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Date: 1 August 2014. Boating Changes over the Decades.

Boating has gone through many changes over the decades I've been enjoying same. In the early 60's boats were much smaller and the boaters we met were predominantly retired folks. As a matter of fact, during my entire childhood I remember just a half dozen other children living aboard boats and none had been born aboard.  I was alone. Still am...

Calvert [http://calverteducation.com] provided lessons for some and I certainly sold enough book reports to students to make it worth my while. $1 per page incidentally was the going rate. As long as I was reading a book, typing a report to sell later seemed like an easy money making endeavor to me.

For others, private tutors were an option selected by those with means. Mostly our fellow cruising partners were kind enough to share their interests and taught me the necessities.  The best teacher though was Mother.

She taught me to read when I was quite young and that was truly the best gift ever. Learning how others lived long ago and into the future was fascinating and I still love reading.

Calvert hasn't changed much over the years. It's classical education at its finest and everything literally comes in the box. I used it with my duo too, and the same poem I had to memorize is still in the curriculum.  Sea Fever is one of my favorites to this day.

Sea Fever by John Masefield

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a gray mist on the sea's face, and a gray dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
All I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the seagulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way, where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And a quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

The 1970's brought a new set of youthful boaters. They were the hippies and frankly not much of an improvement in my view. Of course the younger folks did what young people do and soon enough there were babies on the way. Some of those parental units stuck with boating but for the most part, they moved on to dirt and joined the mainstream.

Following the pot-smoking hippies, came the wealthier yuppies. Suddenly larger incomes brought conspicuous consumption and yachting became an attainable goal. Boats became larger, faster and lots fancier.  It was an improvement and there can certainly be many good things said about visiting a decadent life aboard a yacht.

Cocktails onboard a Hatteras can be quite the aphrodisiac. And that's one reason why Hatts are so popular.

Now we see the prices of fuel skyrocketing and the doomsayers are out in full regalia. Always there have been those swearing that the boating experience has "Changed for the Worse" and is on it's last sea legs.

It has changed but so too has everything in the world.

I've chosen to celebrate the new while seeking comfort in the familiar. Perhaps you as well?

What changes have you seen over the years?
Is boating on it's last sea legs?


Category: Boat Talk, Vignettes

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