Ernest Gann said the following, much more eloquently I could. It comes from his book "The Song Of Sirens", which is to boats, what "Fate Is The Hunter" is to flying.
I'm sure if Ernie was alive today, he would be a master contributor to this forum.
Song of The Sirens E K Gann
Voyaging beyond the horizon in a small vessel is knowing removal
from all the superfluous vexations and tribulations which have brought man to a platform upon which he stands naked and alone in his secret terror, not quite sure whether he is rich or poor, young or old, inspired or despairing, or what his sale price
should be. Then the sea becomes a nirvana for the dedicated escapist, but it may also serve as a powerful restorative to the most inhibited realists. The removal
begins soon after the land drops out of sight and all of the horizon marking the frontiers of the voyager’s world becomes ocean. Soon afterwards he discovers that one of the most painful ills that has abscessed his system and obsessed his brain has almost entirely disappeared. As soon as he realizes that whatever he wants is not to be had, and moreover that even if it was available he could not use it, he loses the pox of desire and its inevitable scabs of greed. To observe human beings without pressing desire is to rediscover mankind, and it is at times so encouraging that one is not ashamed to walk on two legs.
The death of desire is linked directly to deepwater needs which are very simple. Soap is needed for cleanliness, and desire is born again if it is long unavailable. Some passing thought must be given to the matter of clothing
, an odd piece of cloth here and there for modesty and, according to the vessel’s latitude, some costume to retain body warmth. Since high fashion of any description is hopelessly impractical at sea, a vicious pair of human frailties is dropped overboard
. Vanity and envy will not be retrieved until the sailor steps ashore again
Soon the more subtle influences commence to make themselves known and further soothe the unavoidably troubled personality who only a few days previously had striven to survive in the complex of shoreside existence. According to his political persuasion, status, or social conscience, the voyager may have been distressed by racial problems, international threats, or merely by the gyrations of the stock market; now suddenly he realizes they are continuing without his vicarious supervision, and while at first he may experience a sense of futility and uselessness, these frustrations will soon be cancelled by the citizen duties of his new world, which is now measured in feet and inches. The abandonment of worry about the course of history
is particularly noticeable among habitual newspaper readers. To ease the pangs of withdrawal aboard the Albatross we followed a policy of turning on the radio
news for the first three days out of port – after which we found no one bothered to listen. And then there was peace.
Once rid of such debilitating influences, man stands in the new danger
of discovering himself, and for a while the cure can be as ravaging as the disease. The average underprivileged human being, bearing a minimum of shore-nourished afflictions, may expect to pass through the metamorphosis in a few days and emerge to discover he is basically a friendly creature rarely inclined to hatred in spite of his thirst for argument and, when the occasion arises, surprisingly considerate of his shipmates. A part of this is due to a new mutual sense of security
– “ Here we are alone in the middle of the ocean and we must stick together if we are ever to reach the safety
of shore again.”
There are other fundamentals involved in this undercurrent of well-being. Money
has ceased to be a necessity and is not even a useful commodity, so that the handling, counting, thinking and discussion of it is reduced to a minimum. And if the voyage has been properly planned the voyager knows he will not starve; if doubts still haunt him he can always find some excuse to inspect the reserve. This total security
, coupled with the draining of his poison juices, promotes long life; which may be why people persist in going to sea in small vessels. In good weather
the contentment simulates a return to the womb.
If you don't own a copy of this book, then may I humbly suggest you drop what you are doing, and go in search of it. If you have any soul at all, you will love it.
Regards Mach Buffett