Preview: Learning From Experience; My Biggest Disaster and What It Taught Me

Bill Porter changed my life. It was through a series of letters that  I got to know him and take over the beloved ketch he had owned for over 30 years. He was an incredible man: a bit of a mad scientist, and was involved in packaging penicillin for public consumption as well as inventing fire suppression systems. I oftentimes find myself pulling ou the letters we exchanged and rereading them, as they take me back to that incredible summer.

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4 Responses So Far to “Learning From Experience; My Biggest Disaster and What It Taught Me

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    Victoria Burdick says:

    Eric, bless your heart for sharing your terrifying and inspiring story! After a 20-some year happy retirement aboard a Tartan 34, my parents sadly let her be loved by younger adventurists. I found a sweet custom 1950 20′ wooden gig that had been sitting in a lumber yard storage shed for 18 years. I knew in an instant this was Pop’s next project! I called my brother’s and told them (not asked) that we’re going in together. A beloved friend was kind enough to trailer her down the driveway on Father’s Day ~ When he beheld his ‘gift’, he proceeded to swear, like the sailor he was, and simultaneously caress her hull with the possibilities of a doable future…he and my Mom, with their straw hats and great snacks spent many years of beautiful afternoons enjoying putts around Fishers Island Sound and the Mystic River. He’d look out the kitchen window, see her at the dock, and sigh; “She’s a Beauty!” We weren’t quite sure if it was the boat or Mom he was cherishing…probably both! This vessel saw the sunset of a 73 year romance ~ Back to you, Eric; I have now inherited her, and my father’s string of sailor slang! I was seeking guidance on caulking, and found your timely piece on ‘LINNEA’…Yes, they draw the tides of dreams our way, they beckon horizons of unknown possibility, they are character carving, and best shared! I dream of a summer ahead with my 4 year old grandson finding his center of gravity swinging around her happy decks…as we’ll both be marveling at how darn fast the time goes by! Thanks for listening.

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    Kip Otteson says:

    I’m so glad to read stories like this. I’ve been raising my family, thinking about a boat I used to have and couldn’t afford, and how to move forward on the water while I’m living abroad and inland. I’m going to start a Caledonia Yawl in my driveway soon in Northern Thailand. We have a community of ex pats here that are itching to sail on the lakes up here and then turn our hand down south in the islands. Thanks for the continued inspiration.

    Kip Otteson
    Chiang Mai, Thailand

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    tom bergeron says:

    As an old guy, when a young person asks for advice about life and career i tell them to stop wondering, pick something challenging, get started, do it, stick to it, finish it, reevaluate, pick something else if necessary. standing still is the enemy of happiness.

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    malcolm kerstein says:

    Great story Eric.
    I understand how my son Dustin developed such great respect for you this Summer.