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the crazy chronicles

Just when we had wiped the name “Reid Stowe” from our memory banks, here is some wingnut to remind us of the absolute knucklehead that is Stowe. Some good references to our community though!
She was a marvelous old ship, rigged in the tradition of the gaffed working schooners that fished for cod on the Newfoundland coast: 68 feet on deck and 80 with the bowsprit, 60 tons registered with Lloyd’s, black hulled, cracking varnish on her spruce decks and her two fir masts. Occasional orange ribbons of rust dribbled down the white paint of the cabins.
She was the product of home and hand and heart. Built of steel, Ferralite and polyurethane resin, she was built in a boatbuilding shed that was cobbled together from old telephone poles on the sandy banks of a coastal river in North Carolina. Her birthplace was only a few miles from the open sea she would soon come to know, as she pushed the limits of mechanical endurance.
Captain built her as the ultimate heavy-weather sailing boat, ready for the two stormy capes of the world and everywhere in between. In her magnificent career, she would know intimately the warm placid waters of the Caribbean and frigid seas of Antarctica alike.
Although she wasn’t technically big enough to be called a “ship,” but rather a “sailing boat,” the captain and crew called her a ship in their hearts. She sung on long night watches far out in the Atlantic; the wind that drove her across the sea whistled in the open pipes of her stern railing in a way that was both beautiful and sad.
Captain was a shaman of the sea, and she was a magical ship. Not a hocus-pocus, rabbit-out-of-a-hat parlor trick; hers was the real magic that still exists in the same physical world as you and I. Her magic was found in the influencing force of intangible things, like love and luck—scientifically unquantifiable things we know exist. Her magic resonated in a part of my mind left over from when I was a bright-eyed child who had never known loss.
She sailed well and joyfully, for she had been carved and blessed by her master’s loving hands. In the 30 years he lived on and loved her, Captain labored to craft a floating gallery, a work-of-art in motion, an expression of his ability to create whatever his mind invented. Her interior illuminated with beautifully fitted tropical hardwood, vibrant, polished and alive. Her bulkheads burst with carvings of sperm whales, turtles, genies, and full-breasted mermaids. An ornate oriental dragon guarded the library in the cargo hold. A phoenix swooped down to rescue a sailboat from a maelstrom carved into the pilothouse wall, as a spurned steamship sank into the vortex. Her hidden magic, the blessing bestowed by her captain’s creativity, delivered them safely across the wild oceans of the world.
She and her Captain shattered every endurance record on the books, and followed the noble sailing tradition pioneered by celebrated men, like Sir Francis Chichester and Bernard Moitessier. They embarked on sailing odysseys where their course drew out giant works of art in the oceanic void, sea turtles, whales and enormous hearts. Their ultimate achievement was a monumental chapter in the story of humanity, a voyage of over three years—1,152 days, to be exact—without resupply and without sighting land.
On that voyage the ship became a floating hermitage. The captain grew sprouts. He did yoga. She kept him warm and dry. He prayed. She sailed on, counting miles beneath her keel. Together they discovered the Shangri-La of the sea.
Captain absolutely had no concern with the growing trend in the sailing community: to build faster boats, out of lighter, space-age materials that raced over the sea, from the starting point to the finish line, like skipping stones. Captain wasn’t interested in a pointless race. He found the mysteries of life too big and wonderful—and it demanded too much of his attention to waste time speeding around aimlessly. The ship knew she wasn’t fast, but she had patience. He enjoyed his time at sea and didn’t want to rush it. The ocean was big enough for both types of sailors, he thought.
The racing community, baffled by this seemingly backward progress, never fully understood his goal: to voyage the sea and eternal spirit of mankind, to push the limits of our species and see just how long people could last in the wild barren void of the ocean. The racing sailors may have spent an overnight sail or even a week at sea, but the ship and Captain endured it for three long years. Racers couldn’t wrap their heads around why.
Captain had faith his work would be applicable to space travelers in the future. Analogies easily could be made between the isolated schooner, sailing the void of the open ocean, and a gleaming metal ship hurtling toward a distant planet. Three years is the same time it would take for a manned ship to travel to Mars.
The racing community’s confusion grew to anger and resentment. They began to ridicule Captain. Their delicate egos wouldn’t let them believe anybody could do what he attempted. Some reached out to his sponsors with whispers of “scam!” Trolls who lurked in the dark recesses of the Internet racing forums waged cyberwar against Captain’s website, and spammed his page with death threats.
Should you have the stomach for more of this tripe, read on! And jump in the forum thread here!