Tuesday, July 9, 2013
I woke up to wind chimes - wind chimes getting beaten to death by somethiing blowing from the south-east.
My wife began my day by asking me if I thought the wind was going to be a problem for our gondoliers taking cruises out.
A quick check of the weather report told me that it might.
The wind was strong, although we're used to that.
We encounter our fair share of wind here in Newport.
I did a mental evaluation of who I thought could handle the wind,
and who I might need to move.
Then at 3pm I took out my first cruise.
The wind was there, waiting to mess with me and my boat,
but the real problem was the direction the wind was coming from.
We typically work against the wind on the way out
and ride a tailwind on the way back.
Today it was "opposite day" - the wind hit me from behind
right off the dock, and did its very best to try and spin me around.
Then on the way back I had to fight for every inch of advancement.
Some days you own the water,
other days you feel very much like an unwelcome guest.
Often the mark of a good gondolier is:
how relaxed his guests feel when he is back there working hard.
It's not just whether he can make headway against the wind,
it's also a question of if he can do so without the passengers getting uncomfortable (or even sick).
A truly skilled gondolier can maintain the same level of calm among his passengers as they would have if there were no wind to work against.
I did my level best...and did my best to keep the boat level too.
In the end all went well, and as the evening progressed, the wind,
as if it had found me worthy, calmed a bit and shifted back to blowing
in a direction more common to the area.
There are cruises that take place with little work and no struggle,
then there are the ones where you really earn your keep.
There's a saying:
"You can't control the wind, but you can adjust your sails".
I'm not a sailor but I've come to realize that I can't control the wind,
can't dictate which direction it will come from, but I can adjust the way I row, can work harder when the need arises.
I can hope the wind will shift, but I must keep rowing hard until it does.