America's Divorce from the Outdoors

downriggingI read a lot of sailing press and find it surprising how seldom it is you find a sailor referring to himself as an outdoorsman. Outdoorsy tends to refer more to campers, hikers, those who repel off cliffs or tie their own flies or set up tents in snow. I was pleasantly surprised when interviewing a young sailor not so long ago; I asked him if he had any favorite TV shows, and he said, "I'm an outdoor guy."

Sailors are inherently outdoorsy. They like getting their hair all mussed up in the wind, a healthy spraying of salt water, the gush of adrenaline as a storm blows in. That they so rarely use the word outdoors to describe their passion is interesting to me. Maybe it's so obvious as to be redundant as a description?