The Nature of Work

An American businessman was at the pier of a small South Pacific island village when a small proa with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small proa was a dorado and several large grouper. The American complimented the Islander on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Islander replied, "Only a little while."

The American then asked why didn't he stay out longer and catch more fish?

The Islander said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs.

The American then asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

The fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a late afternoon nap with my wife, Helia, and then in the evening after dinner I stroll into the village where I sip rum and play guitar with my friends. I have a full and busy life."

The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and can help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats; eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, and soon you would open your own cannery. You would control the production, processing, and distribution. Of course, you would need to leave this small fishing village and move to Australia, then Los Angeles and eventually New York City, from where you could better run your expanding enterprise."

The South Seas fisherman asked, "But, how long will this all take?" to which the American replied, "15–20 years."

"But what then?"

The American laughed and said "that's the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions."

"Millions, really? Then what?"

The American said, "Then you retire. Move to a small fishing village where you sleep late, fish a little, play with your grandkids, take a late afternoon nap with your wife, and then in the evening after dinner, stroll into the village to sip rum and play
your guitar with your friends."

(Borrowed. I have no idea where this came from; I have seen many versions on the net and edited this one to suit my sense of story telling.)


April 18, 2013
Six years ago I found myself writing circumnavigating the Delmarva Peninsula — a guide for the shoal draft sailor because I had discovered both gaps in the available guide information and the fantastic experience that I wanted to share. I didn't attempt to write a new guidebook so much as to tell the story of multiple trips with guide-style detail for those that might duplicate the experience. Now, after more years of exploring the Chesapeake, more often than not areas not documented in the guidebook literature, again feel driven to share experiences that are a bit off the map. I know this project will be years in the making; my first draft of my Delmarva guide was only 10% of the length it reached by the first release. I suspect that will be the case here. But the journey is the best part of writing project such as this.

I’ve not attempted to write a guide the Chesapeake Bay. The marinas, the comfortable harbors… all of the popular stuff is well covered in conventional guides. They cover the cruiser's road and the road-side attractions. This is written for those who like side paths and places few visit of know of. Local places and wild places. And although I’ve tried to stay off the beaten track, occasionally I’ll discuss a popular area, but from a different perspective, with different activities in mind. I'll not attempt to write a how-to guide, although I've written chapters discussing some how-to subjects that apply specifically to my sort of exploration off the track by cruising sail boat. Oddly, while most guides are full of phone numbers and addresses, I have little use for those in this text. But plenty of links to wildlife refuges, parks… information. Maybe I can save future wanderers a little groping in the dark.

Mostly, I've written an invitation to explore everything that is not in popular guide books: isolated beaches, saltwater marshes, fossiling, and paddling. When you need a break from my ramblings, que up Google Earth, zoom in, and ask yourself “what is that right there; that tiny inlet, that speck of beach, that salt marsh, that fisherman’s village."

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I'd be happy to add entire descriptions, if you have an idea that fits. Just give a hint here and we'll swap e-mails.