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Creek AnchorageAll of our non-sailing friends ooh and ahh when we talk about owning a sailboat (a 30′ Catalina), imagining an exciting day under sail, battling big swells and taming sails stretched to the limit while the rail is buried under water, me at the helm braced against the heeling boat while the Admiral man’s a jib winch, trimming the big genoa to keep us on track.

They’re always a bit surprised when I say that the best part of sailing is when you’re done.

On a recent weekend we went to the marina, looking forward to an overnight trip to a nearby creek. We ran down our checklist: full water tanks, Jamaican beer, snacks and dinner ingredients.  We crank up the diesel and creep out of our slip and head for the open water. It’s warm but with low humidity if feels more like September than July.  We pass two young ospreys on a daymarker nest and they give us a wary eye as we motor within a few feet of them. Seeing that we have no food for them so they return to scanning the sky for their parents.

As we motor out of the lee of the creek we feel the breeze begin to build and after another mile we point into the wind and raise the main and unfurl the jib. Then there is that delicious moment when we turn off the engine, fall off the wind and the boat takes  off. We are sailing, almost silently.
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DoctorI’ve finally discovered research which supports my contention that I need to take a vacation at least every other week.

Westman M. & , Eden D. (1997).  Effects of a respite from work on burnout: vacation relief and fade-out. Journal of Applied Psychology, 82(4), 516-527. From the abstract: “…burnout returned part way toward its prevacation level by 3 days after the vacation and all the way by 3 weeks after the vacation.”  Briefly, the positive benefits of taking a vacation staved off burnout from 3 days to 3 weeks.

This means that the psychological benefits of taking a vacation fade at roughly the same rate as one’s tan. Having an all-over tan may delay the return of burnout somewhat, but that has not been fully investigated. I’m considering submitting a research proposal to the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institute of Health, and Oprah Winfrey to fully study the issue of tan-fade and the onset of burnout.

If you’re interested in being a subject for this study, please leave a comment and let me know what tropical destination you’re willing to travel to for science. Remember, this is for science. Science. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

thereby turning a visually stunning location into a city of contradictions.

I visited SLC recently. One thing I’ll say, the citizens are incredibly friendly and helpful. And obedient with a capital “O.” Let me quickly say that one of my best friends is a Saint. I admire his faith and determination. I envy him. But I’m convinced I have more fun. Read the rest of this entry »