Well, it’s been one year to the day since I first started this blog and I gotta say what a strange and beautiful trip it’s been. When I began this endeavor last October, my intentions were simple: use it as a tool to promote and facilitate my dream of making an open ocean sailing voyage somewhere around Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. My hope at the time was that if people found what I had to say and what I wanted to do interesting, they would forward the site onward to their friends and family, who would in turn forward it on to their friends and family, and so on and so on until it eventually reached somebody who was in a position to make the journey possible (i.e. a boat, the time, the wherewithal). And while this may seem like a crazy long shot of an idea, it was a jumping off point that served to make things real.
So where is fasterbarnacle now, and even more importantly, how is my journey progressing? Well, before I answer those questions I want to first acknowledge that neither would be anywhere without you; my readers, my friends, my family. Your support over the past year — in all manners — has been overwhelming and humbling to say the least. Your e-mails, comments and suggestions have been valuable and every one has been taken to heart. Thank you a thousand times over for being part of my world and taking the time to participate.
Now, to the above question. As I said, fasterbarnacle was originally envisioned as a jumping off point, but looking at it now it’s so much more than that, it’s a spark that not only ignited and fuels a dream, but change in my life as well. Perhaps above all else, it got me writing again — something I’d put aside for years in order to pursue other interests (though I’m not opposed to calling it procrastination or outright avoidance) — and this has been an unexpected pleasure. I’ve found writing in this format (a blog) — sharing whatever I like from the sentimental to the ridiculous — to be both challenging and rewarding, and something I can see myself doing well into the unforeseeable future.
Also, as some of you may already know, exercise has been another byproduct of this endeavor. And while on the surface it might seem as though it has little to do with the construction of this site, it actually has everything to do with it. For me, fasterbarnacle represents consistency and action, and physical fitness isn’t possible without either of these. The great thing about consistency is that it’s habit-forming and these days if I go any extended period of time without exercising, I start getting a serious jones on for endorphins. The downside to all this, of course, is that I’ve become somewhat of a zealot and if you’re one of my friends and I notice that you’re spending a little too much time sitting on your ass with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s in one hand and a remote in the other, you’re going to get called out.
Bottom line; there are things about this dream of mine that are beyond my control (i.e. the boat) and there are things that aren’t, and consistent writing and exercise are two that are.
Okay, so now on to the meat of the matter, my journey’s progression. About two weeks ago I sent out a second round of letters to 25 yacht and sailing clubs in New Zealand, Australia, Tasmania and Fiji, and as with the first round, I’m hoping they’ll eventually reach the right people. It’s important to note, however, that while a response from that part of the world hasn’t found its way back to me yet, it hasn’t dampened my spirits or dream in any way; it’s a cold call longshot from the get go and I’m wise enough to understand what that means. There are a very specific set of circumstances that need to line up for all this to come together and that might take a little time. That said, I’m also wise enough to understand the fluidity of life and to roll with any changes as they come and recalibrate where necessary. I have no idea if the trip will manifest itself in the way I originally conceived, but one way or another a grand adventure will ensue. I love the unknown and what will be will be.
To be sure, this last year has been one of the most interesting, successful and wildly exciting years of my life; I’m skiing again, surfing, sailing, writing, in best shape I’ve been in since my early 20s and I’ve got my eyes on a very big prize. In this and many other ways, fasterbarnacle has already taken me way beyond where I ever imagined my dream would and I feel eternally blessed to understand this.
A final word
Before I wrap this post up I want to leave you with a couple of cool examples that further illustrate the kind of impact you’ve had on my life from your forwarding of this site. First, I’ve had the opportunity to meet and sail with someone here in the Bay Area who’s provided me with some incredible, eye-opening and educational trips out onto the San Francisco Bay which have proven invaluable in shaping my understanding of sailing and the things I’ll need for a longer, more challenging voyage. And second, I’ve had the great joy to get reconnected with some old friends from my past — something I never would have expected in a million years, but arguably has been one of the coolest things about this whole endeavor.
So again, big mahalos for all your support and efforts thus far. I suspect this coming year will bring many more surprises and successes with some of them coming from another part of the world.