Saturday, January 25, 2014


With the cold weather keeping us indoors on the boat with no Internet to entertain us, I’ve had a lot of spare time to just think.  Sometimes, we get so caught up in the immediacy of our lives and our goals, that we lose sight of our priorities.  We forget why we work for the things we do, what’s important to us, because everyday life gets in the way and we go into autopilot mode.  We go, go, and go, working for the future, without a thought to what makes us happy in the present moment.  This is something we have all been guilty of.  We have been caught up with boat project after boat project the past couple of years, and I find that we sometimes lose sight of why we got into this in the first place; and that is to love each other and to love our lives.  Though I’ve written many-a-whiney blog post about the situation we’ve had to endure, in all honesty, I am very grateful for the experience.  Like a sailor many days at sea truly values the warmth of a dry bed, I have learned to appreciate the things I have overlooked in my life.  I really believe in the notion that we don’t truly know what we have until it’s gone.  Sounds tragic, but it’s really not, it’s simply life.  It only remains tragic if you never recognize it and take the time to be happy for the things you do have when you have them.  Without hunger, one cannot fully appreciate satiation.  Without loneliness, one does not value companionship.   Without darkness, one cannot understand the luminosity of light.   Funny how it works that way.   

I miss the people I love. Simply having someone to laugh with, to have lunch with, or seeing a familiar face would be something I’d give my first born for.  These things I never thought I would miss to the extent that I do.  To have someone care for you and your well being, and not judge you if you fall, but hold your hand and pick you up.  Thinking of this makes my heart swell with sadness and longing, but again, this is a part of life.  Believe it or not, I chose this lifestyle knowing that living on a boat would do this to me.   I knew it would open my eyes, make me not take a moment more in my life for granted.  

I remember the day that I had this epiphany, the day that cemented that living on a boat was something I wanted, something I needed to do to shape myself.  We had been out at sea for a couple days, between Bermuda and NY, only snacking on fruit, nuts, and cold cuts.  The weather was rough and I remember someone made Lentil soup.  I remember how grateful I was for the warmth of that soup, how every bite tasted better than anything I had ever consumed before, how I savored every moment of that soup-eating experience.  In those moments, it dawned on me that I wanted to forever feel that way about life, about the ones I loved, about food, about the warmth of a hug, about the smell of a flower, about all the things that I had never given a second thought to.  I realized that the vibrancy of these seemingly mundane things would be paled if I went on the way I did, living comfortably, just letting life smoothly pass by.  I knew in those moments that I needed to live and suffer so that I could enrich my life, not with all the things that I wanted for myself in the future, but with the things that I already have. 

Sunset reflected in a puddle
Photo Courtesy of Frank 


  1. "When men come to like a sea-life, they are not fit to live on land." - Samuel Johnson

    There is something special about the sailing life. I think many people won't ever understand it themselves. Those others would prefer the "safety" of a steady job, reliable car, big house filled with stuff, and doing what's expected of them from the rest of society. And yet, wonder why those on boats are happier with less stuff. Those living on boats may have what others consider less, but much more full on life and adventure. Besides, what makes a better story? A guy doing something stupid during rush hour traffic or someone who sails away from shore and encounters new lands and people and the process to get to that point?

    You two are making a better story for yourselves than others can dream of.

    “A sailor’s joys are as simple as a child’s.” — Bernard Moitessier

    1. Dan, I love your Moitessier quote! There is not a more concise way of verbalizing that. And yes, I agree with all of the above. Thanks for keeping up with us and always for your positivity! -Yu

  2. Yu,

    This is a beautiful piece. You capture some of the essence of why we moved onto a boat, to live more simply and more fully.


  3. Yu - I must agree with Brad... well done.