Boating: Time on water extends life and happiness
June 15, 2011
I passed a real milestone last week by becoming an honored member of the Medicare Society. Which means that I'm now really old and I have a card to prove it. Still, around many of the “Dead End Canal Yacht Club” members I am still considered a 'kid.' The wishful prayer, “Good health to All,” is mentioned several times before, during and after all our meetings.
'From your lips to God's ear' is often tagged onto that wish. So, maybe God was a waterman. I think that the fishing must be great in heaven. I can't believe heaven would be heaven without a huge mint green body of water that is always calm and teeming with fish of every size and type. Of course the fishing would be only catch and release because the fish are in heaven, too!
Statistically, boaters and fishermen live longer than non-boaters and non-fishermen. It's true; I've seen it in several boating industry magazines and a few consumer mags as well. Brings to mind the old saying 'Figures never lie.... but liars figure.' Makes you wonder who funded the study?
Looking around at a meeting of a “DECYC” recently made me realize that the stats are true. Methuselah and pals are well represented on one side of our meeting room because they never go north any more. They also never go out with us to happy hour anymore. That might be part of their secret. The 'happy hours' have been a little grim recently because there has been a noticeable drop in attendance.
“Here's to living the pure life,” John Wayne said just before chugging down the last drop of whiskey from a pint in the movie 'The Shootist.' In typical fashion, the Duke then throws the empty bottle into the air and shoots it into a million pieces. I've always wondered what was the symbolism of that scene was but it had escaped me until now. Since he was playing a dying old gunfighter in that movie, I used to think it represented the end of it all, pure life or not.
Now I realize that it was actually John Wayne's way of protesting the five-cent bottle deposit laws like they have in New York and other freedom-repressing locals. We have to protect the rights of every individual to do what they should not do.
Case in point; I'm behind a rental car at the Summerlin Road and San Carlos Boulevard light when a rear passenger door opens and a young lady leans out and stubs out a cigarette. I thought she would take the butt back inside the car but she threw it casually in the road. When we were at the next light I inquired why she would spoil paradise with her cigarette butt and was told by everyone in the car that I was a jerk and worse just for asking. Freedom is a great thing.
Who among you haven't been on the water and watched boat passengers toss beer cans, Twinkie wrappers and everything else they don't want to haul to the garbage can. I wish boat makers would add a small trash compactor to their vessels. It would save a lot of junk off the waterway.
Maybe it's because I'm officially an old guy now but looking back, I've been a green type guy for many years. Having started out in sailboats I've learned the value of nature more than my fellow stink boaters. I am a power boater now because there is so little reliable wind in Southwest Florida but whenever I charter a boat in the Caribbean it is always a sailboat.
We DECYC members are always arguing the pros and cons of any and all points and some of our meetings rarely disintegrate into shouting matches. Our Sergeant of Arms has been busy at most meetings. We don't argue politics but most of our discussions have political overtones. “Why can't my BYU graduate son find a job,” Boston Bob implored the membership recently.
“Could it be because you are driving a KIA and not a Ford,” asked Union John. That really hit home to a lot of us. Are we the reason that South Korea and India and China are stealing our jobs? Is that why Boston Bob's son can't find a job in Manhattan, NY and he has to drive rich people back and forth to the airport?
“Supply and demand, boyo,” said Union John in his soft-spoken way. “You want it cheap, your neighbor will help by giving up his job to a China man! Maybe it ain't the Government who has to turn this economy around, maybe it's the American people. The Buy American has been sullied by Sam Walton's grand kids, Wal-Mart is the most destructive force in the American economy!”
No one argues with soft-spoken Union John. At least not in the club. He has a way to cock his one eyebrow, which quiets most arguments. Born in Ireland, he has a 'Quiet Man' air about him. His children and grandchildren are his life. He loves Florida and fishing in the Back Bay. As he struggles back from a serious illness the 'DECYC' extends our best wishes for a full recovery!
We all agree that if anyone can beat it, John will!
Boatguy Ed is a retired manufacture of marine products, especially the world renowned 'Super Shipbottom Anti-fouling Bottom Paint.' He now is a volunteer on his son's television show, Boater's Treasures that sells half priced waterfront restaurant certificates at www.boaterstreasures.com. Send comment to firstname.lastname@example.org