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Old 18-11-2009, 07:41   #166
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I've just turned tail after working on, talking about and spending lots of $$ on my dream of sailing our 27 ft. sailboat from CT to the Southern ICW, where my non-sailor wife agreed to join me in the Spring for a "safe" trip partway up. My son had emailed the address of my tracking device to a bunch of family members, and of course most of my family knew of my trip.

I now have to face the restaurant owner who treated me to a free beer when learning about my trip, face the many people who said "good for you" when learning of my venture, and somehow face the credit card bills that I incurred in preparation for the trip. As well as facing, most importantly, my feeling that "I failed".

Why did I turn around? DID I "fail"? The reality is that the goal became not worth the price of attaining it. Sitting in a warm living room imagining doing something is far different from the experience. Sailing Long Island Sound in November is COLD. Days are short, and to sail day-only means a LOT of cold, uncomfortable 14 hour sailing days. And sailing open-ocean means prolonged cold, dark, somewhat dangerous sailing only to arrive at Norfolk and then "drive" the boat for days at a time in the cold in order to leave the boat for a Spring return with my wife. All the time missing Thanksgiving with family that I haven't seen for a while.

Sailing into Montauk at night using the GPS was like playing a video game with my live body at the center of the screen. Only to anchor and listen to the wind howl through the wires and notice the pilings going by my window at night when I was (supposedly) anchored (no, the anchor wasn't properly set). And then to imagine doing it over and over again, in the cold, for a couple of weeks. The question of "why" became pervasive, and, ultimately, I decided that enjoying life NOW was more important than the planned trip in the Spring.

Rather than viewing this as a "failure", I'd prefer to view it as a reasonable decision based upon my values. I'm personally hard-wired to minimize the challenges facing anything I wish to attain, and maybe that's the difference between those who "do" and those who dream.
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Old 19-11-2009, 00:11   #167
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No you didn't fail at all. In fact you very successfully reordered your priorites after learning some new information about the plans you were developing for yourself. I wonder if failing wouldn't have been pressing on and subjecting yourself to what you experience as being miserable and then persisting because you lacked the courage to simply tell those you mentioned that you'd simply changed your mind because your priorities changed. You absolutely have the right to your own goals and to adjust them as you learn more information and gain more experience .

You make the comment that you "prefer to view your decision as reasonable based upon you values". It sounds like for you the focus is attaining a goal as effeciently as possible. For others the process is as important as the goal. I'm not sure, but I wonder if those that "do" tend to also value the process of attaining a goal more than those that dream.
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Old 19-11-2009, 06:00   #168
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Why did I turn around? DID I "fail"?
In my humble opinion, if you aborted because you thought your living room is more comfy and you didn't want to exert yourself, you failed. However, if you turned back because you realized your sailing knowledge fell short of what this endeavor requires, you are to be commended. Lots of southbound cruisers are still cruising around the Chesapeake right now, and will soon leave for their ICW trips. I have been there, done that. It gets cold...real cold. Wouldn't trade the memories for anything though...
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Old 19-11-2009, 07:46   #169
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A thread like this can go on forever. Everyone has their own opinion. Some on small boats, some on large and some who don't even own a boat yet. Failure is a personal thing. Did you let something beat you, have you given up trying or did you try and get beaten. Who are the rest of us to judge and what have we accomplished. I started out on a 18' wooden day sailor. From there I went to a Catalina 22 then a 25. Next came a great little Alberg 29 and now we are living aboard a Formosa 51. I met and exceeded my initial dreams and now have bigger ones. So how do you fail. Qiut trying, give up. Perhaps those who fail in the worst way are those who never try.
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Old 19-11-2009, 08:35   #170
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I enjoy overcoming obstacles and even adversity.

I have always had a sort of persistence, a "voice in my head" if you will, that has said 'you can take it' and 'you will make it'. That voice got me through Army Basic, OCS, a couple of gruelling long-distance bicycle trips and survival conditions at sea.

But, that doesn't make me a "risk taker" in the modern (Darwin Award) sense of the word, nor does it make me a gambler.

I am willing to take acceptable, calculated risk but I want some substantial control over the outcome. Games of chance don't interest me - I have never understood the appeal of craps or roulette, for example, but I don't mind a good round of Poker, a game that involves skill, cunning and a little bit of luck -- much more analogous to sailing.

If I look back on an experience and can only point to dumb luck for having got me through it, I won't be interested in repeating that experience. That would just be stupid (and dangerous). I don't pat myself on the back for making it, I just consider myself, well, lucky.

If, however, my hindsight on an experience is that my knowledge and skills were a significant or deciding factor, even if there were other things beyond my control (and there almost always are), that's an experience I relish, am proud of and will not shrink from in future.
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Old 20-11-2009, 07:22   #171
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I dreamed of building a boat and traveling the world since I was a kid, 7 years ago I bought the hull of a 45' sailboat and began building. Yes, there's way more expense and headaches building it; and yes I nearly gave up when I was diagnosed with cancer, and yes I spent everything I have on it. I have been frustrated and burned out from the experience and would not do it again, but Amnesty is in the water now and I'm not a bit sorry I took on this venture. Getting ready to head out for southern waters within the next 10 days, the only regret would have been failing myself & my life's dream.
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Old 20-11-2009, 08:27   #172
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Godspeed Gordon b
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Old 20-11-2009, 09:40   #173
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Godspeed Gordon b
I second that...
I hope that 7 year old boy is back
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Old 20-11-2009, 18:21   #174
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Good on Ya Gordon...Go and enjoy her now and my God grant you many more years to do it in.
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Old 20-11-2009, 20:12   #175
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Go for it Gordon. You Rock!
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Old 21-11-2009, 18:43   #176
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Fail - NOT!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tanksalot View Post
I've just turned tail after working on, talking about and spending lots of $$ on my dream of sailing our 27 ft. sailboat from CT to the Southern ICW, where my non-sailor wife agreed to join me in the Spring for a "safe" trip partway up. My son had emailed the address of my tracking device to a bunch of family members, and of course most of my family knew of my trip.

<snip>

Sailing Long Island Sound in November is COLD. Days are short, and to sail day-only means a LOT of cold, uncomfortable 14 hour sailing days.

<snip>

Only to anchor and listen to the wind howl through the wires and notice the pilings going by my window at night when I was (supposedly) anchored (no, the anchor wasn't properly set). And then to imagine doing it over and over again, in the cold, for a couple of weeks. The question of "why" became pervasive, and, ultimately, I decided that enjoying life NOW was more important than the planned trip in the Spring.

Rather than viewing this as a "failure", I'd prefer to view it as a reasonable decision based upon my values.
Only you can judge whether you view this as a failure or not. You were not having fun, changed your priorities and will live to sail another day - big deal. Don't let anyone tell you that you don't have the "right stuff."

Long range sailing, especially in adverse conditions, isn't for everyone. I think that you may have had a different result if your son or someone else was sailing with you to share the pain, so to speak.

However, sailing with siomeone else along has its own risks. There is a greater feeling of "get-there-itis" and goals set take on a bigger importance. With a second person along it is even more important to understand and set limits rather than drive into deteriorating or ever adverse conditions.

You also have shared something important with us. The idea of long, hard cold days of sailing is somewhat different than the reality.

I thank my stars that it rarely gets cold around here and I take my hat of to those with the fortitude to be miserable. Being miserable is not for me if I can avoid it - LOL...
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Old 21-11-2009, 21:13   #177
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but Amnesty is in the water now and I'm not a bit sorry I took on this venture.
Truly an amazing story Gordon! Inspiring, and I should know...I'm on my sixth year of my refit right now. I'm grateful that you took the time to post...any chance of seeing pictures?
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Old 22-11-2009, 03:43   #178
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Thanks for the post, Irwin. If your dream was to make a creepy post, you've finished it.
I kept reading and re reading CVH, creepy is as good a description as anything I could come up with. The original post I thought was interesting and I am sure many of the reasons for failure would not be as obvious as it may seem.
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Old 22-11-2009, 06:21   #179
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I kept reading and re reading CVH, creepy is as good a description as anything I could come up with. The original post I thought was interesting and I am sure many of the reasons for failure would not be as obvious as it may seem.
meyermm, your post is a bit like that "Cross this line" scene in "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" movie. I'm not quite sure whether you agree with me...or you think I was wrong for criticizing Irwin. Either way you are probably right and I'm with you!
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Old 22-11-2009, 10:00   #180
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Dreams

Started typing and got carried away! ! ! Almost the first chapter of a book.


Interesting on dreams. I am a counsellor and one of the workshops I do is on Vision/Dreams/Goals. My clients are unemployed and often with no sense of direction. In the classroom I have a picture of a 25' Coronado and a Porsche 914. Inevitably someone asks about the pictures.

I then tell them about my passion for toy sailboats as a child. Sailing models in tidal pools, adjusting the sails and chasing the boat all day from one end to the other. I tell them of my lifelong dream to sail. At 53 I decided to sail. Went out for 4 days of instruction (very fearful, 1st time on a boat), LOVED it and found what was missing in my life (adventure, challenge, freedom). I bought myself the Coronado as my 54th birthday present. The Porsche 914 is my second lifelong dream car. I am looking daily for ones for sale in my area. I WILL GET IT. Then I will work 5 more years, earn my CYA instructors certificate and teach sailing part time on my newer 30' sloop. The class tends to go "WOW, thats amazing". It is at this point I tell them "5 years ago I was unemployed, I had worked at minimum wage jobs for 30+ years and was tired of it. It was time to focus, develop a goal and do what I had to, to achieve it- too make my DREAMS a REALITY". This leads into SMART goal setting, how I determined my goal, the steps necessary and the re-evaluation continuously. I succeeded and so can they.

If I ground my boat tomorrow and it sinks to the bottom, it doesn't matter. I will have achieved my dream. I will just create a new goal and continue living my dreams. I will sail to California in the future and maybe even to Hawaii. Never been there and why fly when I can sail.

Someone asked me "what about retirement, pensions, living expenses when you retire". Whether I have a boat (liveaboard) or a house, I will have expenses. I have chose to spend my retirement doing something I want, rather than worrying about the repairs to the house, sitting in the retirement centre, grousing all the time, or complaining my kids don't visit me.

If people put everything into their dream goal and fail and give up, it never was their real dream, it was a fantasy. The alternative is IT IS THEIR DREAM, and its time to rework the plan. It wasn't failure, it was discovering one avenue that doesn't work. Real dreams and goals will never die and nothing will stop you from realizing them. I fantasize about a 60' fantasy yacht (win the lottery), but it isn't my dream. My dream is to sail, cruise, love and live life.

The woman in the next slip, takes her boat out 2X a year for a day 'cruise', but spends every weekend on it. She loves it, it's her escape from the world. It's her little piece of heaven.

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You can't always be running away from one thing, with the idea that sailing is somehow easy or an escape. It's usually a hell of a lot harder than land life both physically and mentally.
You can't ever run from things, they will find you in your new location. You can run to things though. Sorry, but sailing is an escape. It's an escape from the rat race. I challenge myself only. My opponents are the weather and the world, by sailing, I face the world on the worlds terms. As for being harder than landlife, that is a perception. It is as easy as you choose to make it.

My first time soloing, I ran into difficulty. Instant PANIC, I am going to drift to japan. I am an idiot, why did I ever think I could sail... A few moments of terror and then sanity returned. WHAT can I DO to fix the situation. I contacted my marina (I wasn't that far from my base, but things could have gone downhill fast), advised them of my situation and they inquired if I needed assistance. Not at this time. I took control, did what was necessary, thinking of what I had been taught and doing the correct actions. In the back of my mind always was "what if I mess up, will I die, am I a fool for thinking I can be a sailor" and sure enough I was tested. Obviously since I am typing, I did not die, nor did I give up sailing. I faced my challenge and beat it.

THAT to me is what life is, facing your onus in life. Success is facing it, not necessarily beating it. Having the courage to step outside your comfort zone.

I have digressed from dreams. If it is YOUR dream, you will never regret doing it, no matter the outcome, you will succeed if you keep pursuing your dream.
If you have no dream/goal, you will be forever living someone else's dream and bound to be disappointed and frustrated.

Make your "Bucket List" and start doing it now.
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