Stuff your history teacher never told you.
Ah, tradition. There's something grand and glorious about the ways of the sea. Like calling a boats pointy end the bow, the square end the stern and any boat smaller than yours a piece of crap.
Sometimes I get a warm and gushy feeling. If it doesn't mean that I'm moved by the sense that we boating folk are members of a proud fraternity. A fraternity that fosters strong bonds and condones drinking beers for breakfast, yet doesn't make us live with forty college kids that never change their socks.
But most boatmen don't know from whence all this tradition comes. In fact, most boatmen don't even know people who still use words like "whence." Well I do. Because I have a strong sense of history. How else can I explain such erotic pastimes as having my wife dress up as Betsy Ross while I don the uniform of Generalissimo Francisco Franco?
I believe that boatmen must understand this sport's rich background, and since James Michener hasn't bothered to write a novel about the history of boating, I'll save him all the typing and having to be interviewed at 7 a.m. by grumpy know-it-all Bryant Gumbel. Here's my version of what happened whence:
Creation. God creates heaven and earth in six days. On the seventh day, he wants to take the boat out. But even The Almighty can't get the boat ready on such short notice.
Day 15. Eve convinces Adam to partake of the "forbidden flush," and he empties the holding tank into the Bay of Eden . God's punishment is swift and stern: Forever more, boatman will be plagued by sailboats and teak.
10,000 B.C. Boating reviews the NoahCraft Ark 54. Boat Tester Dextorius Hartipus says "the boat is so big, floating it could take a flood." He also decries the lack of drinkholders. Our Test Team is puzzled by a standard equipment list that includes "two of every type of animal."