As far as we can tell, there are three ways to age:
- The slow retreat of doing less and less until finally it’s just you in an easy chair watching re-runs of the Golden Girls while someone feeds you creamed corn inbetween the sponge baths.
- You can Hugh Hefner around in your bathrobe and surround yourself with people who are clearly too young and beautiful who feed you bacon, update your will, and mark off the days.
- Never stop. Keep on doing and feed your soul on the memories that other folks are done making.
Racing to Alaska is proof that Team Silver Alert is seven decades into option three. They say seventy is the new sixty-five, but from where we sit these guys have a Viagra-esque middle finger aimed at the idea of prematurely retreating into oblivion and any agist whipper snapper who tells them different.
Team Silver Alert is like Cocoon if you replaced all of the pinochle and Wilford Brimley with heavy weather sailing and a drysuit.
Boiling down their hard-charging 140 years of combined experience into a paragraph, these boys have done some stuff: sailed up and down the west coast of North America from the Washington Territory to the Spanish holdings in Mexico, skied two continents, fly-fished as many streams as possible, rode vintage motorcycles (or, as they call them, “motorcycles”) through the Baja Peninsula and Europe, and it’s just possible that they were childhood pen pals with the Kaiser. Better still, these two are a team that have been sailing together as a crew for nearly 40 years. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it… and get off my lawn.
There’s a phrase that says age and treachery will overcome youth and something else we can’t remember (sorry, senior moment), but these guys are nicer than that and instead are planning on using their experience and teamwork, plus the possible fact that they can get senior discounts going through customs, and, in case of a knockdown, they can use their Med-Alert device to signal that they’ve fallen and they can’t get up.
Their boat is a spritely Moore 24, a racy and spartan monohull sloop that has proven itself in ocean crossings, a solo-circumnavigation, cleaned up in the esteemed Farralon Island Race, and in the pragmatism that the Greatest Generation is known for, in their words, when they were looking for a boat “…three were available.”
Welcome to the race, Team Silver Alert, we wish you navigational success so you’ll never have to invoke your name.