Sailing for a Purpose

The wind would be coming from the southeast all weekend. Good sailing wind: more than 10mph, but less than 20mph. The tides were mostly ebbing during the day, trying to suck a boat south, conflicting with a downwind run heading north. Julie and I had four days to have a sailing adventure. We set out at 8AM on Friday morning, attempting to ride as much slack water as possible before the ebb tide would rob our progress. I intended to sail northwest from Anacortes to…

Freedom and Angst

Sailing with Brother

Jean Paul Sarte, the father of existential philosophy, was fond of pointing out that true freedom is experienced as angst. The example he gives is that of standing on the precipice of a cliff. The angst is what you feel, knowing that you have the freedom to take that last step. Freedom is scary. So much so that most people can’t handle it. They’d rather sacrifice freedom for security. I feel that angst every time I dock. I know my little $10K boat could do…

A Self-Sufficient Philosophy


Everyone has had the experience of not having the right tools for the job. Imagine trying to hammer a nail with a crescent wrench. It can be done, but it takes much more effort and the frustration level is much higher. Plus, the potential for physical injury is higher. Switching to a hammer is an instant ten-fold increase in pleasure and productivity. Even if the study of philosophy has never interested you, I have news for you: you have a philosophy. Everyone does. The simple…

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