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Old 17-04-2009, 09:56   #31
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Minggat,

Do you mean 7,107 islands? If so that's the Philippines, and I will see you there sometime soon if that is what you meant......i2f
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Old 19-04-2009, 10:16   #32
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Defjef, that was a deep one. I'm of similar mind.

Having tried to define my purpose for being alive, I have kinda given up on it, as being a bit vain to assume that there even is one. Thus, what do I do next then? I don't see that I am wanting any challenges. But, if I have a challenge, at the moment, it is to lead a life with less stress and less urgency.

When younger, I wanted to sail around the world, but now, I am not even sure where I want to go. I just know I want to go somewhere. I am just going to wander aimlessly, without any rush, and see where the wind blows me.

When ready for sea, I will sail out of the river and turn right (towards warmer weather), and see from there. But...

Maxing Out brings "purpose" into the argument. This is very true, I have never even been out sailing without a defined purpose. To teach the kids, to check the new inlet manifold, to move the boat, etc etc...

I am really thinking hard about purpose, and seem to have in mind that I don't have a purpose any longer, and it does not trouble me. I think.

I do have challenge at the moment, and that is just getting ready! The list of things to be done "before I go" just seems to get longer and longer. Soon, I'm likely to get fed up with it and just cast off. We'll see.

I'm going to try and justify a purpose. I'll let you know if I find one.
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Old 19-04-2009, 10:38   #33
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Defjef, that was a deep one. I'm of similar mind.

Having tried to define my purpose for being alive, I have kinda given up on it, as being a bit vain to assume that there even is one. Thus, what do I do next then? I don't see that I am wanting any challenges. But, if I have a challenge, at the moment, it is to lead a life with less stress and less urgency.

When younger, I wanted to sail around the world, but now, I am not even sure where I want to go. I just know I want to go somewhere. I am just going to wander aimlessly, without any rush, and see where the wind blows me.

When ready for sea, I will sail out of the river and turn right (towards warmer weather), and see from there. But...


For some people, the word purpose isn't the right word. Perhaps the word direction would be more applicable.

People who live in goal-oriented societies and who have a purpose driven life often are burned out by the time they are fifty. The word purpose and goals makes them feel tight inside, and there's no way that they would want to transfer that over to their sailing adventures.

I would consider wandering amilessly, without any rush, wherever the wind blows you to be an excellent purpose. After all, purpose is an individual thing, and it changes as we travel through life. Wandering at a comfortable pace may be an adequate purpose to carry you for the rest of your life. There's nothing wrong with that.


I think it's important to mindful about what we are doing. It's not like we are keeping score, but we also are not adrift. I have been wandering in a mindful manner for years, and it feels good. When I graduated from medical school, I bailed out and lived as a hard core expatriate for twenty-eight years. I have been wandering on purpose.

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I wrote on this subject on one of my websites:

I MAY BE WANDERING, BUT I'M NOT LOST

For twenty-eight years, I have lived, traveled, worked, and cruised outside the USA.

My global adventures have sometimes been a source of confusion to my family and friends. Some of them have even suggested that I have wasted large segments of my life. After all, if I had gone mainstream professionally, I could have been rich - maybe even famous.

They are probably right. I could have been rich and famous, but I also would have been miserable, maybe even depressed, because I would not have been living my dreams.

I worked as an eye surgeon for eleven years in Saudi Arabia, and then I went sailing around the world with my family on my small yacht. When I stopped doing ophthalmology and started living my cruising dreams, many of my professional friends acted like I fell off a horse and hit my head. They thought I was throwing everything away when I moved on to different things.

They had a problem with their vision. They had a form of inner blindness that prevented them from seeing my dreams. To them, it looked like I was wandering, even lost.

Well, I have news for all the naysayers, disbelievers, and critics. Even though I am wandering, I am not lost. I am on course, and I am exactly where I want to be, because I am living my dreams.

In one of my books (unpublished) I have a term that I use to describe a group of clueless people; I call them the Life Long Disoriented. These folks don't know who they are, and they don't know where they are going. They are adrift on the ocean of life.

I am not a member of the Life Long Disoriented because I know exactly who I am. I am Captain Dave, circumnavigator of planet earth. I am Landroverman, an expert in expeditionary travel in Land Rover Defenders. I am Dr. Dave, a flying doctor with the Indian Health Service flying out to Indian reservations to deliver health care in Arizona. I am also a speaker, writer, podcaster, webmaster, and photographer.

I also know where I am going. I am traveling in the direction of my dreams. Wherever my dreams take me, that's where I will end up. Although it may look like I am wandering, I definitely am not lost. I have been living my life on purpose for the past 59 years, and I plan to continue living the same way.

The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth is that if you aren't living your dreams, you are wasting your life. So go ahead. Live your dreams. You'll be glad that you did.
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Old 19-04-2009, 11:31   #34
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For some people, the word purpose isn't the right word. Perhaps the word direction would be more applicable. <snip>
Purpose, direction, goal, dream, wish - to my mind, they are all just different ways of describing what it really is . . . desire.

The drive to satisfy unrequited desire is what keeps the donkey walking toward the carrot dangling from a stick just a few tantalizing inches in front of his muzzle. Or, for that matter, what keeps many of us planning, scheming, trying to find a way to fulfill the cruising dream.

But merely recognizing that fulfilling desire is what motivates us is insufficient. It is vitally important to then take whatever steps one deems necessary to either satisfy one's desires, or extinguish them in the quest, for until they are disposed of - one way or another - desires have tremendous power over our lives.

To imagine that one can exercise willpower over desire, and therefore "master" it, is folly that often leads to all kinds of unexpected, often unfortunate, consequences. It is far better to recognize desire, acknowledge it, strive to attain it and accept the outcome, whatever that may be. Only then will that desire begin to lose its awesome power.

In my view, there is no greater "challenge" than achieving freedom from desire.

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Old 19-04-2009, 11:53   #35
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To imagine that one can exercise willpower over desire, and therefore "master" it, is folly that often leads to all kinds of unexpected, often unfortunate, consequences. It is far better to recognize desire, acknowledge it, strive to attain it and accept the outcome, whatever that may be. Only then will that desire begin to lose its awesome power.

In my view, there is no greater "challenge" than achieving freedom from desire.

TaoJones
Desire isn't a problem for me. It's what keeps me going. Desire works for me as long as it has a narrow focus. Unrestrained desire is a different thing. Nothing good comes from unrestrained desire.

For me the big problem is attachments to stupid things that complicate my life. When I am out sailing, life is easier because attachments are so few, and the ones that I chose are worthwhile - family, friends, and keeping Exit Only afloat.

I need a good dose of desire to add flavor and direction to my life, and I try to choose my attachments well and keep them as few as possible.
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Old 19-04-2009, 14:21   #36
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To find happiness.
I think these two summed it up well.

I think if there is one thing that's changed for me over the years, it's been less driven to be challenged. For much of my life the goal was always to have the next trip be faster, longer, more remote or more difficult. Although I still dream of circumnavigating, it's no longer a goal. I've learned I prefer getting a good night's sleep in a protected anchorage and spending part of each day snorkeling to pulling shifts round the clock in lumpy seas.

To me it's about being in a good place, sharing a good experience with good people. Slowly wandering my way through the Bahamas in a reasonably sized cat, having people join me, anchoring in deserted anchorages would suit me just fine.
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Old 19-04-2009, 16:20   #37
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I MAY BE WANDERING, BUT I'M NOT LOST

Dave, that is beautiful.

You gotta publish that book. No. You haven't "got to". Only if you feel like it. But I'd like to read it.

Tao and Nautical are both right. Desire. Happiness. The persuit of both. The restraint, is whatever you place on yourself. In my case, the desire is to be happy again. To achieve that, I need to remove the excess stress from my life, which I have both at work and at home. It's a time thing. There isn't enough time for everything. But I'm working on that. I was gradually delegating stuff at work, when the recession came along, and made us work harder to earn the same income - even then it still dropped. I was selling the house to buy the boat, until the recession: and house prices fell throught the floor. Add to that my Daughter is now at college, my then son lost his job, and I also now have the boat to pay for, and fitting out and renovations are costing more than I first thought. Such is life - there are people worse off than I am. So, my challenge is just everyday life. My desire, therefore, is to remove the challenge, and get started on my mini-adventure of life aboard.

I have to say, I'm more like Nautical than Dave. A night chilling in a quiet, safe anchorage holds more attraction than facing the Southern Ocean (so I can go have a drink with Mark), but I cannot rule out the possibility that I might just meander down to AussieLand.

I just don't see that as the challenge. Getting things sorted here, and actually getting away from here is the challenge! And, I suppose the desire. The sea, I don't see as a challenge, I see it as an adventure, because that is what I want/desire to do. OK, if I have to face a Force 12 on my own out there, then that will be a challenge. And it may be a challenge that beats me, who knows. I have never before faced anything like that as skipper of my own boat, that is a responsibility I don't take lightly. But inasmuch as I can, I will avoid it. The last one had me incapacitated for 8 days with sea-sickness! And that was only F11, and on a boat with a full professional crew. Although that was 30 years ago, and I have not been sea-sick since, I see that as a forthcoming challenge. As skipper of your own boat, you have to stay with it.

Also, I feel guilty. I kinda feel that I am being selfish, just bogging off. The pro bono is going to have to stop. Leaving everyone else to just get on with it, while I sunbath in some secluded anchorage. That's a bit of a mental challenge too. It might make me feel a bit useless. Another challenge. They might not be able to get hold of me on the phone. Should I worry about that? Or, will I worry more, not knowing what's going on back at the office? I really don't know.

These are my challenges. Going cruising, in itself, is an adventure, a relaxation. It isn't a challenge in my book. The only bit that is, is getting away from that dockside.
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Old 19-04-2009, 17:13   #38
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so I can go have a drink with Mark
Good. It'll give me an oportunity to turn over some stock of the Home Brew Beer. It keeps killing off all my guests
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Old 19-04-2009, 18:32   #39
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Old 19-04-2009, 18:54   #40
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Dave (Maxingout) - I just want to say thanks for starting the thread and to everyone who has contributed. It's great to read what drives everyone. It hits home.
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Old 19-04-2009, 19:04   #41
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In every facet of life we all get through it differently. It also helps fend off the boredom. Can you just imagine how boring it would be if we all had the same thoughts?....NO WAY......I love the diversity, and that is one of the reasons for cruising for me......i2f
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Old 19-04-2009, 22:11   #42
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My sailing "mentor" came down to the boat this afternoon. He was my college roommate who 25 years ago ask me to help him work on his spring prep (this is the yard I am presently at). I got the bug, got the boat and he sold his raised a family and is retired and thinking about buying a boat. He misses sailing.

He sails with me and now he is half heartedly looking for a boat. But boats are pricey and take lots of work...and more if you buy a cheapie one which was neglected.

So there I was in my 23 yr old boat, the only one I have ever had laying some teak in the cockpit. It's not an especially difficult project if you access to the right machinery and skills, but it takes a lot of work. I wasn't duplicating what was there, but doing some "better". He looked at the work and praised me and said why was I bothering to do it? I said look at the old teak, it's 23 years old, beat, worn, some split and needs to be repaired / maintained. He never would have done what I was doing; measurements, cad drawings, design, source and obtain all the materials, cut the wood to precise dimensions, machine the grooves, drill for the screws and plugs, and so on and so. It's an involved project. I like it. It's a bit of a challenge, but it more like a pleasure of doing things on the boat. It's not only sailing, but taking care of the boat improving her and that hard to do because the architect and the builder did such a great job. I don't have the time to work full time, so these project drag on, but I sail as well so I need to get them done because it not a JUST taking care of the boat, it's the sailing. My buddy just wants to sail.

He turned to me and said. "I am not going to buy a boat." I said, "You don't have to, you can sail with me."

One of my so called "challenges" has been to tackle every project on the boat and do a first class job and many things I've never done before. By now I have pretty much done the whole boat and there is always something new do deal with.

It never ends and it suits me fine.
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Old 09-05-2009, 12:20   #43
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Climb Everest, I believe being on top of the world will bring me new meaning.

Sail the world!

Thats really all I want to do now. If anyone wants to fund my trip just PM me
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Old 16-08-2009, 19:02   #44
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Build in variety if that is what is important

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Making my wife happy.

On a sailing theme I'm in trouble. I wanted to go offshore cruising when I was 13 years old after a chance meeting with Eric and Susan Hiscock. After school I spent many years doing just that. Then realized I had had enough - a bit of a shock , I thought I 'd do it forever.

Then I worked at a real job for 8 years... took wife and kids and went cruising for another nine years, but I was a bit disappointed...

Back on land now , should be in a position to take off again in 3-5 years, but what do I do?
That is perfectly normal ~ for some of us. I loved sailing in the tropics as a deckhand > navigator. Then, one day, felt that it was time to go back north. Life was too easy in the tropics and my mind was going soft.

Now I'm sliding out of retirement into work that will be just perfect for sailing within a couple of years. Advertise the service; take guests sailing for the fun of it; learn another language... The first time was healthy and confidence building: this next time I'll be my own boss in the tropics half the year; to Greenland and Scandinavia another half. Keep working the boat and tele-commuting when in range. It will be exciting just to survive society imploding over the next 10 ~ 25 years.

So what to do, Dana? Pick up a great yacht as they tumble in price; that's a project all of its own. Keep ahead of any waves of catastrophe but don't be disappointed if they don't happen, either. We don't know about the future, do we? But you can deliberately build in a variety of lives: now you know that is important for you.

Here's hoping we are all healthier in 25 years time than we are now !
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Old 18-08-2009, 10:31   #45
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State of Being as a Goal? My answer.

Two things. First, I have not posted very much here, simply because there is so much I don't know and I'm getting a great deal of pleasure out of simply learning. Taking other peoples viewpoints, looking at photographs, thinking, considering. Secondly, it turns out what is written below is the best description of the "head space" I find myself in, as well as explaining what my own "goal" is. It's as much a state of being as it is doing X, Y, or Z. The goal isn't the challenge, the challenge is the goal, of being finally able to persue things that catch my interest. I can't do that now. Too much work, not enough time... I can't simply take days off from work to study something which interests me now.

What boat do I want? Ones I can't afford. You can find Nor'Sea 27's, Southern Cross 31's, Westsail 32's, for 30k with very nice pictures. But I don't know enough to look at them and find what's wrong.

I used to depend on good mechanics to give a car a thorough going over before I bought it. I found out the hard way it was a really stupid thing to do. Now I get in a car I'm going to buy and take it for a drive. Five minutes and I already know if it's a solid car or if it's going to need a lot of work.

Because I've bought bad cars for too much and maintained/fixed them myself.

What is my ultimate goal, or challenge? Beats me. I honestly /don't care/ anymore.

I work in an environment that has hundereds of employees. Turnover rates can hit 800% per year. I've worked there for almost four years. I'm one of their "best", but even being the best out of everyone there doesn't get me any respect. I am, ultimately, regarded as meat for a seat.

It's not even stressful to me anymore. I just drag on, meeting metrics, doing the job I'm paid for, and getting bitter and angry because of the disrespect, the broken promises and the constant lies.

Was it a challenge? Sure. It /was/ a challenge. Is there anything left in this job that is challenging? Not really.

So I'm getting a new job, for a new company, supporting equipment which has a similar function, only it's a lot more expensive and gets sold to enterprise grade IT departments. Do I expect it to be a challenge?

Maybe. Mostly it'll be more of the same. Person A does something wrong and calls me, or finds a piece of equipment isn't working right (but doesn't know it's broken) and calls me, and I fix, replace, or recommend replacement.

I make more money.

I found out a long time ago that I don't much care about money one way or another except that I need it to do A, B, or C.

I've spent most of my life simply doing what needed doing. No goal, no overarching reason, no destination.

The happiest I remember being was when I was on the road with no particular place to go except where I chose. I loved it.

Now I'm tied down, my feet have itched for years and I can't just leave. I need a place to live, I need food, I need a reasonable expectation that I will have these things tomorrow.

Then I was browsing the internets. I don't remember what I was curious about at the time, but all of the sudden it hit me like not much else ever has, in this grey, dreary place I was buried.

Something inside of me was screaming in response. I doubt most people could have known just by looking at me at that moment, but it was like everything stopped existing. I stopped seeing my surroundings. If the phone that it was my job to tenderly care for rang at that moment, I wouldn't have heard it. I could remember the smell of the sea and a dream as a child that I had not remembered in so very, very long. I craved, I danced, I laughed, I cried, on deckplanks in my mind, capering as the storm swept down and laughing inside as the madness I keep penned away flickered through my mind, outside of its carefully built cage.

Images of other times flickered through my head - Falling towards the river, desperately trying to snag the innertube back and failing, light fading as the whitewater current grabbed my feed and sucked me to the bottom. Eyes closed, thoughtless, suspended in black turbulence, a flicker of knowledge that I could break down here, and the realization that I didn't care as I spread out, blind, deaf, feeling the currents against my skin.

Slamming against rocks, still thoughtless (or perhaps thought had become motion, I can't remember) but moving just in time, fending them off with a hand or a foot. Being smashed into a small cave under an old rock where I spun for a moment like wet clothes and then limpeted to the side, exploring the cracks and knowing which way I'd come in. Every thing I was, was focused, I was a beam of light, I was the edge of a sword, I was focused insanity, and I levered myself out.

It must have been fourty or fifty feet later I popped to the surface, laughing like a madman. There were daredevils that day on the whitewater rapids, doing stupid, dangerous things. My friends told me when I popped up laughing, they looked at me, threw away their homemade surfboards into the current, and said "We thought we were hardcore, but we're not. We're going home." and left.

I'm told I was down there for two or three minutes, I don't remember. It's a blur of being a spot of empty calm surrounded by turbulence. I can't, to this day many years later, explain it better than that. I swam to the bank, laughing like a madman, knowing I was crazy.

I remember standing in the middle of a thunderstorm as the lightning cracked the sky and glowed malevolently and the wind whipped by, with my head back, laughing like a madman, knowing I was crazy to the world and no longer caring.

I remembered when I learned I was dangerous, walking in the park with a girl I was friends with and someone ran out of the shadows at her with a knife. I remember the touch of my fingers at his throat as I realized who it was. He never knew I almost killed him in that moment of uncertanty, but somebody else was watching, and I could see fear in their eyes as they turned away, and I wondered, is there any place in this world for me? I didn't laugh that time. Realizing after living much of your life thinking you're civilized, and finding out that you're a barbarian and have the capability for violence frightened the stuffing out of me.

Then I was back at my desk, opening site after site about sailboats. Absorbing information like a sponge, learning, planning, scheming how to make it from "where I am now" to "captain".

I've always marched to my own drummer. I'm happiest when I have a job I know how to do and I'm being left to it.

There's a huge amount to learn and I'm barely starting in on it. Canvas, knots, wood, fiberglass. I'm a jack of all trades and a master of none.

I plan to make it down to the sea and stand on my own two legs on my own boat. Only a crazy person would try to get there from here, but I've already established I'm crazy.

I've also established, simply by staying alive in all the places I've been and things that should have killed me, that I'm crazy enough not to die from it.

There was only a 50% chance the bones in my leg would ever heal I broke them so much. The only way to make sure they would was by doing something crazy - walking on a broken leg.

I walked on the broken leg. It's a bit shorter now, but it works well enough lol.

What am I going to do with a boat? Beats me. Use the dickens out of it.

There's so many things I want to do. I want to write a book, finish re-learning how to program (there was a wreck, a Jeep Grand Cherokee doing 55 to 60 mph, ran a red light and hit my side of the car) and become better than I was before I lost the knowledge of how to do that, like so much else.

I'm not even 30, I'm crazy, I know where my pain tolerance goes up to (look, rebreaking a leg in two places while trying to go to the bathroom? That's about where I say "!$% this" and walk over to the pain meds on the other side of the building.) and I've got this resurrected dream I had as a child.

So I'm going to get a boat. Maybe it'll be in great shape. Maybe it'll be a wreck. But I'm a jack of all trades. I can do DC and AC electrical work, I can fix an engine, I can do woodwork, I used to swim competitively, I can build or fix computers, and a hundred other things besides.

Ultimate goal? To have the time to do what I want to do, whatever that happens to be.

I'm crazy, after all. According to modern society, it seems, anybody who wants to do something like live on a boat has to be crazy.

Bwahahaha.

I remember four years ago, in a 1982 toyota corolla 3TC with one working wiper, hitting dead man's pass in a thunderstorm. Have you ever heard the road whispering in your ear? Friction, traction, lateral pressure as senses, flicking through my mind like light from a gutted candle. The world is black and I am blind, with only the reflections of 20 year old headlights and the running lights of the semi I am passing, doing 75 MPH in a thunderstorm in dead man's pass. There's a glee in using your skill to the utmost. Shifting becomes a peripheral flicker, it almost starts to seem like the clutch and gears move at an attentionless thought. The whisper of the wind, the caressing purr of the engine. Driving 20 hour days.

The day before I was driving on inches of ice. I wore out a pair of chains out-driving everybody on the roads, the shock of fishtailing on a corner you took extra slow, and learning that you have risen to a level of skill where fishtailing five or ten times is trivial. I set a personal record of 16 times that day.

The exhaustion contributes to the headspace as you move beyond applying skill and thinking, I'm no longer driving the car, I'm no longer one with the car, I simply exist, the car simply exists, I can hear the road whispering how fast I can go, I hear the car whispering what it can do, as we ghost around the semi. We simply appear in front of the semi as we both go around the corner, and I see his headlights jump as he twitches. I know how shocking it is.

We, the car and I, ghost forward, vanishing around the next turn, unadulterated joy of movement. There is a satisfaction to driving at impossible speeds, taking corners that can't be taken, yet adhering to the road like paint. Knowing that for this night I am the king of Dead Man's Pass, and nobody on it is or can drive as well as I am.
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