Casting Off The Lines

Today we cast off our dock lines and leave Seattle for three months. This day is something we’ve looked forward to for a long time. The trip will be a true adventure. Maybe more adventure than we’d like. Last year we found the adventure we dreamed of was not the adventure we seek.

We don’t know yet what we’ll find. But if we knew every challenge we’d face, it wouldn’t be an adventure.

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It would be far easier not to go. It would be more comfortable and less scary to sit on our couch drinking beer and watching Game of Thrones on Sunday night. Our jobs pay the bills, and it’s difficult to give that up, if only temporarily. It would be far more comfortable sitting in an air conditioned office each workday rather than grinding winches, battling wave spray sailing upwind, and repairing a diesel engine. But that isn’t the life we want to live all the time.


The past month has been incredibly stressful. Packing up our condo was a tremendous amount of work, but also we’ve been wrapping up things well at our day jobs before we take off for 3 months, and finishing final preparations on the boat. These things have filled almost all our nights and weekends.

And it’s been stressful wondering have we done all we can to be prepared for this trip? Am I worrying about the right things, fixing the right issues on the boat, or will I be blindsided by an issue I hadn’t even thought about, like the transmission failing? The biggest fear is some catastrophic issue that could sideline our trip.

I recently heard a TED Talk where Dan Pallotta said, “What we fear most is that we will be denied the opportunity to fulfill our true potential.” And maybe that is what I fear the most – that we will fail to live up to our potential as sailors.

In the end you have to set your fears and stress aside and just go. Our boat is far better prepared than it was a year ago, and we’re far better prepared as sailors as well. Whenever I have doubts, I put my mind at ease by remembering there are sailors out there with less experience and far less well equipped boats – like the crazy adventurers of the R2AK who will be going through the same rapids we’ll go through, but they’re doing it without an engine!

So yes, we’re prepared for the adventure of a lifetime.

The sea is calling and we must go.

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