I raced in the NOODs Friday on the J120 racing yacht Valkyrie. There was a huge weather delay as the sky was black as night over the city and north of us out into the lake. It looked as if it was bearing down on us so we battened down the hatches and dropped our sails in preparation, Read the rest of this entry »
Reflecting on the adventurous aspects of 2008… One of the best ever for me second only to 2000 when I travelled the world for 6.5 months. This year I was so fortunate. Five foreign countries, two new mountains climbed, fourth Chicago to Mackinac sailing race, surfing, skiing… I must list all the adventures and trips I was lucky enough to participate in this past year, and be so grateful for the opportunities I was blessed with.
- Elwha Trail hike in the Olympic Mountains West of Seattle with four good buddies.
- The 100th running of the Chicago to Mackinac Sailing race, on a J120 named Valkyrie, placed well in our class, finished in around 55 hours.
- Cruised the North Channel of Lake Huron on a 38 foot Ericson sailboat owned by my parents with a highlight being Topaz lake.
- Nantucket Massachusetts for several days with my oldest friend Spencer and his family, driving on the beach, catching bluefish from the shore, enjoying old friends, meeting my namesake, Cormac Thomas Carney
- Upstate New York at my girlfriend’s grandparents’ “camp”, waterskiing, kayaking, mountain biking, swimming.
- Climbing the highest point in New York State, Mt Marcy, ticking off the 12th state high point on my quest to do all 50 of them.
- Jamaica for work, Kingston.
- Cayman Islands to visit my cousin Megan for a few days.
- Jazzfest in New Orleans for a bachelor party
- Numerous mountain biking excursions around Chicago
- Numerous sailing parties on my boat, a 28 foot Ericson christened the Imjatse after a Nepalese mountain I climbed.
- Rock climbing in Red River gorge, Kentucky
- Rock climbing at Mississppi Palisades twice
- Summiting Mt Belford, a 14,000 foot mountain in Colorado, then sleeping in a bivy sack on its flanks overnight in about 15 degrees.
- Pilgrimage to the original Chipotle in Denver
- 35 person white water rafting trip sponsored by the adventure ministry I run at church, running class III and IV rapids.
- Kayaking the Vermilion River in very high, fast water.
- Costa Rica! Staying at my friend’s resort, surfing, jungle hikes, four-wheeling.
- Talon’s Challenge at Vail, skiing thirteen black and double black runs in a single day with a reward of a free beer and a free hat.
- Skiing at Aspen with the family
- Moving my friend’s sailboat 200 miles down the intracoastal waterway from Norfolk to Beaufort NC, just my father and I.
- Two winter attempts of Mt Humphries, the tallest mountain in Arizona, each a failure, but getting closer and I lived to climb another day.
- Thanksgiving in Boston
- Ten person caving trip that I led through Buckner’s cave in Southern Indiana.
- Ski trip to Wausau Wisconsin and Granite Peak Resort.
- Raced the Cohasset Triathlon
- 40+ person sea kayaking trip led by my group
What a wonderful year, with lots of love and great relationships started, nourished, and deepened during all these adventures and trips.
I have to give a lot of credit for this year to Tim Ferriss, author of The Four Hour Workweek for his writings and inspiration to live like this – thanks much Tim and all the best to everybody in 2009. I always wanted to live like this but never knew anybody who did – I didn’t think it was really possible until I read Tim’s stuff and embarked upon the adventure. Inspirational. This year has been the best to date for my business, relationships, and adventures and experiences. I hope for an even better 2009 and hope for the same for everybody. I have to copy some of Tim’s stuff from a mentor of his here – good food for thought:
“While many are wringing their hands, I recall the 1970s when we were suffering from an oil shock causing long lines at gas stations, rationing, and 55 MPH speed limits on Federal highways, a recession, very little venture capital ($50 million per year into VC firms), and, what President Jimmy Carter (wearing a sweater while addressing the Nation on TV because he had turned down the heat in the White House) called a “malaise”. It was during those times that two kids without any real college education, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, started companies that did pretty well. Opportunities abound in bad times as well as good times. In fact, the opportunities are often greater when the conventional wisdom is that everything is going into the toilet.
Well…we’re nearing the end of another great year, and, despite what we read about the outlook for 2009, we can look forward to a New Year filled with opportunities as well as stimulating challenges.”
Went out to race sailboats on Lake Michigan Wednesday night, no luck though, the wind was dead. They called the race and all the boats, probably 150 of them out there, all motored back to the harbor. We hung out and drank beers at the dock then headed home, last race of the summer! To entertain ourselves we hoisted Eddie Kearns up the mast – he was going to jump from the spreaders, probably 25 feet up, into the lake but wussed out. Here’s a short video of him and the other raceboats, with no wind… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtwGTN4YVrc
So I spent the last 6 days on the road. Fiorst went out to Cohasset and ran a triathlon. A sprint, so it was ‘short’ but it was very hilly and the swim was in the ocean – hills are tough to train for in Chicago! I rode a mountain bike belonging to my girlfriend’s father as they live out there – hard to be competitive on one of those babies when everybody else has spent 3k on their bikes. Talk about getting passed… and on the run and on the swim I thought my heart was going to blow out of my chest, whoa. Actually did happen to one guy my age – had a heart attack during the swim and tragically killed him. That’s no fun. Was all over the news. My poor buddy from since I was five put the whole thing on and did an outstanding job – this was the inaugural year. I really hope he does it again – it was so much work, I can’t even fathom. We spent 3 or 4 hours working that afternoon with 8 or 10 others tearing everything down and loading up trucks, what an effort. Kudos to Billy B!!
We drove my buddy Wayne to his in-laws place on the cape – they drove us around this compound on golf carts – apparently the great Gatsby was based on this estate, now shared by a bunch of families – the guy’s mansion is now subdivided into 30 condos – the place is mammoth. and he was a bit of a nutjob and built an enormous – probably 250 feet tall – satellite dish out on this picturesque point in the ocean – inconfruous is the word for it. Quite a sight. The son of the witch of wall street apparently.
Then Early the next morning we were off to the island – My girl’s mother very kindly drove us to the ferry – where we hopped on, 30 minutes early to my chagrin (I like to cut it closer) and sped across to Nantucket in the fog. I was so so excited to get there – I’ve been going since I was ten, almost every year with one of my best buddies in the world, and his family. My buddy wasn’t there but his folks were, and they were such wonderful hosts. And a gorgeous, clean, loving home worth many millions I’m sure – overlooking the harbor and right close to town. Free use of the cars and great food and wonderful comapny. We headed off to the beach the first day, Somtehing Natural Sandwiches and grubbed down on them at Jetties – Lisa was about to eat my arm so we had to get food in her quick. After that we checked out Wauwinet where her folks will stay in a few weeks, then spent the afternoon at Dionis, before heading home and showering and heading to Straight Wharf for an amazing dinner.
I left off – the night before the triathlon – Lisa’s folks are incredible cooks – I carbo loaded on juicy steaks, scallops, pasta, bread and tomatoes – what a feast! When I grow up I want to cook like that! Easy way to pack on pounds – go visit them!
So the next day on Nantucket – would have loved to go surf casting which I usually do when Spence is out there, but no dice this trip. Instead we launched their 19 foot sailboat – I was very helpful as sailing’s a hobby of mine, having a boat of my own here in Chicago. It was fun – lifted it off the trailer with a winch then set the mast with the four of us, 2 guys, 2 girls. Smooth. Made a decision to sail without a lower shroud – it worked. Had a gorgeous sail through thte harber and back to the buoy at Gretch’s beach. I love Nantucket – such a slow pace and so much to do if you love beaches and oceans and all the playing that goes on. Also saw gretch and Mark – they’r e so great – I’ve known them since I was a boy too, and they kindly offered all their beach toys – kayaks, windsurfers, etc.
Then headed home the next afternoon after seeing my high school buddy Wayne and his wife and enjoying lunch and beers at “The Brotherhood of Thieves” restaurant – a favorite haunt of ours since college. Yum!
And crazy enough – this Saturday I leave for the Chciago to Mackinac sailboat race – gotta get all my gear together. 333 miles, nonstop – working in shifts, 3 hours on three hours off – grueling and amazing. 11 guys on a J120 called Valkyrie. I’m dreading it now – sounds like misery doesn’t it? Rain or shine, storm or calm, we sail, and we don’t stop until we get to Mackinac. That’s a long time to be jammed in a boat with 10 other dudes. It’s all good and it’s an incredible accomplishment – I actually worte a story on my first mac and got it published.