Ocean Hermit – sailing, solitude and stories

My plans to retrace Captain Cook's unfinished voyage have been postponed a year while I work on the next Marine Diesel Basics book and get my new boat SV Oceandrifter ready for sea.

Never Too Old To Learn

Looking back on the 9 months of school, what are some thoughts?:

1) I should have done this long ago.  All the months/seasons/years of agony alone trying to sort out basic mechanical problems on the boat could have been avoided.

2) You’re never too old to learn.  Even 40 years after leaving school, and 38 since college,it’s been a refreshing experience to gain a whole new foundation in a new subject.

3) A closed mind never learns. Young people who think they know it all and older people who know they know it all face major obstacles.

4) Engines don’t quit or fall apart just because you look at them.  And problems don’t go away just because you pretend they don’t exist.  These were both my attitude when I bought Kuan Yin 8 years ago – and it’s an attitude that I’ve seen while working on other people’s boats. Engines don’t bite unless they are neglected.

5) Pay me now or pay me later.  Going cheap on a boat only leads to problems later. Buy the best you can afford, install using best practices and carry out regular inspections and maintenance.

6) Diesels rock!  Diesel engines are so elegant in their simplicity. All they need is air, clean fuel and compression (unlike gasoline engines with distributors, spark plugs, timing advance etc). Yet the engineering to produce their simplicity is brilliant.

7)  In general, people with smartphones have a major disadvantage in their addiction to gadgets.

8)  Whatever happens in Labrador this summer, I’m ready!


One comment on “Never Too Old To Learn

  1. Michele Pippen
    June 8, 2014

    Enjoyed these little snippets of thoughts and wisdom – life is for living AND learning – you’re a great ambassador for ‘life’ Dennison. I’ve always thought of diesel engines in similar light as a human body – in it’s basic summary – needs air, filters, pump, ‘pressure’, good fuel, clear exhaust. Looked at the location map – so far away! Big highway running nearby – is that a sealed highway and navigable all year or only in Summer? Can’t wait to hear your tales of engines and this stint aboard – good job on the cut less bearings – stay warm, stay safe. xoxo


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This entry was posted on May 23, 2014 by in Labrador, Life Skills.
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