September 19, 2016
Sail On, Sail On, Sailor

By John Fullerton
Image Courtesy of BlueOrigin.com

The following blog post originally appeared on EcoWatch.com.

"Our vision is millions of people living and working in space, and New Glenn is a very important step," said Jeff Bezos, unveiling this week his space travel company Blue Origin's giant rocket named after Astronaut John Glenn.

Of course there is also billionaire entrepreneur extraordinaire Elon Musk's SpaceX, Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic, and Paul Allen's Vulcan Aerospace. Dream big, that's the spirit! The final frontier with limitless possibilities. Our boys and their toys. Great fun!

Most of us sail at a lower orbit of course. Our games, our striving and exploration, our fun, takes place a little closer to earth. My soul is nourished near and on the sea, so boats are my toys of choice. In my middle age, I have largely traded the competitive sailboat racing of my youth for a desire to "mess around" in relatively small, wooden boats in particular - sail and power - luxuriating in their handcrafted and poetic aesthetic.

As I've documented previously, large, ocean-going yachts are a whole different kettle of fish, and pose a particularly grotesque challenge to any sense of a responsible carbon footprint, even if money is no object.

My "boat toy" desires are far more humble. Until a couple weeks ago, my "yachting" consisted of a high performance paddle board with a bamboo deck - sustainable right? In my future, I see a pretty day sailor, handcrafted in Maine out of local wood (I sold my prior sailboat since the kids preoccupied my free time), and a small motorboat to explore harbors (we call this "toodling around") and to make occasional short journeys around the southern New England coast where I live...
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