Sunday, December 15, 2013

Why did the sailor cross the ocean? To get to other side of course!


Or not. 

I am a proud member of the Ocean Cruising Club, and have been drafted onto the Committee. As part of my responsibilities, I have taken on the very first PR Officer role, have become the head of the Communications Subcommittee, joined the Website subcommittee as a contributing member and co-chair the Awards Committee. Phew. 

That last aspect, the Awards, has gotten me to thinking. Lots of people sail. Far more cross oceans than ever before. It's not enough today to circumnavigate the world the way Joshua Slocum or even Moitessier did. Today, to stand out as worthy of an award, one must really do something extraordinary.

Last year's most extraordinary award recipients included Matt Rutherford. He crossed the Atlantic first because he felt driven to get to the other side.  He rode his bicycle across Southeast Asia before that.  Then he learned about sailing, so he bought a boat and crossed the Atlantic. He learned that CRAB needed funding so he then circumnavigated the Americas. No small feat. In an old 27-foot boat. He is one amazing person.

Are we pushing ourselves too far or is this just human nature to always push farther to find out what's on the other side?

Due to a bizarre set of unrelated accidents, I discovered a truly inspiring "three dimensional sailor", an astronaut by the name of Chris Hadley, just yesterday.  It was a convergence of events that reinvigorated my soul. Space rock star, teacher extraordinaire, galactic photographer, and ordinary dad. Chris Hadley is my new hero. Especially since I really wanted to be an astronaut but was told on investigating application that I was too short!

It will be interesting to see who the recipients of the OCC Awards are this year. Best of all, it is most interesting to read the stories of all the nominees. We are in the company of heroes. We are in the company of extraordinary people.






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