Captain Garth Wells contacted me a few weeks ago, when his mate quit unexpectedly. I agreed to fill in for the last two trips of the season on the Lewis R. French out of Camden, Maine. The LRF is the first boat I ever worked on, and is still my favorite schooner around.
We had a pretty rainy 10 days, but the trips were excellent inspite. My poor little computer arms and hands suffered hard when I had to pull heartily on the throat halyard those first couple of days. How soft we get. The trip was a re-awakening for me, a reminder, a fresh breath of air. The focus on the task at hand and the lack of distractions…the hard physical work, and the cold autumn winds… it all cleared the mind’s clutter. I once again learned that simple living, combined with physical team-work is what humans are built to do. I’m reading “Better Off: Flipping The Switch On Technology” by Eric Brende, a fantastic book about how technology has fragmented our lives and displaced us from our own native capabilities. He illustrates that less technology actually increases and enriches our leisure time; our physical and emotional health. I was able to draw many similarities between his story about living in a technology free community and sailing aboard a schooner bult in 1871.