Friday, January 11, 2013

twenty years and counting

Twenty years ago, give or take a matter of days, I sat in the back of a ballroom in a Norfolk waterfront hotel and listened as Webb Chiles gave a talk about his life, his boats and his circumnavigations.  He concluded the talk by saying he would raise a glass to us all, to our dreams and to the passion to pursue them.  I did not meet Webb in person that evening, but I have carried that toast with me during all of my sailing.

A few years ago, because of this blog, I received an email from Webb.  Since then we have carried on an occasional email conversation, a rambling discussion about boats, sailing, art, books and just about everything else.

This coming week our schedules aligned, each of us planning to be in San Diego - Webb to sail his boat "Gannet" and myself to visit my Mom.  Webb and I talked about getting together, meeting in person for the first time, maybe even going for a sail.

And then, for reasons beyond his control, Webb had to cancel his trip.

We won't meet this coming week, but someday I do hope we cross paths.

Twenty years and counting.



leisingj said...

I follow Webb's Journal and your blog on a regular basis. Providence lost....for the time being. Here's hoping your paths will cross.

JimB said...

Webb sent a nice note one Christmas day after running across a photo of Dana and I on Papoose. Actually, Dana was on Papoose and I was in the dinghy pushing a la "Jolly Boat" - our diesel had died. He said it made him smile and called the dinghy Papoosh. It stuck as the boat name and we've a lot of laughs over it.

We also traded a few emails when Irene came through because of his curiosity about what we were experiencing.

While I am fascinated and amazed by his writing, devotion to keeping in shape and his enjoyment of sailing, especially alone, I think his curiosity of the world & people is most striking to me. Maybe that is the bigger part of him maintaing his youthfulness.

I sure hope you get to spend some time with him. What a treat that would be.

doryman said...

For a few moments, I had considered driving to San Diego to visit Webb during his stay this winter (it's only a 24 hour drive...) ;-)

What a pleasure and an honor it would have been to see you both! Perhaps there'll be another time.

Steve said...

Not seeing Webb on this visit just gives me a good excuse for a trip out to the coast later this year -- as if I need an excuse to visit San Diego.


doryman said...

There is a fellow in San Diego rebuilding a Rhodes 33 and I have some old, original hardware and new sails and rigging he wants.
Maybe instead of shipping it, I'll deliver it myself.....