WATER IS THE WILD BLUE YONDER
Water is the Wild Blue Wonder
By Barb Hansen
Air travel advisory # 1: Don't.
If at all possible, take a boat instead. It may not get you there as fast, but it will surely be a much more comfortable and enjoyable trip.
Unfortunately there’s no fast boat to Washington, DC. So, on a recent trip I was forced to assume the knees-to-chest position for a couple of hours aloft each way.
Air travel advisory #2: While aloft (or in the security line) don't complain out loud.
Passengers can't hear you. They are plugged into earphones. Flight assistants are harried and just want to serve the soft drinks, pretzels and stale sandwiches. Remember when they served real food on real plate with real forks and knives?
It doesn't do any good to complain. You can decompress later and maybe vent a little, too, on a boat. Sound travels faster in the water anyway.
We travel in a world of “don’ts.” Don’t leave your car unattended. Don’t walk away from your bags. Don’t bring your own bottle of water. Don’t touch your carry-on when they are inspecting it.
Once upon a time there were no security lines, no threats and you could keep your shoes on prior to boarding. Once upon a time people used to bathe and put on decent clothes to fly. Today you're lucky if the person next to you is wearing shoes.
When one's husband is a private pilot, one would be well-advised not to complain about private planes. I'm sorry, but I fail to see the attraction in sitting white-knuckled in a small plane with nothing but space above and below.
There is something much more relaxing about cruising down the waterway with long sandy, secure beaches on either side. There are no take-offs, landings, seatbelts, and constant chatter in your ear. There’s no “Big Brother” on our boat. There’s no FAA, “Federal Aquatic Authority” for boating.
We can choose to maintain our vessels as we choose. Some boat owners may choose a lower standard of maintenance than others, but that is their choice. We can cruise where we want to and when we want to. There’s no “boating space” to ask permission to enter and exit. I can think of no other freedom we have that is quite like boating.
Airline travel is simply not fun. "Have a nice flight" is code for "I hope you get to where you're going."
Air travel advisory # 3. Don't fly. Cruise.
I'm not so sure about cruise ships or even megayachts but I do know that yacht cruising on a family-and-friends kind of yacht is the best way for the human spirit – this human spirit, anyway -- to become one with the water planet.
Serenity, thy name is relaxing in the breeze on the fly bridge of a trawler or sailing on a broad reach with a gentle breeze touching your face and a happy sun smiling on the scene.
There are no lines to get on board, no bags to check and no packing and unpacking once underway. There’s no waiting for a seatbelt light to go off so you can go to the bathroom.
There are no microwaveable meals aboard our boat. Fresh seafood and a chilled glass of wine await us on the aft deck. We take time to watch the sunrise and the sunset. Flying may be, as Air Force pilots sing, "the wild, blue yonder" but cruisers know that the ocean is the real wild, blue wonder.
A philosopher once said that mountain people are wise but ocean people are happy. Pleasant cruising.