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Call Me Walter Mitty

There's a mystery man crossing the Mediterranean on a Mini this summer, and I wish he were me.

July 28, 2011

Blogging and writing about adventure can sometimes be a painful experience. Uh, “Why Tim?” you might (very) reasonably ask? Well, the answer is that if you spend a fair bit of time trolling the interwebs for cool and exciting adventures, you will inevitably come across one that it pains you deeply not to be experiencing yourself. Here is a prime example. I recently discovered the sailing and travel blog of a nameless computer scientist who is spending his summer sailing across the Mediterranean. On a Mini. Curse you Computer Scientist! That’s what I would liketo be doing right now!

www.blogspot.com

Different people like different sorts of adventures. But Mini-cruising across the Med punches all my buttons. It puts you into a simplified world of your own, bounded only by tides, the ocean, and the wind. It will include both sublime peace (the Med is often flat calm) alternating with extreme adrenaline (when the Med is not flat calm it is often Force 6 or more, and on a Mini that has to qualify as both scary and thrilling). And it would be impossible to port-hop your way from Mallorca without being immersed in fascinating history and delicious food. What’s not to love?

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www.blogspot.com

Okay, I’m getting over myself. Just because I’m not doing it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t celebrate the fact that SOMEONE ELSE is doing it. And, I have to say, Computer Scientist is doing it right. His actively updated blog is an excellent mix of writing about sailing, life aboard a Mini, and thoughtful travelogue.

www.blogspot.com

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We don’t know his name, but the above is what he looks like. And he is currently moseying his way down the coast of Italy, making side trips and funny observations about Med weather forecasting:

_It’s easy to tell how the weather prediction system works in France: they simply forecast yesterday’s weather for tomorrow, and forecast the seasonal average for all days thereafter. This system must work really well when the weather is not changing drastically every day, and it usually isn’t. But when there is a storm passing through, this is the absolute worst forecast strategy.

Perhaps this situation was an anomaly. Perhaps Météo-France does not consist of 3700 idle bureaucrats suckling at the teat of the great French Republic. Perhaps their computers were down, or perhaps they were all on vacation because it was the Bastille Day weekend when I was paying attention to their forecasts.

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But the situation was much the same in Italy. They said it would be sunny and nice, and we had Force 7-8 winds with Force 9 gusts. Then they predicted Force 7-8 winds with gusts up to Force 9, and we had calm weather.
_
You can easily imagine how nice it would be to be sitting in a lovely, seaside cafe, drinking an espresso or a beer, and writing that entry. In fact, I am getting resentful again. No, stop it, Tim! But, failing that, you can follow Computer Scientist’s voyage here, and also wish you were sailing a Mini across the Med. Even better you can do better than Walter Mitty ever did, and add it to your list. I just did.

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