Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Are you glad you did it?

A number of people have written to remind me that the adventure is never
over, and a few have pointed out that they would/do not expect life lessons
from a trip like this, it is just something fun to do. This is at least
partially true, but when you spend seven months away from your normal mode
of living I think it only natural that some observations about your way of
living will come to light. So, bear with me when I search for deeper
meaning, and remember that I almost always write tongue-in-cheek.

On a lighter note - A couple of people have asked: "Are you glad you did

Yes, without a doubt. It was a lot of fun, not outrageously expensive
(unless I can't find/tolerate a job because of it), nobody got hurt, and
even the boat survived. There was real challenge in planning and executing.
There was real danger (primarily from mother nature). I made new friends and
strengthened old bonds.

It should be noted that I had a fantastic crews. NO problem people at all;
this is remarkable when you put as many as 5 people in a 42 foot ship
(bottle) and shake vigorously for days. (Oh, here is a bad thought - maybe I
was the problem person!) I expect that character flaws are revealed in that
environment more than most, and without some humility and forgiveness,
things could get raw between shipmates.

It should also be noted that the ship held together remarkably well, with
perhaps the exception of the first two days. I think I might have different
observations had the diesel needed replacement in some remote island. Also,
I am lucky that I have some good sense on jury-rigging and repairs. We had a
few failures that might have been a real problem for others who didn't have
the mechanical ability.

It was enormous fun, and the rhythm of moving from island to island, the
balance of challenge and ease is hard to beat. Another benefit is meeting
so many people living lives that are so far removed from corporate America,
and so full of adventure (remember Michael and Ursula? Yoyo? Ira?) Having
Dana visit instead of quitting her job and putting our stuff in storage was
nearly perfect - We had income, benefits, avoided the trauma of closing our
household, and Dana got to do only the parts she wanted, with no transits.
It would have been better for Dana if it had been shorter, so that she could
have participated in a higher percentage of the trip. The seasons dictated
the length. It is also good to have another dimension (like kiting, surfing,
scuba diving, learning local cooking, volunteer work, etc) to keep your
cocktail hour from encroaching too deeply into your afternoons.

Next: Do you recommend cruising?