STORMS COME AND GO
Cruising is about focus.
Itís all too easy to focus on
the storms of life and worship at the altar of fear. Itís easy to
forget that storms come and go, but dreams can last forever.
In more than thirty-three thousand miles of offshore sailing, we have
had winds to fifty knots on only three occasions. That makes about six
days of gale force winds during an eleven year sailing voyage around the
world. I think that our experience is fairly typical for people who do
trade wind circumnavigations. If you stay out of the higher latitudes
and donít sail in hurricane season, itís unlikely you will ever
encounter a storm that poses a significant threat to your yacht. Thatís
the real world of sailing.
The fear mongers would have us live in a very different world. This
year, they predicted that hurricane season would be one of the worst on
record. There would be more storms and storms of greater severity than
at any time in recent history. Fear makes you tune in to the Weather
Channel so that you can listen to their forecasts of doom and gloom.
The Apostles of Fear would have you believe that we live in a dangerous
world, because fear is big business. Capitalism has embraced fear and
wants you to buy their particular antidote to fear.
I am not buying what they are
selling. Whether I am on land or sea, I am not afraid, but I am tired of
listening to the fear mongers. I wish they would go away or go silent.
They are boring me with their negative and toxic palaver.
I listened to the fear mongers tell me how dangerous it was to live in
the Middle East, and contrary to their prophecies of doom, I lived in
Saudi Arabia for sixteen years without a problem.
I listened to the fear mongers tell me about the perfect storm and how
dangerous it was to sail the seven seas, and contrary to their
predictions, in eleven years, I never sailed in winds over fifty knots.
I listened to the fear mongers tell me that catamarans were dangerous to
sail offshore, and I sailed one around the world without a problem.
I have figured out that when
people tell me that I should be afraid, they either donít know what they
are talking about, they are trying to control me with fear, or they want
to sell me something as an antidote to the fearful world that they are
trying to cultivate in my mind.
Iíve got my mental ear plugs in, and Iím no longer listening to their
gospel of fear. I wonít let them control the focus of my mind or steal
Instead, Iím focusing on my
dreams. Iím projecting my dreams onto the motion picture screen of my
mind so they can expand into my life. I know that life is good. I live
in the Land of Possibility, and I sail on the ocean of my dreams where
there is no limit to how good my life can become.
I have been
tested in the crucible of life, and I know the truth. There is nothing
to fear, and focusing on the storms of life is a waste of precious
time. Storms come and go, and they are few and far between. Dreams are
different. They go on forever. Thatís why I focus on my dreams.
Thatís why I live as if my dreams are possible and work each day to make
them happen. Thatís why Iím an Unstoppable, Consistently Positive,
Endlessly Persistent, Doer of Dreams.
GO AHEAD, LIVE YOUR DREAMS
Once upon a time there was an eye surgeon who decided to live his
dreams. His particular dream was to practice medicine in underdeveloped
countries and to sail around the world on a yacht. Such a radical dream
meant he would never become rich or famous. Because this was such an
important decision, the surgeon knew that he should spend a large amount
of time looking into its pros and cons, and he should closely examine
the impact it would have on his life. Therefore, he totally dedicated
five thought-filled minutes to this decision. Those five liberating
minutes were all he needed to start walking on the path to his dreams.
The surgeon now knew where he was going, and what was he was going to do
with his life. But there were still several important lessons he had to
learn, and those lessons focused on security, survival, and stuff.
He learned that when you travel on the path to your dreams, there is no
such thing as security. It just doesnít exist, and it makes no sense to
worship at the altar of security, because security is a false god. Life
is inherently risky, and the bigger your dreams, the more risk you have
to take to make them come true.
He also learned that in the long run, we are all dead. Life has no
survivors. Since you only get one life which is far too short, he
decided that he should make his life into what he wanted it to be, and
that it should count for something good.
Finally, he learned that no matter how much stuff you accumulate on your
journey through life, you canít take any of it with you when you die.
Therefore, he decided to not spend a lot of time and effort in piling up
a mountain of money and other acquisitions that would slip instantly
from his grasp at the moment of his death.
Once he realized that there was no security, that there were no
survivors, and that you canít take it with you, he became a free man.
He was liberated to live his dreams.
Deciding to live my dreams was one of the smartest things I ever did.
Hmm. Perhaps it wouldnít be a bad idea for you to do the same.
this button to tell your friends about Go
Ahead, Live Your Dreams.
THE NEXT STEP
There is a certain amount of comfort derived
from planning your future. A man with a plan usually goes the distance,
and a man without a plan goes nowhere. There's no doubt about it, you
need a plan. But a plan is much different than a scheduled itinerary.
A plan is a general direction with possible stops along the way and
suitable contingencies should problems arise.
Plans are great as long as you don't fall in
love with them, and then get stressed out when things don't work out
exactly as hoped. The plan is there to get you going - it helps you
overcome the inertia caused by fear, indecision, and ambivalence. The
plan also tells you where to take the next step. That's how you make
dreams come true; you take a series of steps, and each step is in the
you live your dreams, you don't need to see far into the distance. You
only need to see where to take the next step. The same is true when you
sail across an ocean.
While we were sitting in Gibraltar preparing
to cross the Atlantic, we knew we had to take three giant steps. The
first was eight hundred miles southwest to the Canary Islands. The
second was seven-hundred and fifty miles southwest to the Cape Verde
Islands. The third was two-thousand one hundred miles west to Barbados
in the Caribbean. Each of these steps consisted of smaller ones that we
took each day in the right direction - one day at a time, one step at a
The giant step from the Cape Verdes to
Barbados required more than two weeks because there were no trade winds
during the first half of the trip. It was mostly motoring or slow
sailing in light northeasterly breezes.
We had a plan, and worked our plan. We
carried twelve jerry cans of fuel because we knew this was a windless
year in the eastern Atlantic. There was a high probability we would
need a large amount of fuel to make it to longitude forty degrees west
where reliable trade winds made their appearance. That meant we needed
to carry enough fuel to motor one-thousand windless miles.
People who didn't have enough fuel drifted
west under spinnaker and light air sails making sixty miles a day toward
their destination. One boat was at sea for nineteen days and still had
one-thousand three hundred and fifty miles to go before arriving in the
If sailors could see into the future, they
could always leave port with favorable winds that would continue all the
way to their next port. Sailing would be a waiting game in which they
sailed only when conditions were perfect. That's exactly what many
sailors attempt to do; they take a trip to fantasyland downloading
weather files that purport to predict wind direction and speed one week
in advance. Actually these files should be called computer generated
wind fantasies because the predicted winds frequently don't materialize.
It would be great if long range weather
predictions were accurate. Then crossing an ocean would be like
catching a train on schedule and riding it to your destination. But
that's not the way you sail across oceans. Weather predictions are
generally accurate one or two days in advance, but beyond that they are
a trip to fantasy land. They make excellent fodder for feeding endless
speculation regarding what your weather might be on passage. But highs
and lows, fronts and troughs, and tropical waves and hurricanes are all
chaotic in their behavior, and therefore, unpredictable.
Mariners must accept the chaotic nature of
weather and set off with a sea chest full of contingencies - ready to
deal with the meteorological mysteries that unfold along the way. After
all, they are a sailboat, and sail they must. Port tacks, starboard
tacks, beating, reaching, and running are all in their bag of sailing
tricks. And if they use their common sense, they will arrive at their
destination earlier or later than planned, but they will arrive, and it
will be an adventure. And that is why they sail. Adventure.
Arriving is a great reward giving a sense of
accomplishment. But the voyage is even more important, because in the
voyage lies the adventure. When they are finally in safe harbor, the
biggest part of the adventure is over. They will enjoy their time in
port, checking out the sights and renewing acquaintances with fellow
cruisers for a week or two. There will be plenty of time to discuss
their adventures with their friends until they pull up their anchors,
raise their sails, and a new adventure begins.
TAKE THE PLUNGE AND
THE RED SEA
CHRONICLES. DIVE INTO A GREAT
CRUISING DVD. YOU WILL BE GLAD THAT YOU DID!