Tumultuous Uproar

A cruising boat with a racing problem...

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A Sailor's Patience

12 August 2019
Russ Whitford
“No problem, I've learned patience. I'm a sailor and sailboats are slow.”

I've used that line a lot when someone apologizes for a delay. Sometimes this goes right over the person's head but most often, it gets a chuckle. Then I follow up saying, “Sailboats go about the same speed as a lawn tractor.” We actually do about 1 ½ times LT speed but it puts it in perspective for non-sailors.

My OFB (old flying buddy) Mirko Bodul would often have little, Styrofoam airplanes to hand out to kids who showed up at our flying sites on Lake Michigan Bluffs. These were perfect spots to fly our slope gliders when the wind blew from the NE. Since they were parks, we often had spectators. Mirko would not just hand out these little planes, he would assemble them and show the kids how to throw them for a good flight.

I buy big bags of these planes to hand out to kids we encounter during our travels. Kids just love to get un petit avion here in French Polynesia. We always get a smile.

Lately I have encountered some fairly long waits in the post office and Air Tahiti office. Nothing passes the time better than to help the kids put together these planes and watch them fly them. The entire office seems to enjoy the show. In the Post Office I overheard one lady telling her friend that I was a gentleman. She must have seen me walk through the door that said so.

Today in the Air Tahiti office, it was a five airplane wait. There were three kids in a family ahead of me. They loved the planes and went zooming around the room with them. Their parents were most appreciative too.

Then two more kids came in before it was my turn. I was just about finished with the last plane when a lady pointed to the desk and said, “Monsieur,” I finished the plane before I took my turn at the counter. Priorities.

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Vessel Name: Tumultuous Uproar
Vessel Make/Model: Beneteau 42s7
Hailing Port: Milwaukee, WI
Crew: Russ Whitford & Lisa Alberte plus Sophie our Jack Russell Terrier
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