Back in the late '70s, early '80s, there was an ad about the "Coffee Generation". I don't remember the specifics as I wasn't really coffee-aged yet. But the phrase stuck with me.
In the late '80s, there was a Denny's in Japantown that stayed open all night, an excellent place to end up after a night out. But what the heck do you do at Denny's when half of your peer group is vegetarian? Drink coffee, that's what. And, at that point, I joined the coffee generation.
I was hooked. Before going out, I'd hit The Terrace Cafe or NorthStar, both places that served coffee in bowls. In the morning, I'd get a super-sized mocha and a brownie, the perfect power breakfast. But, thankfully, I was a social drinker. I could quit at any time and did. I remember going to The News Cafe every day right up to our departure date for the Transatlantic. But we didn't provision coffee on the trip and I didn't miss it one bit. In fact, once we got to Europe the strength of their coffee somewhat cured me and I didn't pick it up again for a few years.
But now it's been a dozen or so years of heavy drinking, 2-4 cups per day. If I go a day without a coffee, headache city. Sort of what I imagine a migraine might be like. If I even let it enter my thoughts that somebody slipped me a decaf, I go into withdrawals. Just writing this is freaking me out.
Now, Oceanaire has one heck of a large water tank and Pac Cup rules mandate a healthy amount of water per person. But water is the absolute most precious commodity on a boat. And, unfortunately, the watermaker stays stowed due to its electricity consumption until it's absolutely needed. All of the race guides recommend quitting coffee prior to the race for these reasons.
But, as much as I love sailing, the thought of abandoning the Coffee Generation just seems wrong. Since I can't quit, what else can I do? Specifically, bring an extra stash of water for coffee and find a way to make up for the 8 pounds per gallon? Vivarin? Caffeine cakes? The coffee equivalent to methadone? I have no answers since I'm pretty sure quitting is not an option.