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Log Entry

S = k

Sailing as in life, generally, is influenced by the axiom S=k. I think of the late Edwin “Nasty Ned” Shuman when an I love yachting moment occurs. About twenty years ago while making an ocean passage, Ned provided some priceless advice about what happens when you think things are going fantastic.

The short version of the story of S=k is as follows. Going back those twenty years or so, we were both sailing on the Swan 44, TONIC, from Guadalupe to Annapolis. It had been a rough couple of days, especially getting through the Mona Passage. It is the strait that separates the islands of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico, and it connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean Sea. It's an important shipping route between the Atlantic and the Panama Canal, but aboard a small sailboat, it can get turbulent.


A few days after getting tossed around in the Mona Passage, we finally got treated to some great sailing. I was at the helm steering the boat comfortably on a beam reach, warm sunshine on my face, and a freshly opened cold Heineken in hand. I looked over at Ned and exclaimed, “This is perfect". Ned’s reply was, “Yea, but don’t ever forget, S=k.” I looked back at him and asked what he meant by that cryptic formula?


Ned then explained to me, just because conditions were excellent at that moment, “shit is constant in the universe” and shit would return. I thanked (yes for the explanation but not for the newly found wisdom of knowing shit was always right around the corner) Ned and then reminded him that I wanted to enjoy the cold beer and pleasant conditions while it lasted.

I have never forgotten that bit of simple insight, though, and use it often. It is so true, it seems that just when things are going well, S comes back to mess things up. You might be sailing along thinking what a lovely time you’re having – bang, the main halyard breaks. S=k.

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4 comentarios


Shit is constant!!! One of the many great Nedism's!

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gchelius
gchelius
07 sept 2021

I heard S=K from an old sailor. It was the old Bradley Cole while a pleasant sunset over the bay, doing the down the bay race, finishing a kale salad and cold IPA. True story

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Invitado
03 sept 2021

Murphy

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WD WD
WD WD
03 sept 2021

Start selling s=k bling Brad!

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