In recreational boating, as in recreational flying, there is a thing called “get-there-itis.” Get-there-itis is a disease where a normally very sensible pilot or captain makes a blindingly stupid decision to take some risk or put his crew in some uncomfortable situation, in order to arrive at a destination at a desired time. In flying, the outcome is often fatal (departing into bad weather or running out of fuel); in boating it’s usually just a crappy day that makes everyone hate the boat. Either way it’s not worth it.
Get-there-itis is a natural result of us conflating transportation with recreation. We use things for fun that we also use to get places, so it’s hardly surprising when one bleeds into the other. Get-there-itis is also likely to come about when more than one vehicle is involved — one captain has to return the boat before another, or has a higher tolerance for crew pain, etc.
The antidote? In flying, it’s simple — don’t ever fly for work unless you are a trained professional. When you are flying for fun, do it on clear days when the pleasure of flying is at its best. In boating it’s a bit more tricky, because you usually have a group of people with you, and the boat is functioning as an RV. So it does need to go places. The one thing you can do is not link yourself to another boat or a flotilla, so that you can be your own master.
With that, off I go to follow the other boat into a rainstorm…
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