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Trial By Sea - The Move From San Diego to Oxnard

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Friday, Apr. 30 - Morning After several delays for engine repairs and other maintenance issues, the day finally arrives - it's time to move Emerald Star from her berth in San Diego to her new home in Channel Islands Harbor, Oxnard. To say I'm excited (and nervous) is an understatement. The adventure is about to begin!  Is there any time that is more full of hope and optimism than just before the start of a new adventure? We're about to embark on a sea trial of roughly 170 nm, to be completed over the next 40 hours. We expect to leave at 2200 hours on Friday and average 5 knots, which gives us an arrival at Catalina Island around 1400 on Saturday. The plan is to rest there a bit, maybe get off the boat to eat lunch and depart again on the tide at 2000 hours with an expected arrival in Channel Islands around 1400 on Sunday. On board will be three souls - myself, Greg and Orion. I've met these two through a Craigslist ad after multiple schedule changes force my original cr

Home is Where The Sea Lions Are

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Meeting the neighbors After purchasing Emerald Star (who I now call "Emma" for short) officially on March 31st, I am faced with a daunting task - I have to move her from San Diego to somewhere else by the end of month. The marina where she is berthed has already rented the slip and she has to be gone. I run thru different possibilities up and down the coast from SF to LA, and discover that living aboard a sailboat is frowned upon in most marinas these days. There's a whole lot of political stuff going on around that issue that I don't care to drudge up right now, but the bottom line is that most marinas cap their liveaboards at 10% of their total rentals, and there are waiting lists up to 3 years long at more than 2 dozen marinas that I contact. I won't say I did an 'exhaustive' search, but I spent far more time than I wanted to trying to find a place to berth her where I could live and work on the boat full time. There is such a thing called a "sneak

How I Got My Boat

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After the internal drama of getting to a big decision settles, the questions of why I want to do this are answered and the excitement of a big, new challenge fades, one is left with a very important question.  Just how the heck does one go about sailing around the world, anyway? Step one, is pretty obvious - I need a boat. A vessel capable of going around the world. But what exactly does THAT mean? People have sailed around the world in all sorts of boats, ranging from rafts, to row boats, canoes, inflatables and kayaks. I once met an 80 year-old Russian guy who sailed from the Ukraine into the Black Sea, on to the Mediterranean and across the Atlantic to Puerto Rico, which is where I met him. In an 8 foot long sailboat, complete with a shoddy, handmade 3' x 4' x 3' plywood shelter that looked more like a doghouse than a cabin to keep him out of the sun. His 'cabin' was mostly full of water with dozens of packages of crackers and sardines wrapped in saran wrap stack

The Golden Circle

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Another Friday night, another catch-up post. Blogging in front of my computer on a Friday night. Woo hoo, Hammy and I are living quite the exciting life. But hey - we're living and we have a roof over our head. I count my blessings for that every day. Hammy is doing much better this past week - he's back to normal too. He does not handle change very well, gets really pissed when he's put in the carry container, and sulks for days afterwards. He's coming out of his funk now too - I am fully out of mine and back in work mode. ----------------------------------------------------- Two business tools that have been invaluable to me over the years are Simon Sinek's "Golden Circle", and the book Unstuck , a brilliant resource by Keith Yamashita and Sandra Spataro that helps teams and organizations achieve world-class performance. I often turn to these tools for guidance when building strategies and a course of action. I realize that if I'm going to actually p

Here I Go Again...

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Blah, blah, blah. I'm listening to Pandora while driving home from delivering a patient, and this song comes on. And just like that, the fog of the past couple weeks lifts like a summer day in San Francisco, leaving brilliant sunshine in its wake. So much drama, angst, and self-induced pain over these past few weeks. As I often say, clarity comes in an instant. I am the master of my own fate and my attitude. I know who I am. The recent events in my personal life can be a revelation of who I am, not a failure of who I am not. One little 4 minute song speaks to me and brings clarity. I love it when that happens. I've got dozens of lists and notes to myself laying around the house right now containing research and planning topics for executing a circumnavigation.  These are all lists that require a strategy and a plan for execution - how to buy a boat, how to outfit one for a circumnavigation, route planning, meals at sea, customs and immigrations requirements for taking a cat to

The Universe Chimes In

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 Another catch-up post, and the Universe speaks to me. The emotional roller-coaster continues but diminishes daily. Each day is filled with 6-8 hours of work (gotta keep the paychecks coming) and another 10-12 hours researching everything about circumnavigating and sailing. It's an education, and it's tiring. I'm not sleeping well partially out of excitement, fear and worry.  All the bad things that could happen weigh heavily on me. All the doubts and fears are given full voice, and boy are they loud! And insistent - is this really a smart thing to do at my age? I also feel myself getting stronger every day. I have a home for me and the Hammy cat for 2-3 months - a base to build from. I'm going to be okay. My MO with relationship breakups is to circle a day on the calendar, give myself permission to do whatever I want or need to do to heal in the meanwhile, and on the date I circled, I'm officially over it and moving on. It's my way of indulging and honoring the

I Am Not A Cliche. Am I?

As an artist, I dislike cliches. They're lazy and often inaccurate, but they can sometimes serve a useful purpose as a shorthand to get a lot of backstory out of the way quickly. When I listen to myself tell Ryan about my plan to sail around the world, I realize that I'm coming across as a cliche that I could pitch as a Hollywood movie. "Broken-hearted guy is ditched by his girlfriend, kicked out of his home, loses his job, and even his cat runs away, so he buys a sailboat to go find himself." If the lead character in this Hollywood trope was a woman, she'd find romance and the love of her life on her journey. Because it's a male lead, he learns what a loser he's always been, suffers greatly for his past sins, but dies performing some heroic act that saves the life of an innocent child who goes on to do great things. Guys don't get happy endings. We have to die to learn our lessons. Either literally or metaphorically. ----------------------------------