Power of a goal and the pull of the horizon

September 20, 2020 in Sailing yarns, Video - 3 Comments

Tim and I have been captivated following different cruisers around the world making choices about where to go and navigating, often more figuratively than literally, the world’s bureaucracies while facing down a global pandemic.

There’s Ryan and Sophie Sailing, who opted to haul out in Curaçao and fly home to Sweden–which was not an easy choice made even more complicated because he’s American and she’s French, and they aren’t married making a quick hop to the US out of the question for Sophie. They are now watching as hurricane season throws storms toward the Caribbean like cannonballs. They chronicle their decision-making process here on their YouTube channel.

Sailing Yacht Florence got stuck in a remote area of Indonesia. Because of travel restrictions, they were too far away from a boat yard to haul out and return to England. So, they threw out their hook and watched as their window to cross the Indian Ocean came and went–they talk about their choices in this YouTube episode. They’ve been stuck at anchor, off a remote island, for months. And have remained quite cheery, at least in their videos!

Elena of Peregrina Sails, a female solo circumnavigator who had an American guest aboard her small boat for a few days, that turned into a many weeks (not an easy twist of fate for a woman who chose to sail around the world SOLO). She’s endured having her kayak (which acts as her dingy) stolen; an ill grandmother back in the United States with no way to get back because doing so would mean she might not be able to return to her boat; and, a tenuous visa issue in New Zealand. She is a heck of a writer… it’s worth the few bucks a month to “stow away” with her to get her emails and postcards sent from far away places!

And finally, Garry Crothers, who opted to single hand, literally as he only has one arm, from the Caribbean back home to Derry, Ireland. He hadn’t been planning to solo-sail across the Atlantic this year. But, the small island of Martinique didn’t have any spare Irishmen/women who wanted to set sail, and anyone without an EU passport had no guarantee that they’d be allowed into Ireland upon landfall, as travel restrictions in April and May were changing so rapidly.

My heart has been aching for these intrepid souls who worked so hard to turn their sailing dreams into reality, to then be so disrupted. I know how hard Tim and I are working to get our sailing dream launched. For most, it takes years of planning and saving. It would be crushing to get out there, to then be stopped in your tracks, or rather, wakes.

I thank whatever timing gods smiling upon us that we haven’t been faced with these tough choices. We’re still here, working away, tucking every dollar we can into our cruising kitty and doing boat project after boat project. Interestingly, our sailing dream is the thing that is pulling me through this pandemic. Having such a monumental goal sitting out on the literal and figurative horizon is keeping me focused and forward-thinking. For that, I am so very grateful.

Goals can be powerful tools for motivation, now more than ever. Keep calm and goal set on, my friends!


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  • Wendy Taylor September 20, 2020 at 5:48 pm

    Hey Gretchen & Tim. Loved this blog Gretchen, thank you. We also watch Sailing with the Flo, Matt and Amy, but have not followed any of the others. We will have to check them out. Thanks again, hope to see you both soon.
    Wendy & Berah Taylor

    • gntsailing September 20, 2020 at 8:16 pm

      Hi Wendy! Watch this space on Tuesday, we are inching our way toward Catalina in our next YouTube episode. And THEN… the next episode features you guys. Looks like you guys have been getting lots of time on the water. Looking forward to sailing with you again soon!

  • Susie, from Indiana February 22, 2021 at 4:47 pm

    You are an inspiration!

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    Meet Gretchen & Tim

    Meanwhile, over on Instagram

    Felicità and Salt Whistle arrived in Mazatlan in time for high tide and we’re safely and happily tied together at the dock. 🔹 Docking is not a favorite activity, especially when you have to drive through a narrow channel famous for being really shallow. 🔹 But this sweet little bird came and sat on the lifeline right as we made our approach to the channel and I like to think that was Captain Steve coming to tell me to relax. 🔹 He died four weeks ago today which makes me really sad. I wish I could call and tell him all about the awesome crossing we just did. 🔹#sailing #catalina42 #sailingcouple #mazatlan
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