  • Basic comfort in and around the water
  • Reasonable swimming ability e.g. 200 yards and 10 minutes treading water
  • Some sort of basic map or chart reading skills.
  • Rudimentary mechanical knowledge, like how to tighten something with a screwdriver or a wrench, and the names of fasteners and tools.
  • Some sort of ability to work with fiber, e.g. sewing or knots or whatever

I think it is important to meet people where they are.

 

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@chester  He's a hired employee. It's not his family's store, so he's not invested in it in the manner you suggest. He's free to do whatever he likes.

I know what I look like. I'm an aging, white male talking to this kid about sailing.  Sailing has an image problem, and I'm it.  I saw the look on his face when I told him my summer plans. His look was "I could never do that" as if he wasn't meant to do it!  I spent 2 seconds on the "white" part of the stereotype but spent many more minutes de-bunking the "rich" part of the stereotype.

If you read my other posts, you'll see that I intend to point him at easy access, sporty day sailing, not just "disappearing for a month" type sailing because you're right, I don't know what his obligations are.

I did raise my voice, but I did not chastise him for his life choices (because I don't know what those choices are). I just told him that he CAN do this thing, if he really wants to.  That's when his demeanor changed to something really positive.  Someone told him that he CAN do a thing.

The image below is not meant to imply that the kid is trash, it's meant to convey that you can have incredible, low-budget adventures, even in an obsolete, janky boat.  Gleaming white Beneteau's need not apply.

Oscar.png

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24 minutes ago, 2airishuman said:

Nothing wrong with being who you are and sharing your passion.

One fact to consider is that there are a number of barriers to sailing that are invisible to most anarchists because they have become second nature to them.  Mainly these are "building block" skills that were taught in summer camp, boy scouts, community ed, and similar programs in another generation:

  • Basic comfort in and around the water
  • Reasonable swimming ability e.g. 200 yards and 10 minutes treading water
  • Some sort of basic map or chart reading skills.
  • Rudimentary mechanical knowledge, like how to tighten something with a screwdriver or a wrench, and the names of fasteners and tools.
  • Some sort of ability to work with fiber, e.g. sewing or knots or whatever

I think it is important to meet people where they are.

 

Your last sentence really resonates with me and I will take it to heart.

The good news is, he expressed no fear of the water. Doesn't mean that he's an Olympic swimmer but at least he's not afraid. I'll find out what his capabilities are.

The rest, I'm afraid he will need to be taken to school.  It's winter, few people are sailing right now except for psycho Wess on his big trimaran. ;)  I will start by having the kid complete the Maryland Safe Boater course online.  There is plenty of book work we can churn through while waiting for the water to warm up and plenty to demonstrate at the dock without even casting off.

The best part is, we don't have to travel anywhere. He lives in the neighborhood. My boats are right at the end of the street.

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This could turn into the best of 2020 thread. Keep us posted.

 

 

36 minutes ago, 2airishuman said:

Nothing wrong with being who you are and sharing your passion.

One fact to consider is that there are a number of barriers to sailing that are invisible to most anarchists because they have become second nature to them.  Mainly these are "building block" skills that were taught in summer camp, boy scouts, community ed, and similar programs in another generation:

  • Basic comfort in and around the water
  • Reasonable swimming ability e.g. 200 yards and 10 minutes treading water
  • Some sort of basic map or chart reading skills.
  • Rudimentary mechanical knowledge, like how to tighten something with a screwdriver or a wrench, and the names of fasteners and tools.
  • Some sort of ability to work with fiber, e.g. sewing or knots or whatever

I think it is important to meet people where they are.

 

I'll add to that how to build a fire and choose a decent whisky.

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OK. Generally agree. BUT....

Moorage/dockage costs are rapidly pricing many out. Sure, trailer sailing "solves" that problem. Sort of. And introduces other costs... We all know even a free boat isn't. Car-toppable dinghy sailing, that's available to most. But not what you told the kid you were doing.

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2 hours ago, Ajax said:

I'd had a shitty day at work today, so I stopped off at the tiny, family run convenience store in my neighborhood to buy a bottled coffee.

The nice, young Asian kid behind the counter chatted me up. He asked if I had vacation plans for the summer and I replied that I planned to take a month off and disappear on my sailboat. He sighed wistfully and said "That sounds great, I wish I could do that."

Something inside me, just. fucking. snapped.  In front of me, was a young, fit, able-bodied man who damned well COULD do that, if he really wants to. I looked him dead in the eye and said "You think sailing on sailboats is only for rich, old white folks? Well it's not. Sailing is for anyone with the energy and the burn to make it happen." 

From there, I informed him of the metric shitloads of marinas all a mere stone's throw from where we were standing that were positively jammed with old, 4 knot shitboxes that could be had for a song, just waiting for someone to give them purpose again. 

I told him that I started off with a $2300 shitbox and learned to sail with a book, Youtube videos and advice from this forum.  I told him to walk the docks of the marinas and ask for help.

I told him that he could learn quickly, but that it takes practice and it never ends.

I told him that he'd have to sweat to fix up a cheap boat but after that, it's your magic carpet, your escape pod. 

I informed him of Maryland's (for now) liberal mooring laws that let you plant a private mooring ball to keep that boat on, for free.  I told him that he lives in the sailing capital of the East Coast and that all the resources he needs, are practically at his finger tips and that even he could make it happen on his pay. I told him that the time to do it is now, while he's young and unencumbered by wives, kids, mortgages and student debt.

I just couldn't bear the thought of this young guy assuming that he just "can't" and sinking further into his sofa, playing X-Box, so I told him that it could be done.  I wasn't calm about it. I fucking sermonized him and I'm embarrassed about it.

But...  I saw his eyes open. His face lit up as he listened to me and considered the possibility.  He nodded, encouraged when I broke the stereotype of "who" should be sailing. He smiled and his gears were TURNING in his head when I walked out.

I'm embarrassed. I don't know if did the right thing. Maybe I should have just kept my mouth shut and walked out.

But did he get off your fuckin' lawn?

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2 hours ago, Ajax said:

I'd had a shitty day at work today, so I stopped off at the tiny, family run convenience store in my neighborhood to buy a bottled coffee.

Coffee?? :wacko:

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1 hour ago, bmiller said:

This could turn into the best of 2020 thread. Keep us posted.

I second that.  I'll be following this thread.

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1 hour ago, Anomaly2 said:

OK. Generally agree. BUT....

Moorage/dockage costs are rapidly pricing many out. Sure, trailer sailing "solves" that problem. Sort of. And introduces other costs... We all know even a free boat isn't. Car-toppable dinghy sailing, that's available to most. But not what you told the kid you were doing.

Ah, but he lives in my neighborhood. This gives him access to super cheap dockage!

 He said he could store a hobie in his yard. If he wants a little monohull, he can put it in at our neighborhood dock for $300/ year!

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5 minutes ago, justsomeguy! said:

Coffee?? :wacko:

Don't judge me. 

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What if the kid had said, 'OK Boomer...'

    We would probably be reading about a 'gone postal' event at a convenience store in the morning!

    Just kidding, you did the right thing.

A Christian leader centuries ago wrote, “If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men and women to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”

 

An enjoyable read here

https://www.outsideonline.com/2391348/teach-cowboy-to-sail

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Whenever I have a bad day at work, I want whiskey, gin, vodka, rum, tequila, scotch, bourbon...

And I always have a bad day at work.

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I've got a cousin who grew up in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan. He was and is one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. He was also a pretty tough guy. I'm talking the bar fight continues after both have barrelled through the front window and onto the street kind of tough. 

He used to come visit us in Toronto and we'd take him sailing...because that's just what you do, no? 

Anyway I hadn't seen him in years and, while I knew he moved to B.C., I had no idea that he'd bought a 20 foot boat and taken it up and down the West Coast. He told me that it was  the daysailing with us that got him so inspired that when he got to the coast, he absolutely had to get a boat. It made me happy that in some small way we got him interested in sailing.

I've got a ton of respect for him for getting to where he got, considering where he was coming from.

Ajax, its great of you to lead a horse to water, but as for drinking it, that'll be on him.

Good luck!

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Good point, don’t make it too easy, he needs to own this thing to really appreciate it.

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4 hours ago, Ajax said:

I'd had a shitty day at work today, so I stopped off at the tiny, family run convenience store in my neighborhood to buy a bottled coffee.

Good going, Ajax, although after a shitty day at work, which I have a hard time recalling since I retired in 2006, I do remember that beer, not coffee, was what I wanted.

Fascinating story. Please let us know how it progresses.

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Great thread and way to turn a shut day at the office into something positive.  Worst case, you connected with a kid in your neighborhood, best case you made a new sailor.  Both good 

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2 hours ago, justsomeguy! said:

Coffee?? :wacko:

He's an old sub guy, they eat glass too...  :)

 

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I am a follower of Kevin Boothby (How to Sail Oceans) on Youtube.

He accidentally explains why I'm doing this when he reaches the sandbar in this video. He discusses young men, failing to launch, society and adventure.

 

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It happens, but I think it's a stretch to go from adult, to sailor.

 

He's got to be the type of person that gets passionate about things and then have sailing become that passion. It's easy to learn sailing, I know. But the stupid stuff of boats and being on the water is a school of hard knocks from all the dumb mistakes. If you haven't done some of that, it may not look possible. 

 

Sad to say but all it really takes is an intro as a kid. Parents who boated, hopefully sailed but just being on the water, or one of the many intro sailing classes available near the water, anywhere.

 

The biggest step I believe, is just getting on that little boat long enough to get a sense of, 'yeah, I can do this'. 

 

1917231222_Promotesailing.thumb.jpg.7d0fd4e14b302ac97e9103880df0f2e3.jpg

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@Kris Cringle  If he saw that 420 with the girls in it, I guarantee he'd be interested.

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15 hours ago, bmiller said:

Take him sailing.

^ this ^

X a million

Apologize for the sermonizing, but everybody is a nut about something and so we should chose to be a nut about something good and worth while. This definitely is.

FB- Doug

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1 hour ago, Ajax said:

I am a follower of Kevin Boothby (How to Sail Oceans) on Youtube.

He accidentally explains why I'm doing this when he reaches the sandbar in this video. He discusses young men, failing to launch, society and adventure.

 

That was a nice piece from him - refreshingly honest and nonconforming. His vlog is one of the few worth watching. 
 

Nice work to you on potentially changing the direction for someone. 

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17 hours ago, Ajax said:

I'd had a shitty day at work today, so I stopped off at the tiny, family run convenience store in my neighborhood to buy a bottled coffee.

The nice, young Asian kid behind the counter chatted me up. He asked if I had vacation plans for the summer and I replied that I planned to take a month off and disappear on my sailboat. He sighed wistfully and said "That sounds great, I wish I could do that."

Something inside me, just. fucking. snapped.  In front of me, was a young, fit, able-bodied man who damned well COULD do that, if he really wants to. I looked him dead in the eye and said "You think sailing on sailboats is only for rich, old white folks? Well it's not. Sailing is for anyone with the energy and the burn to make it happen." 

From there, I informed him of the metric shitloads of marinas all a mere stone's throw from where we were standing that were positively jammed with old, 4 knot shitboxes that could be had for a song, just waiting for someone to give them purpose again. 

I told him that I started off with a $2300 shitbox and learned to sail with a book, Youtube videos and advice from this forum.  I told him to walk the docks of the marinas and ask for help.

I told him that he could learn quickly, but that it takes practice and it never ends.

I told him that he'd have to sweat to fix up a cheap boat but after that, it's your magic carpet, your escape pod. 

 I informed him of Maryland's (for now) liberal mooring laws that let you plant a private mooring ball to keep that boat on, for free.  I told him that he lives in the sailing capital of the East Coast and that all the resources he needs, are practically at his finger tips and that even he could make it happen on his pay. I told him that the time to do it is now, while he's young and unencumbered by wives, kids, mortgages and student debt.

I just couldn't bear the thought of this young guy assuming that he just "can't" and sinking further into his sofa, playing X-Box, so I told him that it could be done.  I wasn't calm about it. I fucking sermonized him and I'm embarrassed about it.

But...  I saw his eyes open. His face lit up as he listened to me and considered the possibility.  He nodded, encouraged when I broke the stereotype of "who" should be sailing. He smiled and his gears were TURNING in his head when I walked out.

I'm embarrassed. I don't know if did the right thing. Maybe I should have just kept my mouth shut and walked out.

I think you oughta go back and invite him to your dock.  Good onya. 

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2 hours ago, Ajax said:

@Kris Cringle  If he saw that 420 with the girls in it, I guarantee he'd be interested.

I'm down the street - Severna Park.  I'll take him beer can Wednesdays if he would like.  I usually have a bunch of newbs and mids to train up every year, but so many say they really want to and don't show for whatever reason so i usually have room.  

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15 hours ago, Salazar said:

I second that.  I'll be following this thread.

I third that.
I live on an *ISLAND* and I think the vast majority of sailboats here are owned by people from elsewhere.

* mention to the kid he can probably get on a race boat for free just down the road too ;)

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17 hours ago, Ajax said:

God damnit, I wasn't looking to take on a student.  I'm crotchety now, and I just want sail alone in peace.

After I posted this, I sat here for a moment feeling really bad.  I railed on this kid and stomped out, without really giving him the necessary connection points to the sailing community. You can't just yell at someone "Go do it!" without giving them any information.

I went back to the shop and gave him a CHESSS burgee (www.chbaysss.org).  I gave him a little more insight into the different types of sailing (day sailing on a fast beach cat or racing in the Cal 25 fleet and cruising the Cal 25 on weekends, for example).  It turns out that he lives in my neighborhood, just a few houses away. He says he's seriously interested and wants learn more. I gave him my contact information and we'll link up.

I'll show him the Hobie cat and the Tartan so that he can see the contrasting types of sailing and choose his own path. I offered to ride with him to some of the local yards to look at 4 knot shitboxes with cabins that might be had cheaply.  I offered to connect him with some beer can race boats this summer. I even offered to just give him the Hobie cat, if that's the type of sailing he decides interests him. It's fully functional, and on its own trailer.

I'll introduce myself to his parents and assure them that I'm not a creep and not trying to drown their kid.

Will you be coming here looking for references???

B)

16 hours ago, Ajax said:

Your last sentence really resonates with me and I will take it to heart.

The good news is, he expressed no fear of the water. Doesn't mean that he's an Olympic swimmer but at least he's not afraid. I'll find out what his capabilities are.

The rest, I'm afraid he will need to be taken to school.  It's winter, few people are sailing right now except for psycho Wess on his big trimaran. ;)  I will start by having the kid complete the Maryland Safe Boater course online.  There is plenty of book work we can churn through while waiting for the water to warm up and plenty to demonstrate at the dock without even casting off.

The best part is, we don't have to travel anywhere. He lives in the neighborhood. My boats are right at the end of the street.

Looking forward to this unfolding.

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Karate Kid Time ;)

Wax On! Wax Off!

* Adding a general observation. In some awful combination of electronic toys and parents overwhelming fear of white van owning pedophiles, kids in general seem vastly less likely to do something on their own initiative than we were back in the day. Jr. sailing does not help this one bit either, the whole enterprise is organized and controlled by adults. Kids DO seem to need a kick in the ass that YOU CAN DO THIS.

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30 minutes ago, PatsyQPatsy said:

I'm down the street - Severna Park.  I'll take him beer can Wednesdays if he would like.  I usually have a bunch of newbs and mids to train up every year, but so many say they really want to and don't show for whatever reason so i usually have room.  

That is a huge help, thanks.

I want to introduce him to many different kinds of sailing and many sailors besides myself.  I don't want to typecast him into any particular kind of sailor (cruiser, racer, cat, mono) and I don't want to be his Mr. Miyagi.  Although I generally disagree with the "it takes a village" statement, this time I would like to get the local sailing village involved instead of handling it all by myself.

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3 minutes ago, Ajax said:

That is a huge help, thanks.

I want to introduce him to many different kinds of sailing and many sailors besides myself.  I don't want to typecast him into any particular kind of sailor (cruiser, racer, cat, mono) and I don't want to be his Mr. Miyagi.  Although I generally disagree with the "it takes a village" statement, this time I would like to get the local sailing village involved instead of handling it all by myself.

Let me know.  My program starts up in earnest after Charleston this year.

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Great message, even if the delivery may have been a little unpolished.

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8 minutes ago, jsaronson said:

Great message, even if the delivery may have been a little unpolished.

You of all people know that I tend to barge in with boots unpolished and sword unsheathed.

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3 hours ago, Ajax said:

That is a huge help, thanks.

I want to introduce him to many different kinds of sailing and many sailors besides myself.  I don't want to typecast him into any particular kind of sailor (cruiser, racer, cat, mono) and I don't want to be his Mr. Miyagi.  Although I generally disagree with the "it takes a village" statement, this time I would like to get the local sailing village involved instead of handling it all by myself.

And while you're involving YOUR friends, would you consider involving some of his?

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On 2/12/2020 at 5:36 PM, 2airishuman said:

Nothing wrong with being who you are and sharing your passion.

One fact to consider is that there are a number of barriers to sailing that are invisible to most anarchists because they have become second nature to them.  Mainly these are "building block" skills that were taught in summer camp, boy scouts, community ed, and similar programs in another generation:

  • Basic comfort in and around the water
  • Reasonable swimming ability e.g. 200 yards and 10 minutes treading water
  • Some sort of basic map or chart reading skills.
  • Rudimentary mechanical knowledge, like how to tighten something with a screwdriver or a wrench, and the names of fasteners and tools.
  • Some sort of ability to work with fiber, e.g. sewing or knots or whatever

I think it is important to meet people where they are.

 

This is absolutely true, and I am involved with a high school sailing program that gets around these barriers. Don't assume kids (or adults) know ANYTHING including what's a screwdriver.

Our lessons start from the basic-basics, and fortunately I've attracted a cadre of volunteers who are truly great at this... calmly and patiently play "show and tell"with the boat and it's associated gear and tools until the student can really DO it all by themselves. It's a success when we dump them in the parking lot, sit around bullshitting for a while (keeping a close close eye on them), then ride around on the water following them, then back in where they dock nicely and reverse the process until the boats are all clean and put away.

http://nbnjrotc-sail.blogspot.com/

It's pure magic, I tell you!

Doesn't take a lot of time, either, which is good because we don't get many contact hours with them

FB- Doug

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On 2/12/2020 at 5:27 PM, Ajax said:

@B.J. Porter Regarding your point #2, it blows my mind how many people live so close to the water, yet it never enters their head that there's this entire other world right next to them. I get a lot of that here in the Chesapeake.

I was one of these people 6-7 years ago. Sailing to me was a fantasy out of range. My wife and I thought we had two choices - sell everything now and go sailing with an unpredictable future, or save until retirement and go sailing then. I had no idea how ridiculous that idea was. I was living in NYC - oblivious to how close we were to some really great, inexpensive cruising. Then, by happenstance, found out about a club program. For a few hundred bucks a year (literally) we sailed a motorless J/24 all over the sound. We did that for 3 years, then bought a 30fter in great shape for $13,000 (which we had fairly easily saved up for over those years). We are on it all the time, racing, cruising, and are planning a 4 month sabbatical this fall down to the Bahamas - where I get to keep my job. All of this is done with really not much more money than we save each year in NYC by spending weekends on the boat rather than in bars and restaurants. 

I feel you on this thread. And I feel like I am an evangelist for how cheap sailing can be if your are really interested. Don't wait! Just go small. The problem is this is an uphill battle. Even within the sailing community you hear more of "you can't do that on that" or "you need this gear" than you do "go for it". Most seem happy to keep the sport exlusive (while whining about their YC dying). Pile on that the only marketing is for brand new 200K boats, or via YouTube channels which all see to say "I sold everything to go sailing!". We would have so many more friends out there on the water, if we could get the message out that this it can simply be part of your life.

So I feel the charge to get the word out. Unfortunately, not many listen. They are saving up for boats that are too big that they will sit on in the anchorage. I suppose many are more into the fantasy of a bright shiny gelcoat, than they are the adventure of banging around in shipping channel in a 40 year old moterless boat. But damn can it be fun!

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4 hours ago, Black Sox said:

And while you're involving YOUR friends, would you consider involving some of his?

It depends. 

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13 hours ago, Ajax said:
18 hours ago, Black Sox said:

And while you're involving YOUR friends, would you consider involving some of his?

It depends. 

Oh of course it does. I misphrased, sorry.

I meant to say that this could be an opportunity to expand the absolute number of sailors, as well as the number of sailors who are helipng out.

If he's interested, and stays with it, he could be the door into nmore new people on the water.

Good luck. Please do let us know how it goes.

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13 minutes ago, Black Sox said:

Oh of course it does. I misphrased, sorry.

I meant to say that this could be an opportunity to expand the absolute number of sailors, as well as the number of sailors who are helipng out.

If he's interested, and stays with it, he could be the door into nmore new people on the water.

Good luck. Please do let us know how it goes.

Oh yes, I'm not trying to make a "solo" sailor out of him.  I hope that once he has a boat, that he'll invite his friends out summer trips and picnics and I hope that they join him. If any of his friends expressed an interest in getting help from me, I'd oblige them.

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Ha, no.

When I was at Bacon Sails picking up some solar panels, I found a good "Practical Sailor" book and gave it to the kid to start reading.

It seemed like a good, basic book. Not overly complex or down in the weeds and not to intimidating. I didn't want to beat him with the hardcover Chapman's....yet.

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On 2/12/2020 at 6:13 PM, bmiller said:

choose a decent whisky.

single malt...none of this blended shite...........

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26 minutes ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

Macallan's

their 15 Y.O triple cask is a staple in my home.  

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3 minutes ago, dacapo said:

their 15 Y.O triple cask is a staple in my home.  

I can only afford the 2 Y.O. stuff..... Sorry Ajax - I'll bring a bottle if I ever get to make it out your way..... 

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28 minutes ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

I can only afford the 2 Y.O. stuff..... Sorry Ajax - I'll bring a bottle if I ever get to make it out your way..... 

You need to stop drinking it and start sipping it as God intended - then you don't need to buy it as often.

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26 minutes ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

I can only afford the 2 Y.O. stuff..... Sorry Ajax - I'll bring a bottle if I ever get to make it out your way..... 

Life is too short to NOT drink the good stuff  ;-)

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On 2/19/2020 at 10:24 AM, A guy in the Chesapeake said:
On 2/19/2020 at 10:01 AM, dacapo said:

single malt...none of this blended shite...........

 Laphroaig or Macallan's - depending on your taste for peat

But there are so very many options beyond those 2. 

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52 minutes ago, Innocent Bystander said:

But there are so very many options beyond those 2. 

yes there are...

 

I just had the Aberfeldy 21 Y.O.  and i likey ;-)

 

my bar includes :

Aberlour 16 Y.O.

Mccallan 15Y.O. triple Cask

Abelour 12 Y.O.

(yeah ok kill me on this one if you must:  Johnnie Walker Swing) The only blended Whiskey I like (so far)

Jameson's (for my heathen friends)

Knob Creek (for my Republican friends....)

Cabo Wabo Tequilla for my  friends from Yuma Arizona who live next door to me

Tito's Vodka  for Sunday Mornings............

2 bottle of Veuve Clicqout for my honey (in the fridge)

 

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Your choice of vodka is shite that sells well because of good marketing.

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I'm pretty strictly a rum guy but one night during a raft-up, some friends poured my some Laphroaig.

I was extremely dubious. The first sip did not go down well but after a few more sips, I quickly acquired the taste for it and find it to be quite good. The peat is an interesting flavor sensation. I thought it would be disgusting.

I don't know anything about scotch or whiskey or scotch whiskey or bourbon. If I had to buy my own, I'd be totally lost and probably buy a bottle of turpentine. I'll have to get educated.

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3 hours ago, Ajax said:

I'm pretty strictly a rum guy but one night during a raft-up, some friends poured my some Laphroaig.

I was extremely dubious. The first sip did not go down well but after a few more sips, I quickly acquired the taste for it and find it to be quite good. The peat is an interesting flavor sensation. I thought it would be disgusting.

I don't know anything about scotch or whiskey or scotch whiskey or bourbon. If I had to buy my own, I'd be totally lost and probably buy a bottle of turpentine. I'll have to get educated.

Any whiskey-tasting events nearby?

Couple of problems with learning about whiskey... I certainly had an up hill climb myself, and am very much a newbie in the single-malt world. Don't take this the wrong way: fine whiskey is not about getting drunk, or even getting a buzz. It's about thankfulness, reflection, appreciation of the moment and the company.

To "sip" fine whiskey need not even take any amount no matter small, actually into your mouth. Bring the liquid just into contact with your lower lip, then inhale/aspirate a slight mist of the whiskey across your palate. If you do take in the liquid form, just a couple of drops is sufficient. Let it work, think about things for at least a few breaths, then another sip. You should feel a warm glow beginning inside.

Types of fine whiskey: a wide wide range, not determined just by geography or by numbers of batch or by price. This is a circular definition, but IMHO it's the best working definition: a fine whiskey is one that predictably and repeatably (in the calibration sense of the word) brings you into moments like I tried to describe above.

To begin with single-malt Scotch: there are several different types based on composition, and by geography. I don't know of any grain-y Island single malts, or any really really peaty Highland ones, but there easily could be. When you've tried one that you either like or truly detest, look up what kind it is and where it's from, and avoid/seek others that are similar. This is the wonderful thing about the internet, this kind of thing is pretty easy and quick.

Ignore advertising, and I include popular media stuff under the broad heading of "advertising." Magazine bullshit like "Whiskey Today!" etc etc is utter bilge; mostly targeting yuppies who think it's still the '90s.

I'm not much of a drinker, to be honest, but I have had the good luck to be turned on to some good stuff by friends, and now I like to keep some fine whiskey about the premises. I'm cautious (but willing) about introducing friends to it, for the most part they either already know more about it than me, or won't be interested in appreciating it.

FB- Doug

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There is actually a whiskey bar or "artisanal distillery" or some such thing a short walk down the bike path from my marina.  I've tried their sampler array.  Interesting, but didn't feel the urge to buy a whole bottle of anything.  Actually, I ended up taking the booze off the boat, because nobody ever touched it.  I guess some of us are just boring.  Might come in handy for ad hoc barter, I suppose.  

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On 2/19/2020 at 7:24 AM, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

Laphroaig or Macallan's - depending on your taste for peat. 

Laphroaig quarter cask

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First off, its Whisky... not whiskey, The second is distilled in Kentucky and other places of such ilk. Whisky on the the other hand was a gift from the gods delivered to my ancestral homeland. I will not wax rhapsodic about the various styles or my favorites. I like many across the entire spectrum of flavor profiles. I will say however, that there is nothing wrong at all with sharing more than a snifter with old friends and enjoying a monumental buzz.  :)

"The king o' drinks, as I conceive it,
Talisker, Isla, or Glenlivet!"  RLS

 

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10 hours ago, Lono said:

First off, its Whisky... not whiskey, The second is distilled in Kentucky and other places of such ilk. Whisky on the the other hand was a gift from the gods delivered to my ancestral homeland. I will not wax rhapsodic about the various styles or my favorites. I like many across the entire spectrum of flavor profiles. I will say however, that there is nothing wrong at all with sharing more than a snifter with old friends and enjoying a monumental buzz.  :)

"The king o' drinks, as I conceive it,
Talisker, Isla, or Glenlivet!"  RLS

 

I'm a fan of Glenlivet 15, I find the island whiskies a bit too edgy. I can ease into them, mind...

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On 2/21/2020 at 6:03 AM, sculpin said:

Your choice of vodka is shite that sells well because of good marketing.

Tito's is the only vodka that doesn't give me the impression I'm drinking rubbing alcohol.

Then again, I ain't normal... and one man's shite is another man's fertilizer (properly aged, of course).

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On 2/21/2020 at 5:00 PM, jamhass said:

Laphroaig quarter cask

I'll second that, but the Islays aren't the most welcoming malts for newbies (my own road to Islay was long and winding). 

On 2/21/2020 at 10:08 AM, Ajax said:

I don't know anything about scotch or whiskey or scotch whiskey or bourbon. If I had to buy my own, I'd be totally lost and probably buy a bottle of turpentine. I'll have to get educated. 

I found Whiskyexchange.com to be a pretty good resource.  YMMV, but I find their flavour profiles give me an idea what to expect, and the customer reviews are a sort of "whisky anarchy".

(pardons if I'm drifting the thread).

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9 hours ago, The Lucky One said:

Tito's is the only vodka that doesn't give me the impression I'm drinking rubbing alcohol.

Ever try Kettle One?

 

On 2/21/2020 at 6:08 AM, Ajax said:

I don't know anything about scotch or whiskey or scotch whiskey or bourbon. If I had to buy my own, I'd be totally lost and probably buy a bottle of turpentine. I'll have to get educated.

Why Does Whiskey Taste Like Whiskey?
https://www.thedailybeast.com/why-does-whiskey-taste-like-whiskey-an-excerpt-from-lew-brysons-new-book-whiskey-master-class

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11 hours ago, The Lucky One said:

Tito's is the only vodka that doesn't give me the impression I'm drinking rubbing alcohol.

I was told by a Vodka distiller (St. George, Alameda CA) that all vodkas (by definition) are born alike, i.e. all vodka is distilled to as near to pure ethanol (98% or so) as possible.  That essentially erases their original sugar source (grain. potatoes, etc) and all the differences among the various brands is what they do when they add water (and other stuff) to bring it back to drinkable alcohol contents.

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1 hour ago, jamhass said:

I was told by a Vodka distiller (St. George, Alameda CA) that all vodkas (by definition) are born alike, i.e. all vodka is distilled to as near to pure ethanol (98% or so) as possible.  That essentially erases their original sugar source (grain. potatoes, etc) and all the differences among the various brands is what they do when they add water (and other stuff) to bring it back to drinkable alcohol contents.

No such thing as pure ethanol in the booze business. Can be many impurities. Plus the several that can be silently and legally added.

https://www.compoundchem.com/2016/06/08/vodka/

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22 hours ago, El Boracho said:

No such thing as pure ethanol in the booze business. Can be many impurities. Plus the several that can be silently and legally added.

https://www.compoundchem.com/2016/06/08/vodka/

Yeah, that's pretty much what I was getting at, brain remembered 98% as being the water/ethanol eutectic

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On 2/22/2020 at 8:10 PM, ProaSailor said:

Ever try Kettle One?

Haven't had the opportunity to come across it yet, but I'll keep an eye out. 

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1 hour ago, The Lucky One said:

Haven't had the opportunity to come across it yet, but I'll keep an eye out. 

Warning!  Kettle One is dangerously smooth poison.  Delicious with a couple of olives.  Three vodka martinis is one too many!

I won't say never but very rarely drink hard liquor anymore.  For special occasions, there are some fine sipping tequilas  though...

Even my favorite IPA (Deschutes Inversion, 6.8%, IBU = 65) is best sipped slowly and limited to one or two bottles, and more often than not, none at all.

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6 hours ago, Max Rockatansky said:

I think it’s “Ketel” One:

Right.  It's been a long time since I touched that stuff and far longer since I bought a bottle.  DANGER!!

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On 2/13/2020 at 5:01 AM, Ajax said:

@Kris Cringle  If he saw that 420 with the girls in it, I guarantee he'd be interested.

I recently started working with a new 19 year old apprentice, super good guy, grew up partly (when younger) in a more rural place, now lives in the mountain outskirts of Vancouver, with access to both the mountains and the city.  As we were driving the other day, chatting, me just getting to know him, he said he really appreciates having been raised partly in a rural place, and living where he does now, with access to the outdoors, and that he’s always wanted to learn to sail, and rock climb.  He’s totally keen.  I thought that was pretty cool coming from a 19 year old - many of whom I naively (and unfairly) assume are, well, focused on other stuff! I’m more than twice his age, but can totally relate to his passion. Your (original) post has made me want to try to figure out a way to get him involved.  Totally agree - the more people get involved in sailing and like pursuits, the better!

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Having just read this thread,  I've now just  filled a glass with Highland Park,  Viking Honour.. 

My club runs a sailing school,  great efforts are made to attract anyone, anyone, any race, any gender any age.  To my knowledge there is just one who attended the school of partial non Anglo Saxon / British descent .

This weekend is the National dinghy exhibition,  the club has a stand there. 

Early May at the free to the Public boat show we will run free trial sailing sessions and invite anyone to visit the club to see what's going on. The clubs site is next to the show. 

I speak to many visitors to the show as they approach the club end to invite them to the club,  very few are non Anglo-Saxon or British. Very few are of the late teen,  twenties age group.  It's mostly grandparents , parents and non teen children. 

Over the years getting past the belief that sailing is for the rich has always been a problem.. 

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Vodka has to be distilled to > 95% purity, after that things are pretty much wide open.  Some charcoal filter their vodka to get any taste out, some don't - and that gives the vodka just a tiny hint of taste that will tell you (if you know what you are looking for) what the vodka is distilled from.

My dislike of Tito's is somewhat driven by the marketing bullshit they pull.  Handmade?  Pot distilled?  Not!!! 

http://chuckcowdery.blogspot.com/2017/10/the-truth-about-titos-and-all-vodka.html

 

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14 minutes ago, sculpin said:

Vodka has to be distilled to > 95% purity, after that things are pretty much wide open.  Some charcoal filter their vodka to get any taste out, some don't - and that gives the vodka just a tiny hint of taste that will tell you (if you know what you are looking for) what the vodka is distilled from.

My dislike of Tito's is somewhat driven by the marketing bullshit they pull.  Handmade?  Pot distilled?  Not!!! 

http://chuckcowdery.blogspot.com/2017/10/the-truth-about-titos-and-all-vodka.html

 

I've tested this fairly scientifically: Tito's definitely gives me a headache like rum, as does the Costco brand.  Ketel, my fave Stoli, and even some of the budget ones like Svedka or Pinnacle do not.

 

Then there are all these uses:

1. To remove a bandage painlessly, saturate the bandage with vodka. The

solvent dissolves the adhesive.

2. To clean the caulking around bathtubs and showers, fill a

trigger-spray bottle with vodka, spray the caulking, let set five

minutes and wash clean. The alcohol in the vodka kills mold and mildew.

3. To clean your eyeglasses, simply wipe the lenses with a soft, clean

cloth dampened with vodka. The alcohol in the vodka cleans the glass and

kills germs.

4. Prolong the life of razors by filling a cup with vodka and letting

your safety razor blade soak in the alcohol after shaving. The vodka

disinfects the blade and prevents rusting.

5. Spray vodka on vomit stains, scrub with a brush, then blot dry.

6. Using a cotton ball, apply vodka to your face as an astringent to

cleanse the skin and tighten pores.

7. Add a jigger of vodka to a 12-ounce bottle of shampoo. The alcohol

cleanses the scalp, removes toxins from hair, and stimulates the growth

of healthy hair.

8. Fill a sixteen-ounce trigger-spray bottle and spray bees or wasps to

kill them.

9. Pour one-half cup vodka and one-half cup water in a Ziplock freezer

bag, and freeze for a slushy, refreshable ice pack for aches, pain, or

black eyes..

10. Fill a clean, used mayonnaise jar with freshly packed lavender

flowers, fill the jar with vodka, seal the lid tightly and set in the

sun for three days. Strain liquid through a coffee filter, then apply

the tincture to aches and pains.

11. Make your own mouthwash by mixing nine tablespoons powered cinnamon

with one cup vodka. Seal in an airtight container for two weeks. Strain

through a coffee filter. Mix with warm water and rinse your mouth. Don't

swallow.

12. Using a q-tip, apply vodka to a cold sore to help it dry out.

13. If a blister opens, pour vodka over the raw skin as a local

anesthetic that also disinfects the exposed dermis.

14 To treat dandruff, mix one cup vodka with two teaspoons crushed

rosemary, let sit for two days, strain through a coffee filter and

massage into your scalp and let dry.

15. To treat an earache put a few drops of vodka in your ear. Let set

for a few minutes. Then drain. The vodka will kill the bacteria that is

causing pain in your ear.

16. To relieve a fever, use a washcloth to rub vodka on your chest and

back as a liniment.

17. To cure foot odor, wash your feet with vodka.

18. Vodka will disinfect and alleviate a jellyfish sting.

19. Pour vodka over an area affected with poison ivy to remove the

urushiol oil from your skin.

20. Swish a shot of vodka over an aching tooth. Allow your gums to

absorb some of the alcohol to numb the pain.

21.  Whatever you do, don't drink it!

 

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Salt water reef tanks prescribe vodka micro dosing.

It's been too long for me to remember why but it was a good excuse to always have a bottle of vodka on hand!

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10 minutes ago, Liquid said:

Salt water reef tanks prescribe vodka micro dosing.

It's been too long for me to remember why but it was a good excuse to always have a bottle of vodka on hand!

It's basically a food dose for colonies of nitrogen and phosphate consuming bacteria, which compete with different kinds of algae for phosphate and nitrogen.  Small doses of sugar alcohols (or sugar, frankly) help these colonies compete with the algae, preventing it from choking off your coral.

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My wife is a travel writer. She was at some hotel doing a press trip and shown their secret whisky tasting room.

She told the bartender she didn't like Scotch. He poured her something and she liked it - a lot. It was $800/bottle.

The bartender slowly gave her less expensive options that she still liked. She settled on 15 year old Leapfrog....

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3 hours ago, The Q said:

Over the years getting past the belief that sailing is for the rich has always been a problem.. 

Because it's true.  Unless you only want to day sail or camp sail once in awhile.

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Hmm... COVID-19 could also be a good excuse to carry a bottle of vodka around.  Since every bottle of "Purell" on the west coast is now gone.  And people are lined up to panic-buy everything else.  IDK if there's been a run on the liquor store yet...

Original topic? Oh hey, the high-school sailing program has started already!  At least they all have good wet or dry-suits... looks chilly.  

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Judging by the mixed content of this thread, perhaps we should try to interest the under-21 crowd in sailing by giving them expensive whiskey and vodka, and loose young women.

"Commodore Jeffrey Epstein, your presence is requested in the wardroom."

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7 hours ago, MR.CLEAN said:

I've tested this fairly scientifically: Tito's definitely gives me a headache like rum, as does the Costco brand.  Ketel, my fave Stoli, and even some of the budget ones like Svedka or Pinnacle do not.

 

Then there are all these uses:

1. To remove a bandage painlessly, saturate the bandage with vodka. The

solvent dissolves the adhesive.

2. To clean the caulking around bathtubs and showers, fill a

trigger-spray bottle with vodka, spray the caulking, let set five

minutes and wash clean. The alcohol in the vodka kills mold and mildew.

3. To clean your eyeglasses, simply wipe the lenses with a soft, clean

cloth dampened with vodka. The alcohol in the vodka cleans the glass and

kills germs.

4. Prolong the life of razors by filling a cup with vodka and letting

your safety razor blade soak in the alcohol after shaving. The vodka

disinfects the blade and prevents rusting.

5. Spray vodka on vomit stains, scrub with a brush, then blot dry.

6. Using a cotton ball, apply vodka to your face as an astringent to

cleanse the skin and tighten pores.

7. Add a jigger of vodka to a 12-ounce bottle of shampoo. The alcohol

cleanses the scalp, removes toxins from hair, and stimulates the growth

of healthy hair.

8. Fill a sixteen-ounce trigger-spray bottle and spray bees or wasps to

kill them.

9. Pour one-half cup vodka and one-half cup water in a Ziplock freezer

bag, and freeze for a slushy, refreshable ice pack for aches, pain, or

black eyes..

10. Fill a clean, used mayonnaise jar with freshly packed lavender

flowers, fill the jar with vodka, seal the lid tightly and set in the

sun for three days. Strain liquid through a coffee filter, then apply

the tincture to aches and pains.

11. Make your own mouthwash by mixing nine tablespoons powered cinnamon

with one cup vodka. Seal in an airtight container for two weeks. Strain

through a coffee filter. Mix with warm water and rinse your mouth. Don't

swallow.

12. Using a q-tip, apply vodka to a cold sore to help it dry out.

13. If a blister opens, pour vodka over the raw skin as a local

anesthetic that also disinfects the exposed dermis.

14 To treat dandruff, mix one cup vodka with two teaspoons crushed

rosemary, let sit for two days, strain through a coffee filter and

massage into your scalp and let dry.

15. To treat an earache put a few drops of vodka in your ear. Let set

for a few minutes. Then drain. The vodka will kill the bacteria that is

causing pain in your ear.

16. To relieve a fever, use a washcloth to rub vodka on your chest and

back as a liniment.

17. To cure foot odor, wash your feet with vodka.

18. Vodka will disinfect and alleviate a jellyfish sting.

19. Pour vodka over an area affected with poison ivy to remove the

urushiol oil from your skin.

20. Swish a shot of vodka over an aching tooth. Allow your gums to

absorb some of the alcohol to numb the pain.

21.  Whatever you do, don't drink it!

 

22. Keep vodka in a spray bottle in your fish kit. When you have the fish landed, a squirt into each gill case and one in the mouth snuffs it on the spot with no drama.

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9 hours ago, ProaSailor said:

Because it's true.  Unless you only want to day sail or camp sail once in awhile.

We are an inland club,  with just 136 miles of navigable waterway unless you head out to sea.  The huge cost of passage sailing at sea is not what we are about.  I've sailed / raced almost every weekend since I came back from Saudi almost 20years ago.

My must pay sailing costs per year...  £200....

when I get my own boat back in the water later this year,  the costs will Go up to about £600 per year..

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What Ishmael said.  I keep a bottle of "vodka" on board from a batch I made playing around with my R&D still, I wouldn't drink the stuff but it is great for killing fish and a lot less messy than beating them to death with a winch handle.

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I never understood vodka. The more it tastes like nothing, the more expensive it is. 

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On 2/29/2020 at 2:58 PM, toddster said:

Hmm... COVID-19 could also be a good excuse to carry a bottle of vodka around.  Since every bottle of "Purell" on the west coast is now gone.  And people are lined up to panic-buy everything else.  IDK if there's been a run on the liquor store yet...

For an itchy nose in cold/flu season, I've always found that a small dab of NEOSPORIN on a Q-tip and applied inside the nostrils (just the bottom 1/4 inch or so) works very well.

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