Slow, errrr umn ‘progress’?!

The VHF radio taking a well earned break. Used (again) today for a reluctant “Mayday Mayday Mayday” call to HM Coast Guard, when my brother Richard was in charge of ‘Wight Cat’. Turns out I know more about sailing then he!

So progress is relative right ? At least I hope so, since if my ‘progress’ in a sail boat is to be adjudged by the yardstick of what most others might have achieved in a sail boat over the same time, then others would consider that disappointing…

Thankfully, I’m not ‘most others’. I believe that success, at anything, starts with a personal success, and that success is relative, relative to ones capabilities.

We can’t all achieve the same thing or achieve at the same rate, we all have different strengths and different weaknesses, different learning curves and different capabilities: we should not shy away from facing up to the fact that we can’t be good at everything and some times we should rejoice in the admission of our own incompetence; for publicly accepting that we are rubbish at a particular thing is a real strength in its self, and beholds both a confidence in who we are as an individual as well as an assertion that ‘who I am’ is great! Flaws and all.

Take me for example; I (still) can’t sail. Not in the slightest. I have spent almost a month going a few miles, a few miles i could have achieved walking backwards with my eyes closed in just one night; but that’s ok, at least it’s ok with me, and that’s all that matters.

I wake up in the mornings and gaze dumbfounded at the rigging on my sail boat, trying to work out if all the pully systems on the boat are for actual use or , I speculate, are they just there for show…

At the present rate of travel I will be 897 years old by the time I complete a circumnavigation of the world; that is if I in fact complete one.

But that’s ok, it really is. My goal was always to challenge myself and take myself out of a ‘comfort zone’ that I got stuck in it’s never ending cycle of discomfort ( I take issue with the term ‘comfort zone’ since the hum drum routine of a ‘comfort zone’ is seldom comforting to anyone).

Much to my ‘uncomfort’ I have truly exceeded in the underlying objective of challenging oneself, and getting out of my comfort zone- and I have done so in just the pithy miles I have spent so long trying to travel.

Take today for example: after being rescued by both the HM Coast Guard and RNLI last week, I sat around in Yarmouth harbour on the Isle of Wight, sitting more out of fear of my own incompetence than anything else; I was just scared of what I could not easily achieve. I sat around under the pretence of ‘boat repairs’, I even kidded myself into believing the ruse.

In truth, it wasn’t boat repairs I was waiting on ( I duck taped up the holes quickly) but a self mental repair. The trauma of being rescued and the deep down knowledge that, at sailing at least, I was not as good as I either wanted to be or thought I would be. This morning I “came to” that honest realisation of my on sailing incompetence and thereafter, and, apart from another emergency “Mayday Mayday Mayday” call to the Solent Coast Guard and summoning the assistance of about a dozen passers by as Wight Cat hit some rocks (again!), , the day was plain sailing, albeit without the sailing! And in my sailing incompetence I am happy, really happy; I have found who I really am, or not, as far as sailing quickly (or at all) goes.

Sure, I would love to be the best at sailing, and the best at everything. I would also like to be Prime Minister. Bub wanting something I can’t achieve is its self a starter to a main-course of misery; though I like to think that I could still be the PM!

There is nothing wrong with ambition. We need it, we live on it, but let’s make it an honest ambition as opposed to a dream.

So still on the island- second rescue over and I feel good- good about myself , good about my strengths and non strengths ! And excited for the sailing future. It has been a real rolla coaster thus far and a challenge beyond my expectations. Just think what the rest of the journey has in store!

5 thoughts on “Slow, errrr umn ‘progress’?!”

    1. Of course I will continue, while I still have a boat that is boyant I shall continue. Set backs are inevitable, I like to think that I’m getting all mine out of the way early on, but I doubt it, more like this is just a taster for things to come when sailing properkickt


    1. Not at all. Anchored up right now by the Needles. The doctrine of Good luck (which I rely on absence skill, on this one !) comes and goes. Last week I lost my anchor, which was pretty inconvenient! Yesterday after being rescued and loaned an anchor by some honest John! I happened upon an anchor which had been lost by another boat…… luck ebbs and flows , like the tide, and the tide of change for me is not the not the ‘target’ but the ‘rate’….Today, anchored up (conviently out side a bar!) I shall learn how to rig the boat. Not properly tried that before. Taking the rate down, enables me to do things a bit more properly, than the mad rush of frustration.


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