Saturday, February 1, 2014
We attended Strictly Sail Chicago last weekend as we have in years past and this year was even better than the last. Seems like every year they raise the bar with the vendors and speakers they invite and man, oh man, I have NO idea how they are possibly going to top themselves next year.
When Josh decided more than 10 years ago that he wanted to sail, after the usual course of action of learning as much as he could from a practical standpoint (barring actually getting out on a boat since sailing is not a huge hobby in our area along the Mississippi River), he found some memoirs about sailing. One of the very first, and one that cemented his desire to do more than just learn how to sail, was "Cruising in Seraffyn" by Lin and Larry Pardey. He then gave it to me to read. Let me tell you, I couldn't put it down. After that, I too was sold.
Lin and Larry were adventurous and practical and frugal and dead set on doing things their way. And you know what? 48 years and 11 books later they did it. They blazed a trail for all of those who have our eyes set on doing exactly what they did (albeit we're doing it with an engine and a few electronics on our boat) and saw the world from a perspective that most people could never imagine. Back when they began voyaging, the world was quite a different place--still rather wild and "untamed". And they loved every challenging minute about it. Even if you're not all about sailing, I still highly recommend "Cruising in Seraffyn". They are widely considered to be experts on long-term cruising and we have almost all of their books which are immeasurably helpful and practical volumes all about how to do everything from provision to how to budget to how to deal with storms.
So, the whole build up here is to say that Lin and Larry Pardey were presenters at Strictly Sail Chicago this year (previously, it had been 9 years since they had been there) and not only did we sit in on both of the seminars they gave on Saturday, but we also got to hang out with them. SQUEE!!! We invited them to dinner but unfortunately they were exhausted with the excitement of the day but invited us to hang out at their booth while they signed books and talked to convention-goers. We chatted with both of them about our lives and goals and dreams, and I am happy to report they are the most down to earth people and supportive people we've met in the sailing community. They were very encouraging towards our desire to set out and see the world at such a young age and they gave us lots of recommendations for further reading and weather predicting (also, side note: we sat in on a super awesome and informative weather seminar put on by Lee Chesneau later in the day and now I am geekily excited about learning how to predict weather!). One of the things that really stuck with me about them is that they said that there is ALWAYS going to be someone who doesn't want you to live your adventure (whatever it is)--whether it be your boss, who doesn't want to have to train someone to take over your job, or your kids who don't want you to be far away for so long. The trick is to listen to yourself. What/who is stopping YOU from having your adventure? Let it start today.