Blinks and Sunglasses

It was a stunning day. 27 degrees, warm water and a gentle breeze flowing from the shore out to the deep blue Pacific Ocean. The location is Sonaisali Island Resort just 500m off the Fiji mainland.

Sitting on the shoreline the Hobbie Cat was geared up and in the offering. How could I resist? I donned the obligatory life jacket and haul the boat into the gentle swell.

In an instant, a blink if you will, I made the decision to wear my expensive prescription sunglasses on the boat. I mean the wind and sea state was such that there was simply no way I could capsize the boat.

So I push off, sheet in the Main and sail at a lazy almost meaningless pace off down past the resort. It is after all a holiday and even the wind seems to work on Fiji time.

Sometime and distance later round the boat downwind and prepare to jibe. It is at this point that I notice for the first time that the tiller extension has undergone some Fijian style refurbishment that has left it practically impossible to cross the boat with the extension in my grip. I grab the tiller bar and complete the job, the sheet in for a long slow broad reach.

I then lean out of the back of the boat to recover the tiller extension when Slip … Slop … Splash … my glasses fall into the now very murky water. I lurch out to grab them, then make a decision to fully commit to their recovery.

Moments later after diving into the water and trying to swim to the bottom with a lifejacket on. Yip. I quickly become aware that the glasses are lost at sea. I stand up and find the water is chest deep then turn to see the boat is slowly making its way seaward without me. Oh yeah, one of the first things I was taught about sailing. ALWAYS stay with the boat unless it sinks.

Now had the wind been any stronger the sail would have circum and flapped in the breeze. Not today. Just enough wind so I couldn’t dog paddle after it. Just enough wind so I couldn’t swim then stop for a break. I tried both and each time the boat sailed off.

I had to put in some serious swimming to finally catch the boat, round it into wind and pull my water logged body back on board. Heavier and darker!

Thus ended the first morning of my holiday and now here is the strange implication:

Sometimes we make blink decisions (deciding to wear my glasses); that lead to bigger decisions and commitments (going in after my glasses); that lead to a whole heap of extra work (swimming after the boat).

Sometimes our blinks are wrong!