Monday, September 3, 2012

"Some of them go for the it the lure of the sea."

A lot of people have asked me why I want to go on such a long trip on a sailboat. I really am not sure I can answer  them in a way that adequately explains my reasons for wanting to cruise. As a matter of fact, there are times when I don't completely understand myself...I just know that I am drawn to it in a powerful way. Is it the lure of the sea?  For me it is about is meant to be lived...and following a dream needs to be part of that for me. I read somewhere that "life is not a problem to be solved but an adventure to be lived." I know that I get fixated on problem solving at times and would rather focus on the adventure. Maybe it is as simple as I want to travel and see all the beauty nature has to offer from the deck of my own go where I want and when I want? Sun drenched beaches...palm trees gently swaying...and Serenity...our own little piece of paradise? It would be nice if were that simple, and maybe it is...and maybe it isn't. As our departure date gets closer I have been thinking extensively about our trip. I will have Shirl give her perspective in the next day or so, but for me there are so many reasons to take this trip, I could not possibly cover them all. After we are traveling for a while I may have a better understanding.

A few random thoughts I have had about our trip...maybe some relate to reasons we are going.

 "Freedom!" William Wallace,(Brave Heart)...Have any of you ever thought about taking a break from work, the rat race, or how about saying goodbye to corporate BS, and getting away to some exotic place with sun, sand, water, and rum drinks? Yea...exactly, like a Jimmy Buffett song. I am choosing to do live on a small boat and live with go slowly and take it all short a change to a different slower paced way of life.  Life is about choices, and the experiences those choices produce, good and bad, shape your perspective. I feel in many ways these perspectives give you your direction in life. My choice now is freedom. For me there is no place that offers more freedom or more peace than the sea, with it's endless possibilities. Don't take this wrong, I am not looking for freedom from responsibilities.There are many responsibilities traveling on a boat. I am looking for personal freedom ...the kind of freedom that comes from with in. The energizing, liberating type of freedom that provokes thought, and contributes to peace of mind. There is some truth and a certain amount of freedom in opening up your plans, and planning not to plan. Our plan is not to plan!

Fear...I have been asked repeatedly if I am afraid. The simple answer is no. The more complicated answer is I don't think so. I know that you have to conquer fear to live freely. I have seen this in so many areas of life, and  have recently been given a wonderful example of this by one of our family,...thanks Lib. The little bit of apprehension that I feel at times is nothing compared to family and friends who have had to put fear aside to deal with health issues, as well as the loss of  loved ones.. There are many things in life that produce a certain amount of fear, cruising and sailing for me can not be one of them. We all have boundaries...breaking through them can be a fearful or a liberating experience. It is a matter of choice! Do we respect the ocean? Do we know that we have to be prepared in order to be safe? Do we plan to take every precaution? Will we let mother nature determine our schedule? Yes to all the above. Will there be times during our travels when we are uneasy or apprehensive? Yes to that as well! Will we be out of our comfort zone? We have been and will continue to be...and that is OK.

Risk... Cruising always involves risk..."if there is no risk there is no wilderness. If there is no wilderness there is no freedom". John Eldredge  Cruising safely is about risk management...not eliminating all risk Isn't that true about most things in life?  I remember reading somewhere years ago that the world only works when you embrace risk and live by faith. That statement made sense to me then and still does.

Security...this is an illusion. there is no such thing. Security can be gone in a flash. Nothing is certain, especially at our age. Is cruising the best thing for me to do financially...probably not...but what price can you put on living a dream? Who knows what will happen in the future?

Challenge...I think that later in life challenges are more difficult to find. My career provided me with challenges on a regular basis, and taking a break from work has eliminated those. Sailing has been and still is a challenge to learn, and at the same time is very rewarding. It is a lot of work, but there is a sense of satisfaction when it goes well. I still have much to learn but am looking forward to the challenges that cruising will present daily... the mental as well as physical. I think we all need a challenge, as well as something that satisfies our sense of adventure.

Adventure...Yes people my age still have a sense of adventure! This only decreases with age if you let it!

"The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure.  The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon...for each day to have a new and different sun."  
- Into The Wild
Fortunately Shirl has always wanted an adventure which involved traveling, and although she was never a "boat person" until she met me, she is very excited about cruising, just as I am. Sharing the adventure will make it much more enjoyable for both of us.

Time out vs Island Time Out... Time out is called  in sports so that the coach and team can re-evaluate and plan an adjustment or create a strategy. How about in life...can we call a time out? Can we take some time to make an adjustment...or to help with a transition. A lot of people never get to live their dreams because they are busy living their lives. Year after year it seems that you don't do something you want to do because you are doing something you have to do. The years turn into decades. There is nothing wrong with that...but if in life the opportunity to live a dream presents itself... It does not hurt to call a time a plan to move forward. it is amazingly easy, just one step at a time. Go for it! We are calling an Island Time Out!

Taking it slow...Sailing slows you down. Cruising at six or seven knots allows time to take in your surroundings, absorb what is going on, feel the wind...smell the salt air...and just allows time to re-group, to get close to nature. I never understood the appeal of boats that only "go fast". You miss so much. After years of a schedule and a certain pace, I am enjoying a slower ride, and am really looking forward to "Island Time."

Simplification... leaving the status quo...reducing clutter that comes with the modern world and life more freely...however you want to phrase it. In short, living more with less. It is amazing the amount of clutter we bring into our lives that complicate living as opposed to making it easier. Living on a small boat means there can be no clutter, only what is necessary.

Nature...I do not buy a lot of the man made global warming propaganda. Although I do not want to make political comments on this blog I will say that I resent the Al Gore type people flying in a private know big carbon footprint... while telling Americans to drive smaller cars. Enough of that...anyway taking care of our environment is every one's responsibility. Sailing will provide an opportunity to live much more in harmony with travel by wind...and use the sun for power and especially to leave the water just as it was before we traveled through it. I love that part!

Island Time...Beaches...TiKi trees...clear water...not being in the Ohio Valley during winter....a few more

Is this idea crazy?...not to us. Of course we have a different perspective. We have realistic expectations about cruising. We know that as with life there will be good and bad, things we love and things we do not...(like working on toilets). There will be completely safe days, and days we feel a little vulnerable. There will be beautiful days and rainy days, windy days and no wind days. This is an adventure that we can share...something our grandchildren can talk about. OK maybe a little crazy...maybe a little different...maybe the road less traveled...but life is meant to be lived!

I am not sure if others will understand but I know I want to do this. I do not want to look back later in life and say "I always wanted to cruise...I wish I would have done that"

 Guess who flew by?

 Another shot of Lake Erie...beautiful.

 A beautiful and interesting boat...a lot of teak. I was told this boat was built in Taiwan where teak is plentiful.

This is the same boat and we passed her under sail out on the lake the next day. Boats are so interesting to me. This one has great lines!



  1. So excited for our adventure to begin!!

  2. This is my dream as well. My Bride and I are still figuring out how to make it happen but my goal is to leave by my 40th birthday, June 26, 2015.

    We get this question also and sometimes I answer with similar responses as you have. Then you meet someone who doesn't ask you why but how? Now you know you are talking to a like-minded adventure/life seeker. You can talk to that person for days about destinations, preparations, storm strategies, etc.

    My point is that I think this is just one of those things either you get or you don't.

    Can't wait to follow your progress. If you make it to the Boston area let me know; I would love to have a "how" discussion over a couple of drinks.


  3. Dad... All of the sudden I get it. We all have dreams...and I just realized that I am living mine! This being a wife and a mother to these three beautiful children... It's more than I've ever dreamt of having. It's ever-changing and always provides a new challenge. My dream is on land, yours is on water. But they are both dreams, all the same. I promise to pray for you daily and to be a regular blog reader. Go live your dream! I love you.

  4. Sara,
    Thank you and I love you too! Thanks for praying, reading, and understanding. I promise to be safe.

  5. Jesse,
    Thanks for following and commenting. I is sometimes hard to see another persons perspective. My plan is to head south, but I would love to visit Boston at some point. Best of luck with your preparations for your voyage!

  6. Ted n Shirl,

    Thanks for commenting on our site ... because now we know you're out there and can follow along on your journey! I've been reading your posts, and it sounds like you're ahead of us and about to start cruising this month ... wow! Ya'll must be so excited!

    Love your posts (thanks for mentioning us on your "brick wall" post) and your thoughts. You mentioned getting stuck into habits which make us think that life won't change, when it will ... so true! As you said, security can be lost at any time!

    This particular post about why you want to cruise is great ... we feel the same way. While we don't want life to "STOP", we do look forward to a "Time Out" too!

    Congrats on living your dream, and we can't wait to follow along ... until we catch up! =)


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