Monday, February 4, 2008

Do something every day that scares you.

Yesterday, I watched Maria Shriver's speech on television endorsing Barack Obama. She included a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt: "Do something every day that scares you."

I have always admired the wisdom of Eleanor Roosevelt. In another famous quote, she said, "You must do the thing you think you cannot do." I came across that quote several years ago and pasted copies of it in places where I would see it every day.

That advice has really hit home on this trip. Every day I find myself doing things that scare me, as well as doing things I didn't think I could do. For instance:

--The dinghy scares me. I am ashamed to admit this, but this little inflatable boat that is our "car" is difficult for me to get used to. I know how to swim, but I'm having trouble getting comfortable in this small boat. It's necessary that I get used to it, because when we anchor out, the dinghy is how we get to shore. I will get used to it.

--It scares me to go sleep on an 8,700 pound boat being held in place by single anchor. I get up during the night to make sure we are not dragging the anchor. After I am comfortable that we are in the same place as before, I ask myself "What's the worst that could happen?" Usually, the worst that could happen is that our anchor could drag and we would move a few feet, possibly coming close to another boat anchored nearby. We have anchored 11 times so far, and the anchor has never dragged. I'm becoming less scared each time.

--It scares me to try to dock this 36' by 18' yacht and then help get it securely tied up. My confidence waned a little when I accidently "kissed" a fishing boat as we left our home port on the Ogeechee River. I am slowly getting my confidence back, but often ask Phil to take over when we dock.

--It scares me to try to pull away from a dock without crunching the back of the boat, or going aground (as I did a few days ago). Recently, I've been asking Phil to do this, but I'm getting more confident and will try again to do it myself.

--It will really scare me when we "go outside." For the last 375 miles, we have been in the relatively safe confines of the Intracoastal Waterway, not out on the ocean. We have heard there is a bridge under construction south of here that will force us to leave the safety of the ICW and travel a few miles out into the Atlantic Ocean, then head south to reach Miami. More on that later.

--Learning to sail will scare me. We have very little experience at sailing and we have a lot to learn. As we learn, I will be less scared.

--Our first overnight passage will scare me. When we travel to the Bahamas, there will be some passages from one place to another that cannot be accomplished in one day. It will require that we take shifts at the helm, usually four hours at a time. One person is on watch while the other person sleeps. Many people circumnavigate the globe with month-long passages taking four-hour shifts. I will learn to do overnight passages, but it scares me.

That's enough of the scary stuff. We spent this past weekend anchored at Ft. Pierce, where we had a wonderful visit with our good friends Jeannette and Kenny Thompson, who spend winters in this area.

Today (Monday), we traveled about 40 miles south and are now anchored just north of Jupiter. We have crossed into the area of beautiful mansions along the ICW. Today's scenery was one million-dollar home after another, complete with a $500,000 yacht docked alongside.

Tomorrow, we'll stop to visit with my brother, Allen, and his wife, Dorie, who live in Palm Beach Gardens. We'll also spend an extra few days in this area getting our electrical system worked on.

After that, there will be some more scary things. Stay tuned.

*Note to Barb Robison. Thanks for the e-mail. If we can do this, you and Earl can do it too.

**Note to Aunt Ruth: We are glad you are enjoying our reports. The picture above of "Captain Phil" is for you. Also, for you, picture of Phil pretending to catch huge dorado. This will really happen when we get our fishing licenses.

***Botanical Note: This is an experiment at growing herbs on board: cilantro, oregano, marjoram, thyme. We'll see how this turns out.


Laurie Redelman said...

You guys are very brave and very wild. Eleanor would be proud of you, Margy. The sunset shots are so beautiful!

Jeff said...

First Mate McGovern, you are a wonderful story teller and writer I very much enjoy keeping up with your adventure. As a sailor of smaller catamarans (Hobie variety) I am fascinated by your journey.

Michael Nolan said...

Hey Margaret & Phil,

You really did it! Last I knew, it was just a dream you told me about at the Nolan reunion a couple of years ago.

Mary Anna brought me up to date and gave me your blog address; now I'll be a regular reader. What a great adventure!

Love, cousin Michael