Lucky To Be In The Boat Yard

JHH5-14743We just spent the last ten days hauled for the annual bottom painting and check over of Morgan’s Cloud, our boat and home. Now we TRULY HATE BEING HAULED and living on the boat in the boat yard. Oh, sorry, was I shouting?

But you know what? Just when I was at my most cranky about the whole thing it suddenly struck me how lucky I was to be doing something I love: offshore voyaging and living on a boat with someone I love.

And lucky not to be experiencing the tragedy in Japan, or New Zealand, or Haiti. And lucky not to have been financially crippled—yet, anyway—by the recent recession.

Get Going If You Have The Chance

So, if you are lucky enough to be in a position to go voyaging, I urge you to grab the chance with both hands as quickly as you can. Make the sacrifices to get out there. It’s a risky old world and our luck can run out at any time.

Editorial Quandary

By the way, this post came out of thinking about whether or not we should be writing anything about the tragedies mentioned above when they happened. It feels a bit strange to be posting about what is, when you really think about it, a pretty self indulgent life style, when a huge number of people have just been killed in a natural disaster or, for that matter, are risking their lives in the Middle East for a bit of self-determination.

After a bit of discussion, we decided that we are simply not qualified to be writing about such things. So our official Attainable Adventure Cruising editorial policy is to stick to what we know and keep posting on that, pretty much no matter what horrible things are going on in the world. But please do not think that we don’t care, because we do.

Further Reading

Like what you just read? Get lots more:

Please Share

Meet the Author


John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

6 comments… add one
  • Richard Mar 19, 2011, 10:58 pm

    Please don’t change a thing on your postings (concerning what you, your lives aboard and doing what you love, entails). Nor, ever apologize or feel guilty because of your decisions to “follow your dreams”.

    The daily media bombards us with the global tragedies. One after another. What can, or could, you—or any of us—possibly say that would ease or “take the pain” away from so many that inhabit this “big blue marble” ??

    It’s postings like yours that help alot of us thru these times of tragedy. They give us something to bond with, something to believe in, something to help us escape.

    Your writings help keep “our dreams” alive.

    Richard William Lord

  • Matt Marsh Mar 19, 2011, 11:37 pm

    Thanks for the inspiration, John 🙂 To be honest, boat painting and maintenance sounds pretty appealing when you compare it to Lamour’s formula or the Proca Lagrangian, the likes of which have been occupying far too much of my time lately. It’s ice-out week here in Kingston, with all the anticipation of being back out on the water (just as soon as it thaws enough that we can be reasonably sure of not hitting any growlers at 20 knots).

    As for your little editorial quandary: We get more than enough current events news from the morning paper, the radio stations, water-cooler chatter and the rest of the Internet. A great deal of it is shallow or wrong. What’s that rule, again… count the number of errors the news makes when they’re talking about something you know, and assume a similar lack of accuracy when they’re talking about stuff you don’t know. No, most writers are at their best when they stick to what they know and love. You tend to do that very well, and that’s why your site is consistently near the top of my feeds list each morning.

  • Sue Hull Mar 20, 2011, 11:39 am

    I completely agree with Matt, above, that we get more coverage of the disasters than we can possibly ingest, and it is refreshing to read posts by someone who knows what he is talking about.

    And, thank you for giving me a fresh perspective on our chosen lifestyle.

  • RDE Mar 20, 2011, 2:41 pm

    I thought I’d share a quote from Sterling Hayden, who famously abandoned Hollywood to sail away in the middle of the night to the South Pacific on board his schooner with creditors and ex wives hot on his tail. Hayden may have become a Hollywood star back in the day, but at age 19 he had fought his way to the command of one of the last four masted schooners of the age of sail.

    “To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea…”cruising” it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.”

    “I’ve always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can’t afford it.” What these men can’t afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of “security.” And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine – and before we know it our lives are gone.

    What does a man need – really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in – and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That’s all – in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade.

    The years thunder by. The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.

    Where, then, lies the answer?
    In choice.
    Which shall it be – bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?


    • Richard Mar 20, 2011, 8:50 pm

      I’m not sure who RDE is, but—–if he truly believes what he wrote above—– I’d sail to the “ends of the earth” with him if he was Captain.

      Voyaging, discovering, conquering “new lands”—— following one’s dreams. Count me in. The more “hardships” along the way, the better. They truly make one appreciate where you are, where you’ve come from and where your dreams are taking you.

      Please—–more thought provoking, dream inspiring thoughts, RDE.

      Concerning Sterlin Hayden—–“Tha Man”. Lived life as he saw everything in life as a “means to an end”.

      Richard William Lord

  • John Mar 22, 2011, 7:59 pm

    Thanks to all for the really great comments. Certainly nothing I can add!

Only logged in members may comment: