Relax -- Forget Your Schedule



"Relax -- Forget Your Schedule!"

By Mac Macdonald

BANG goes the stone knocker on my stout cabin door. Two tired but eager-eyed young men enter on my "Come in" shout.

"This ‘Mac’ Macdonald? Yes? Well, our names are So-and-So. Good old What’s-his-Name told us to be sure to drop in here and say hello. We’re just ten hours out of Seattle and want to make Butte and Toba Inlets and get back on the job Monday morning. (This is Saturday afternoon!) So, you see we haven’t much time to waste on Princess Louisa Inlet. Now just when can we catch the tide out at the entrance?"

A quick glance at the tide table and I reply, "Well, fellows, if you step on it you can make it out right now."
"That’s fine. We’re off! Glad to have met you. Great place you have here. So long!" And off they go, their high speed outboard engine booming like an aeroplane.

Now this, of course, is an extreme case; but during the cruising season I meet so many of these hurry-up, schedule making skippers, transferring their highway touring point of view to what should be the slower, easier, more philosophic tempo of water cruising that often I wonder if this penchant for rapid water transit is not an automobile hangover that might be cured if given a little thoughtful contemplation.

I refuse to be drawn into the word war that goes on between skippers of sailing craft and motor cruisers. Each has its place and each has its appeal to different types of individuals. But this I do say and say emphatically, "You Motorboat Skippers (particularly those of you who are just breaking into the game) relax, take it easy, forget your hour and minute schedules and acquire if possible the serene comfortable, restful, elastic scheduled cruising point-of-view that by heritage is the treasured possession of the majority of sailing craft skippers."

Oh, I know your vacations are limited in time, that you are anxious to cover and see as much territory as possible, that you are proud of the performance and reliability of your power plant, but --- remember this: on a vacation cruise, you have a very definite obligation to yourself and to your guests. If you don’t return to your home port after a week or ten days of cruising with yourself and crew in a healthy relaxed condition and in high spirits, your cruise has been a failure. You may congratulate yourself upon having covered an ambitious mileage and upon having entered and left every port on a predetermined schedule -- but if you enter the home port in a highstrung nervous condition and your guests are hiding a "Thank the Lord That’s over!" thought behind their effusive thanks, I say that your cruise has been a failure. You are a marvelous skipper of a wonderful craft. You have covered a tremendous mileage. Your arrivals and departures were one hundred percent correct -- but you have defeated the true purpose of a vacation cruise.

Every summer at my place up the British Columbia coast, I see a large number of cruisers of all sizes, shapes and descriptions. A lamentable number of the motor cruisers are traveling upon overly-ambitious distance schedules that cause them to run most of the daylight hours, allowing the skipper and guests no time for relaxation or real enjoyment of the delightful cruising ground through which they are scurrying. The moment you board one of these do-or-die, express scheduled cruisers, one feels the tenseness that pervades the party. The men are keyed up and are in a highstrung condition while the women are weary of the continuous traveling. On such a craft, the purpose of a vacation cruise is being maltreated.

Puget Sound, British Columbia and the Southeastern Alaska coasts afford the most charming inland water cruising that may be found anywhere in the world. Don’t lessen the charm of these lovely coasts by a frantic hustling from port to port in order to maintain a predetermined schedule. Here all is beauty. Why shatter the charm of Here to rush to the charm of There which your schedule will again shatter by rushing to the next point? Relax. Take it easy. Give yourself and guests a chance to enjoy the lovely country through which you are cruising. Cut down your itinerary. Spend a day here, a day there. Only then will you return to your home port with a real physical benefit derived from your vacation cruise and a mental store of true lasting impressions that fulfill the ideal of "the traveler who bears home bags of gold."

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