Monday, February 21, 2005

Yachting a Religion?

Bill's Log

Yachting is rather a posh word, isn’t it? It conjures up pictures of prestigious vessels like the super-yachts of today and J Class racers of yesteryear. Such a pastime surely is for the elite rich, or is it? I would venture to suggest that many yachtsmen, or in this day of political correctness, yachtspersons, are in fact as poor as church mice. The average genuine, fanatical aficionado, has mortgaged himself to the hilt, investing all he has in the ‘love of his life’.

What about the enthusiast, who by circumstances can only afford the tiniest of vessels? He too, sacrifices all he has to obtain and maintain his ‘joy’.

So, the very rich, those who are not so rich, and the poor have in common this passion for the thing they adore. Is this not akin to all genuine followers of religions?

There are many religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Shintoism, Confucianism, Daoism and numerous others, but all have their devotees. Likewise there are many forms of water-borne activities: canoeing, rowing, dinghy sailing, one design racing, ocean cruising, ocean racing and many others, but their devoted practitioners seek perfection.

Isn’t ‘devotion’ the common factor of all religions, including Yachting? Who are the ayatollahs, bishops, priests and gurus of Yachting? Many at this time worship the unassuming Ellen MacArthur who has been conferred a ‘saint’ by the Queen and will receive her religious robes shortly.


John T said...


What sets us apart from the animals is our arrogance.

Because animals dont act in the way that our intellect dictates we assume their intellect is lacking in some way and because they dont speak our language we assume they have no language. We used to do this with the "Savages" in the various "backward" countries

Like many people I speak to my dog, if I tell him to sit, he sits. If I tell him to get in the boat, he gets in the boat,
He has several toys, if I tell him to fetch a particular toy he will go and fetch it (sometimes he will bring the one I asked for and the one he wants to play with). This indicates some understanding of English and an individuality of choice, maybe even a sense of humour. We think there are between a hundred and a hundred and fifty words that he understands.

I know from the tone of his bark, if he is happy or unhappy, exited or someone is coming to the gate. But I have know idea what he is saying.

A recent study costing thousands of pounds, concluded that dogs have different barks for different meanings. Thats progress? dog owners have always known that.

So who has the better intellect?

If we pay attention lots of animals show intelligence and the ability to plan obscure courses of action that will solve a problem.

We dont know if they are arrogant, because we dont know what they are saying.


William Serjeant said...

Thanks John,

You've got a good point about our arrogance, but there are many other factors that set us apart from animals.

I only wish some children were as well behaved and obedient as your dog!

Likewise, it seems your dog has a respect for you; more than many children have for the parents.

Thank you for you input,