Saturday, December 31, 2016

Fear not...sail off in 2017, you will not regret it.

One of the questions we often hear from people who would never contemplate crossing oceans or moving to another country is, "Weren't you afraid out there?" Yes there were times when we experienced fear, but we didn't panic. We spent years learning everything we could, practicing what we would do if something went wrong, and beefing up our spare parts department. We knew if we didn't panic and worked together, we could work our way through almost anything.

I've been know to say that out there, when something breaks we have three choice: fix it, replace it, or do without it. And so I tell people to take along spares for anything you don't want to be without, like an alternator. Take tools for everything you might have to fix in the right caliber (metric or imperial). And be prepared to be without something like the refrigerator if it fails. If you start out with the right attitude, you can limit the amount of fear that enters the equation.

It was interesting to hear Chris Hadley, the Canadian astronaut, talk about overcoming fear in a TED Talk. You think sailing across oceans is tough? Going into space is the ultimate challenge. You're sitting on a massive explosive device to get out there, there's no atmosphere up there, and no one can really stop by to help.  So you practice and learn, and practice some more, and institute backups for backups until you mitigate the fear. It's a great talk. He's gotten more than 3.77 million views to date. I thought it would be useful for sailors embarking on a big adventure to watch it.

It's the fear of the unknown that kills you. The more 'known' you can make things, the less fear you'll experience, and the more beauty you will find.  You will never see thousands of flying fish, scores of dolphins, the eye of a whale, and so much more if you don't leave your home.

Happy New Year to all. May 2017 be the year in which you satisfy your dreams.

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