I delayed the project several times. I had to do it. It was getting too late in the season. I had to varnish the toe rails of my Sabre 38. A lengthy exercise.

Every morning, for three consecutive sunny days, I applied a coat in 85 degrees. I was leaning for about 3 hours for each coat. My back did not hurt and my head did not spin when I got up. This made me feel good. By the way, you can only drink water when you do this job.

Before painting, I jogged for half an hour to a store close by to have breakfast. I also jogged to go to lunch after I finished varnishing.

In the afternoon I had the chance to talk to Jim, a superb sailor who helped me take the boat to Annapolis from Hilton Head, where I bought it. He bought an old Bristol, fixed it up and now it looks like new. He sold his house and now lives on his boat. Jerry too has been living on a boat for some time. But he confessed he was ready to go back to work again. He seemed to have reached an important decision.

Ted also decided, at least in the foreseeable future, that living on a boat in Annapolis is better than cruising the Caribbean. I became slowly part of the life at the marina. People have different priorities and problems. Or so it seems. This is where we escape to find relief from the pressures of life and to place issues into perspective. A sailboat and the Bay offer the perfect setting.

Should I also live the rest of my life on a boat? Cruising from port to port? It sounds romantic and fascinating. But my answer, to my surprise, is “I am not sure”.

The challenge of life is about achieving a delicate balance of how we capture what the world has to offer --Aristotle’s golden mean. Too much of anything burns us out. Money, food, entertainment, exercise, sailing. I like my sailing escapades. But I also love to come back and become immersed again in other aspects of life such as the pressures of the daily market swings.

When my mind gets into a dreadful loop, I find an escape in thinking how well I varnished the toe rails.

(This Observations appeared in the 8-28-2006 issue of The Peter Dag Portfolio ).

George Dagnino, PhD Editor,
The Peter Dag Portfolio.
Since 1977
2009 Market Timer of the Year by Timer Digest
Portfolio manager

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