Boris Mann’s Personal Blog

Sep 2012

Class Afloat talk at Interesting Vancouver

Last night I gave a talk at Interesting Vancouver. This picture is the one I used to start the talk - me at 18, half a life time ago, on the S/V Concordia.

I was really nervous about the talk. I’ve told the story of my Class Afloat trip many times, but it’s so long ago that it doesn’t often come up anymore. In fact, I’m kind of reluctant to bring it up - because it was so long ago.

But it’s been nice thinking about the time and thinking about the experiences I had.

I called the presentation Places on a Map. There are so many stories to tell, but with only 10 minutes, I ended up telling a general arc of not only the trip, but what the program is about. Calling it Places on a Map is to have you think about the fact that we have access today to a ton of information about far away places. Wikipedia has highly detailed facts that can let you go as deep as you wish.

But unless you’ve actually been there, and experienced that place, that’s all they are: places on a map.

I also talked about regret a bit at the end. Having done this voyage - however long ago - it is a part of me. I can’t go outside myself and think about what might have been if I hadn’t gone. And that’s how I mostly treat regret. You’re on the path you’re on, and you may think about paths not taken. But that’s a different path: the you that is in the here and now is the sum total of all those forks in the road, and only the forks ahead of you are ones you can change.

One of the many stories I didn’t tell is how I made it on the trip. It’s all thanks to my parents. They supported me in doing this thing, this once in a life time experience, and ultimately supported me financially so I could go. I also fund raised from my local community of Bowen Island, but it’s my parents that I have to thank the most. They were in the audience tonight, so I was glad they got to see my talk, that that experience still resonates with me so many years later.

Thanks to everyone that came to Interesting Vancouver. If you’re interested, I have  a handful of photos uploaded on Flickr, but I am going through all the photos and will be putting together a mini-site (that link is an older work in progress).

I’ve also set up a Class Afloat 93 - 94 alumni group on Facebook - you’re welcome to join if you were an actual alumni or a friend or family of alumni.