Life is a journey, not a destination
Life is a journey, not a destination. Ralph Waldo Emerson said that, and it’s something we, along with a lot of other folks, relearned early on in the pandemic, back in the early spring of 2020. There is an art in learning how to take your feet off the gas pedal, and just slow down. With Covid locking the island of Roatan down, we weren’t doing any business; we couldn’t even really take our boat out of the marina, and if we did, it was questionable whether there would be a country that would allow us back onto land. We learned to find pleasure in simple, slow things: joy from a jigsaw puzzle, guffawing laughter from a slowly rising loaf of bread, epiphany from the quotidian.
With the hyper speed multitasking world we all inhabit, here in the early days of 2022, it is easy to forget that just easing back off the throttle is always an option, even in the most stressful circumstances. Sometimes, like when you’re driving on ice, slamming on the brakes is the worst possible course of action. And yet, it’s what we’re all doing, rushing from point a to point b and then mashing on the brakes, often without ever really thinking about why we’re in such an almighty rush to get where we’re going.
Now, if you’re a medical professional tearing ass down the road to save someone who is having a heart attack, then sure, we get it, we’ve been speeding over freezing roadways in the frozen dark of the night, answering emergency medical calls with lives on the line not all that long ago. What we’ve learned is to always have some perspective. Speed, distance, time, these are all factors we consider, elements (along with weather) that we have to take into account planning any sailing experience, but does it really matter if we get there 5 minutes later?
Sometimes, having perspective unfortunately means we just have to cancel a booking (if weather and our schedules don’t perfectly align), but more often than not, we’re able to work together, make a plan, and execute the best we can, adapting to the sea conditions and the wind, and overcoming any obstacles in our path. Our track record speaks for itself.
As non-racing sailor types (racing sailors, being a distinct, often romanticized, but nevertheless pugilistic breed, for whom sailing is only about reaching the destination ahead of all the other boats in the competition), we’re used to slowing down, and being present, taking in the pure experience of moments as they happen. We’re not super concerned about getting anywhere fast, but we will get you back to land by whatever time you need. Life really happens in the margins, while we’re not looking. Life happens when you’re out there, as Captain Ron says. When we’re more a part of the scenery than the stars of the show, something magical blossoms, creating a synthesis between people and place.
With both sails up, the diesel engine off, cruising on the Western Caribbean trade winds in the Bay Islands of Honduras, the rhythm of life slows down, and sometimes, when the conditions are just right, you can hear the thrum of our 39 foot fiberglass hull gliding through the eighty degree turquoise water. It’s a harmonious, fleeting, humming sound of perfect balance, indicating that everything is in tune, flowing in perfect alignment. It doesn’t happen all the time, hearing the hum of our boat is special, like seeing dolphins at sunset, or short finned pilot whales after a great snorkel. When you hear it, when you feel it, you know something magical is happening.