Updated: Feb 25
There's this feeling I keep having.. I even mention it every time I call someone to inquire about something for my boat Magick Byrd. "So.. I'm a new boat owner and I am going to ask stupid questions.. excuse my ignorance but.."
I'm not sure where it comes from. I am a pretty confident person in my day to day. I'm an executive in a successful tech company but when it comes to sailing and generally handling this new-to-me boat I feel pretty ignorant. I don't instinctively know many common sense aspects of boat ownership and I've been a little judgy of myself if I'm to be honest.
I've had thoughts that it will be nice to get past this awkward phase, to be the knowledgable guy in the marina, but my thoughts on that are changing. I've decided rather than being bummed about what I don't yet know, to be excited and enjoy learning all the things I don't.
Learning the art of sailing and the care of a vessel is not a destination. The Journey is the experience. Learning, making mistakes, being human, cussing it, loving it, just being. Every step is the prize, not the final step.
So I will continue to unashamedly admit that I need advice, that I'm not sure what I'm talking about when I ask about what type of epoxy to use, or help in docking in a crowded marina. These are the moments of the journey that are the experiences of life, and I intend to relish them.
My life goal is to take my Magick Byrd for a loop in the Atlantic. Annapolis to the Azores, to Europe, Spain, Portugal, North and Central West Africa, to the Canaries, to the Caribbean, and back to Annapolis... and I'm still learning how to dock her.
So it will be one step at a time. Learning to single-hand her in the Chesapeake and on the east coast. Refitting her piece by piece. Breaking stuff, fixing stuff, challenging my will, and overcoming each challenge to a series of victories.
But the true goal is to cherish every moment. I fully intend to look back fondly on the learning experiences I have. I will not judge myself harshly. To have a dream and fulfill that dream will be the best gift I can give myself in the time I am gifted to spend. To share it with my kids, and to live a fulfilled life. That's the gift.
So your goddamn right I don't know how to fly a spinnaker yet.. but I'm going to learn.. and it's going to be fun! Got any advice?
Mike D. is the founder of Sail Junky Magazine. Striving to find more purpose in life, Mike writes and shares about his journey to rediscover his passion for living a fulfilled life, especially through the medium of sailing. email@example.com