Throughout his life, Grant has kept in mind the lessons learned from
his former swim coach, Al Irwin, at Newport Harbor High.
Said Grant, "I learned from him that if you don't expect a lot, you
don't get a lot."
Grant must have expected a lot out of life. During a 1972 sabbatical
leave, he sailed a 28-sloop to Hawaii, Samoa, Fiji and New Caledonia,
retracing some of the routes of Captain James Cook. In 1989, Grant
climbed with a team to the 19,340-foot summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in
Africa. He was also inducted into the Intercollegiate Sailing Hall of
Fame in Annapolis, Maryland in 1975, becoming only the sixth West Coast
mariner to be given the honor.
The feats were all based on his zest for life and that welcomed humor.
"Harry Parker, the head coaching of rowing at Harvard, him and I are
very good friends," Grant said, before explaining an example of the
importance of humor. "We spoke about crews that we've had that have been
particularly successful, and what characteristics they have in common.
There's the obvious ones. But, the overriding characteristic that joins
those Harvard and Coast crews that were spectacularly good, was a very
strong sense of humor. And not just ha-ha humor, but clever humor. It's
an important part of life."