Great Things About Voyaging—No TV


Phyllis and I were, up until 5 minutes ago, sitting side by side reading. She is still reading. I stopped reading, picked up the camera, took a photo of Phyllis reading and started writing this post.

What inspired me was the sudden realization that, although we have now been in this condo in the Canadian Rockies (where we came to escape our uninsulated Base Camp and cross-country ski our buns off) for two days, that is equipped with not just one, but two, TVs, we have not turned on either—it has never even crossed our minds.

In fact, Phyllis and I have in the 17 years we have been together never owned a TV. And, at least to me, our lives are richer for it. Instead of watching the box after, and even during, dinner, as I did, in a previous life before cruising, we talk. Or I work on my photographs and Phyllis works on French. But most of all, we read. By the way, I’m not going to tell you that we are particularly cerebral in our choices. In fact, I just finished a truly brainless who-done-it.

My purpose in writing this post is not to lord it over those of you who escape the stresses of a far too fast paced world by escaping into the TV at the end of a way too intense day. I used to do exactly that back when I donned a coat and tie every day and worked in an office. Rather, my purpose is to share and celebrate another one of the many wonderful things about voyaging: it provides a serenity and ability to slow down that makes the escape of TV less attractive and less necessary.

Sure, there are coastal cruisers that watch just as much TV as people who are shore-based, but for those of us who have spent significant amounts of time offshore, it seems that the magic box’s siren call is somehow blunted. And that, in turn, frees us to read more and create more. And, best of all, to listen to nature, rather than what the producers of TV content, designed to act as a vehicle for advertising to sell us ever more stuff that we don’t need, want us to listen to.

It’s just another great benefit of voyaging that continues even when we are not actually voyaging. And one I’m truly grateful for.

If you are currently reaping that benefit, and all the others of voyaging too, that’s great. And if you are working toward the goal of voyaging, I wish you every possible piece of good fortune to help you get out there and leave your TV behind.

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John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 18 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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