There was some beautiful light on the ocean this morning as the sun shone across the water. I was trying to photograph a group of SUP boarders silhouetted against the sky but our waterproof camera has no viewfinder, only an LCD screen, and I couldn't see what I was shooting and ended up with a photo of a yacht (not sailing, of course, why are yachts never actually sailing?) in silhouette. Whatever, it is still a reasonable photo. We paddled south for an hour and then turned back and had a sail assist on the way north. I'm really happy with the new sails I made. All the glitches in the first few models I made were ironed out, and, if there had been more than 10 knots of wind, they would have filled out nicely.
Sailboat, not sailing
Sometimes I look back over my blog posts and think I must seem frightfully negative. I have even had emails from people who have read my trip reports (well, I've had one email) on Bivouac asking me why I sound so annoyed (I don't think the guy used the term annoyed, but, I honestly – maybe I was annoyed – can't remember what term he did use). I think it's because I really don't believe in – as I've written before – the Barney world view bull shit. If I think we screwed up on a trip because we did a bunch (it never is just one thing) of stupid things, I'll say so. I don't spare myself in this criticism. Usually, I am way more critical of myself than I am of other people.
Smug Doug with his new sail
I think we have a lot more control over things in our life than we admit. But, we feel better blaming the weather, or conditions, or other people in our group, or even the traffic jam we got stuck in early morning on the way to the crag for our failure. It's much easier than admitting that we don't know enough about the weather or conditions to have anticipated whatever it is that is screwing up our plans. Our self-confidence stays so much higher if we can blame external things without thinking about how if we took a different view of things – especially ourselves – we'd be able to anticipate better whatever it is we happened to encounter. It might even be as easy as camping at the trailhead or getting up earlier – although, that's a Barney world view and your problems are likely bigger than that.
Double Island through the window of the Mark III
Many years ago, when I first started knocking around the Rocky Mountains, I wanted scrambling season to arrive earlier than it did. I convinced Doug to head out and attempt to climb some god-awful Rockies choss pile in April. Doug, who is more realistic than me (some would say more negative, but that is a pejorative term), thought it was way too early for such endeavors. Of course it was. We wallowed in facetted snow up to our waists all the way up to the ridge, but were eventually “because of conditions” forced to abandon the attempt. Obviously, “conditions” had nothing to do with our failure, stupidity did. Had I written the entire episode off as “poor conditions” I'd still be flailing about in “poor conditions” notching up more failures than successes.
I have a few favorite expressions that I love to bring out when things go sideways – one, of course, is “suck it up, princess” (yeah, we all know a princess), the other is “wishing and hoping doesn't make it so." So, man up, and don't make excuses.