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Sailing in Real Life: Finding Brave Again.

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Hawaiian chieftan

Hawaiian Chieftain

As I considered the title of this blog, I typed “Sailing.” Then I laughed and thought, “Oh they’ll think it’s another imagination technique.” Then I laughed again thinking, “Well, it was an imagination technique that led me to real life sailing!”

Yup, visualizing,dreaming, doodling and painting endless mystical tall ships; these  just spill over into real life in a most amazing way. Huh. I guess imagination and reality aren’t really separate, after all.

Imagining bravery and courage isn’t separate from reality either. Albeit I’ve yet to be as swashbucklin’ and as much of a monkey in the rigs as the imaginary brave and courageous sailor who plays in my thoughts. But the imaginary does get me on the deck of a real Tall Ship, and it gets me climbing aloft – with some anxiousness and trepidation – but still, climbing aloft. The imaginary hasn’t gotten me aloft while feeling seasick, or when it looked like the other sailors would be much better suited to be setting or furling sails in great rolling swells. Ha ha.

But still. Imagining the possibility. Pretending I have a few seconds of outrageous  bravery to commit to such a crazy adventure;  those things have me, today, packing up for a week sail as crew on the Hawaiian Chieftain, granddaughter in tow because it’s a family adventure through the San Juan Islands!!

I am nervous. I’m nervous because I’ve forgotten the knots and I don’t know all the lines on this ship. (Sister ship to the one I trained on, Lady Washington)  I’m nervous cuz I’m really such a beginner sailor and will they have high expectations of me because I ‘made the cut’ in training?  I’m not actually nervous about going aloft, but a little concerned about my strength, given I had an injury this spring that had kept me from getting really fit.  It’s better now. But I’m not super strong.

Oh wait. I’ll imagine super strong.

And I’ll remember how stepping on the Lady Washington last fall triggered a strength I didn’t even know I had.

I’ll think of these things, right now. And feel the energy of that  in my body.

I’ll imagine the swashbucklin’ wild red haired sailor chomping at the bit to get back to the sea and who knows every knot every concocted.

Okay. I’m good.



I can do this. I did it before! Aloft on Lady Washington


Soon to be scrubbing decks, but on the Hawaiian Chieftain. I do love scrubbing decks!

P.S. If you’ve ever wished you could sail on a Tall Ship, Grays Historical Seaport, with their two ships Lady Washington and the Hawaiian Chieftain, are the most welcoming organization, dedicated to the education of sailors and children, and to keep the history and spirit of Tall Ships alive.

Onion Satire and My Crazy Tiny Heritage Log Cabin Home. How did I get here?

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Some things just must be shared and this is one of them:
Find The Thing You’re Most Passionate About, Then Do It On Nights And Weekends For The Rest Of Your Life
By David Ferguson,31742/?ref=auto

I hope you read it. It’s brilliantly funny. And once you do, you’ll understand when I say this is why I went into recreation and leisure management many years ago… in the hopes that someone might recognize their recreation and leisure time as having potential to be much more a part of their life. Then life coaching came along as a profession and I went there… because snippets of what you love in a week or a month or a year, is just not enough.


cabinAnd so, staying true to what I love…Yes, I’m living in a log cabin. I moved in last week. It’s 160 years old.. the oldest heritage building in our community… cozy and sweet inside with 400 square feet of room for my projects, written works and art works.  It’s on a small farm, near the river where I can paddleboard. And a bonus; it’s a very cool experience for the grandchildren when they visit.

It is a bizarre yet extraordinary thing how visioning can make things happen. I’ve wanted to try simplified tiny house living. I wanted the option to be near water, yet close enough to town that my family and muse friends aren’t far away. And I wanted ‘cheap’ so I could get myself back on my financial feet.  And so here I am.  Even I am surprised I am living here; I was not actively looking, but I was imagining.  A friend heard about it and told me.  Visioning is like that.

A cabin has always been my place to really make things happen.  The timing is perfect; I’m feeling well. I have written works galore from the past couple of years to fine tune and get out there. I have what I hope are inspiring, fun, quirky courses and discovery books just waiting to be shared. I’m delighted to be doing personal coaching again and from this sweet little place. The pottery studio doesn’t fit, but it’s all safely stored for ‘down the road’ but the paints and creative play stuff fills shelves where others might put things like.. dishes, or food.

The last few years have been a knock-down, get-back-up, wild ride… mentally, physically, emotionally, soulfully, and financially.  Wild. Did I mention wild? But being aloft furling sails on a tall ship… well, that will always remind that getting back up includes ‘nothing is impossible.’  And this cabin just happening to be available… reminds me that the Universe is looking out for me.  And now I get  dedicated time in nature to get my creative and career dreams back in gear.  Life is Good. Crazy. Wild. Bizarre. Pretty Amazing.

The whole point of this post? Keep imagining. Make those vision boards. Dream. Trust. Do more of what you love. Take small steps in that direction. Say Yes to opportunities. Know that nothing is impossible.

Round Two of Backpacks and Head Thumps, but Only One Cell in the Toilet

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The cellphone is in a nice mixture of bulgar and wild rice. It fell in the toilet when the cabinet crashed down and hit me on the head.  That lump will balance out the lump on my forehead from a box that fell off a shelf in a closet. It’s been a bit of a weird day.

I leave town early in the morning, and I need that cell phone. (I need my head too, but it will heal on its own)  But the phone, how else will I call the ship if I can’t find it?  Do you think there are telephone booths in Moss Landing? Do telephone booths still exist or are they only used for Tardis’s nowadays? Imagine not long ago we travelled without cell phones. We looked for interet cafes and paid to use a computer to keep in touch with people back home. And before that.. well, there was a time when the only way my Dad knew how I was doing on my travels was through letters that took weeks to arrive. Okay, the real truth is, I want my cell phone so I can easily keep in touch with my family and those little granddaughters of mine! But if it is not well by morning, I do have the Surface computer. So funny, now that I think of it. I’ve never travelled with so much technology. And I really don’t know if I’ll have a minute to be posting and puting anyway!

Preparing for this grand adventure- the “Two Weeks Before the Mast” sail training – has been a bit of a grand adventure in itself. Lots to think about … cold weather gear, very wet weather gear, ‘foulies’, knives, (oh ya, I’ll be checking that luggage!) … and how to fit what I need into a backpack. I’ve thought about how that will work for weeks. I had no doubt my old backpack that travelled Costa Rica with me would be ideal. Until it was fully packed today and I hoisted it onto my back only to discover it hurt like hell.  It just ain’t what it used to be.. or I’m not. Ha ha ha!! And so, the scramble was on. Fortunately, backpacks run in the family and my daughter’s turned out to be a much better fit.

It’s packed and ready.

The sketch-adventure journal is ready too.  It will become a treasure for me.. sketching a scene or a story while travelling creates such a powerful memory. When you look back at the sketches, you instantly and clearly remember the sights, the sounds, the smells…

But am I ready? I resorted to Advil to settle the lumpaches. (Why THAT’s a cool looking word. Foreign. Not like an injury at all.) I am nervous. The more I study lines and sails, the more I learn how little I know.

Two weeks ago, I had some doubts. A major house move pushed me maybe a little too far, especially when it’s not been all that long since I finished treatments, (and Oh ya, I’m still on one.) Knees, back, neck.. everything hurt. Chiropractor, massage, and being a little gentler with my body seems to have gotten me back on track. Sort of.

But, “Ready or not, here I come!”    Scared! Anxious! Over the top Thrilled! Happy!  In awe that this is really happening!  Okay, Yes. I am ready.

Oh it is so late, I need my sleep for the journey, so you know what? I’m going to published this post unedited. And I will get to bed, cuddle my little granddaughter who has already snuck in for the night,  and dream of the creak of the ship, the wind in her sails, the smell of the sea, the comraderie of crew mates… all things I feel like I know so well, yet logically I do not. It’s magic.. truly.

Thanks for being here reading this…you inspire me to share this journey. And I’m curious.. if you had a chance to go train as a sailor on a tall ship, is it something you would do?

And so it begins.  The cover of my sketch-journal says so…


Learning to Sail a Tall Ship. Really. A Real One.

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Seven more sleeps and I sail the seven seas. Okay, no, not all seven… but a part of the coast of California is plenty of a dream come true for me….as you can imagine if you know me or have followed my posts for a bit.

I get to train as a sailor on the magnificent Tall Ship, Lady Washington. My life has been full of preparing, planning, and learning things like clews, rigging knives, marlinspikes, and fortmistays’ls. (And I did spell that wrong… sure proof of what a beginner I be!) My life has also been full of selling my home and moving in a 3 week period. I have so much to say as I experience preparing for this dream come true adventure…but it’s been a little busy around here!

I do hope to share the journey with you. The scary, the anticipation, the “Am I crazy?”, the calling in the bravery, the ‘oh my god, I’m really going to do this!”, the “I am so blessed,” but for now, I wanted to share a beautiful video of a journey the Lady Washington and her crew took when she went to the Caribbean to play HMS Interceptor in the Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl.  I notice her masts are really really really tall… (eek? No, I can do this. I can do this. I can do this.) Enjoy, my friends!

Lady Washington to the Caribbean


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