Although this is a re-blog from the Harsh Reality/Opinionated Man Website, I need to preface with the fact that I’ve screwed up a few times and have no excuses. Four years ago at a New Years Party with my family that was hosted by my Best Man,,,, I drank too much and lost control. I blacked out,,,and the nightmare scenario of PTSD came out. I lost control and don’t remember to this day what happened or what I said. When I woke the next morning, my best friend and best man told me I had said horrible things to someone and I slinked out as quickly as I could, the family in tow. Since then, I’ve seen him and his wife exactly once. We’ve talked several times and I apologized profusely several times. But this doesn’t mend the damage or fix the bridges that I broke. But, the friendship must have not been as strong as I thought it was,,,,cause that night it came crumbling down and I have not been able to mend it. After a year or so of thinking I could do something about it,,,,I basically gave up. I think I gave up in 2014,,,about the same year I started this fledgling blog and have been trying to grow it ever since. Read the rest of this to see what Harsh Reality says about Rage,,,,knowing that I was once prone to it too,,,,but wore out my welcome with my own best man,,,,who only talked to me once since then…..I SUCK!!!!
We closed on the Aleutian 51 motorsailor on Friday. Finally. I’ll write about this exhausting purchase process in future posts but needless to say I’m relieved. It’s been a bit of a struggle to remember the positive points that attracted us to her in the first place; but we’ve finally closed and started work on her this morning. This boat just needs some TLC and of course being a “77”; she’ll need some TLC + cash put into her at the right time as needed. But we know she’s got good bones and she has lots of features we like, so we continued to believe in those qualities even when we were worn down by the lengthy process of discovery. The process wasn’t helped by me blowing out both my eardrums or the fact that we didn’t have an easy time of the sales process, but that’s for other posts. Right now, I’m totally relieved to do all of the work we did today because I’m back to a production sailboat that’s right for my family and has the ability to become our home on the dock and cross any ocean imaginable if we choose that route. We’re still selling our own house in the next five months and moving onto this boat in July, to live on her until we change our minds or leave on our own cruising trip. I love the interaction with all of you and the fact that some of you actually read this blog thing with all these storie, keep it up-
Tomorrow, photo essay of today’s adventure with trash and cleanup,,,,trying to show you what NOT to do when you finally sell your boat and walk off it. We didn’t do this when we sold Tulum IV and I don’t want you to do it when you sell your own boat. Stay with us, that story tomorrow.
The blog was a bit slower than usual last week because I had the humble honor of sailing all week with the Warrior Sailing Program in support of the VA’s Summer Sports Clinics. I’d love to say I coached all week, but in all honesty,,,the quality of the four senior coaches at this clinic was staggering,,,,and I was only too happy to learn from them and soak up the knowledge. Every day was a learning experience.
Saturday I went back to my first marina and spent several hours getting reaquainted with the Catalina 22, which I’d be sailing in addition to the 16.5 Capri. This was a great day, because the whole family got out on the water in this much smaller sailboat than Tulum IV, relearning the basics and getting the kids and us experience on a different sailboat. Monday – Friday, I sailed with veteran participants, coaches and staff from Warrior Sailing and the VA Summer Sports Clinics. This was humbling. I’ll work through several stories this week to share some of my experiences, which can’t be replicated anywhere else because of the caliber of both the participants and Warrior Sailing staff. During the week, I was able to eat lunch with a future Olympic skier, sail with a veteran who has earned his Basic Keelboat Certification while totally blind, meet the first amputee the Army allowed to deploy to combat in Iraq and watch the outstanding senior sailing coaches mentor veterans with every sort of injury into having a great time on a small sailboat,,,,while actually learning how to sail for themselves. None of us gave “boat rides”, all of us involved the participants as much as possible and you could see it in their faces as they came off the boats.
So,,,,while the blog was slow last week, I was off doing what I write about,,,,living free and sailing fast (as possible on the small boats while keeping mostly upright)! I took vacation days to help out and got to sail all week. While the only material possession I took away from the clinic was a hat, I came away rich in humble pie and experience from watching our veterans sail and getting to sail with the four senior coaches, who are some of the best sailors I’ve ever met.
If YOU are on active duty or a veteran and are interested in attending one of Warrior Sailing’s 3-day camps; check out their website and put in an application. The camps are completely paid for, but they ask that you fund the initial cost of your airline ticket, then you’ll be paid back. If you’re an experienced sailor and want to volunteer to coach, put in an application on the website and they’ll see where there’s a spot.
I learned a lot from this camp that I’ll work into several blog posts, but the biggest thing is the feeling of giving back to the veteran community and asking nothing in return. I’m good with that (but a shirt wouldn’t have been too bad either)!
At this blog,,,we actually do the things we write about or try to do them as often as possible, juggling full-time jobs, small children, a large dog and fixing up a cruising sailboat. We LOVE your feed back and support. Keep reading and consider following us.
Knowing that I’ve sailed larger boats the last few years, I took last Saturday and this coming Saturday to return to my home sailing school to sail small boats again, in preparation for helping Warrior Sailing next week. This post is my notes to myself for rigging and docking the Capri 16.5.
1. Rig the rudder first- this helps stabilize the boat while you’re doing the rest:
2. Loosen the traveler to allow the tiller to come under it:
3. Take off the Sailcover
4. Rig the Main:
5. Allow the sail to luff before raising it:
6. Raise Sail:
7. Move all the rest of the control lines back so you can reach them from the tiller or from the midpoint of the boat if you are using the tiller extension:
8. From the dock I was on (and preferably with a partner), kick the bow of the boat off the dock first and hop in. Now the bow should be heading away from shore,,,,and you have enough wind to get moving. Raise the Jib when comfortable,,,,and go sailing.
9. Coming back to the dock, allow the sail to luff as you’re trying to dock,,,,easier if you have someone who can take the bow and stern painters. Without this help,,,,,don’t get out of the boat until you’ve tied yourself to the dock,,,,securely. Especially while your old sailing instructor is sitting above you eating lunch with his wife,,,,,watching you flail around trying to keep the damn boat on the dock.
A bloggers thoughts on 9/11 and the changes since then.
I’ve lived before, during and after 9/11/01 and am who I am today because of it. I was in the same job then that I am now. I’ve met and married my wife since 9/11 and had children since then. I remember 9/11 like it was yesterday: where I was, what I did, my reactions, the smells and the tastes. Most of the day, I was not able to see much on TV because we didn’t have them in the workplace, but when I was able to get to a TV and viscerally see all the detail that everyone was talking about, I was stunned and horrified. I knew in my gut that the world would change, since it was an event much like December 7th in Pearl Harbor. The next day,,,,on 9/12, I gathered the office team together and told them that they were experiencing history,,,,,and that they would never face the same world again. I was still so very stunned on 9/12 that I got in my car with a six-pack of cheap beer,,,and drove all the way out to Joshua Tree National Park,,,,for some prospective. That night,,,,,,there were NO planes flying. This was an eerie thing,,,,,cause the skies over Joshua Tree National Park are the flight path for LAX and Orange County Airports,,,,,which means there’s a lot of planes. Sitting on rocks in the park, with no planes and no noise, I fell apart. I knew that my own world would change quickly and it did. Since 9/11, the most of us and the country have moved on. The US invaded Afghanistan, took out Tora Bora, invaded Iraq, removed Saddam Hussein, found and killed Osama Bin Laden and kept up the removal of the Taliban and Al Qaeda. A group of terrorists struck us that day. I’ll probably get negative feedback,,,but I’m not sure the Middle East had much to do with it, except the terrorists were from the Middle East. I’ve been there on business and pleasure trips and found most folks just want to eat, drink clean water, work and support their families. Nuff said about that. We remember 9/11,,,,but we’ve moved on with life. I think that’s what we need to do,,,,remember, but move on.
Heard spoken prior to the plane crash in Pennsylvania on 9/11.
This week I was invited to help the Warrior Sailing Program as they put on the sailing portion of the National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic in San Diego. These clinics are run by the VA but specific organizations like Warrior Sailing come in to help. How stoked am I not only to get the invitation, but to be able to find baby-sitting and have the boat in San Diego that I can stay on to help with the clinic the entire week.
The clinics in San Diego go from 17 – 21 September, don’t care if I do have to take vacation days from work,,,,,I’ll be happy to be on the water helping with what I can to give something back to those who’ve been injured in the line of duty,,,,,or their families.
If you’re ever interested in helping with something like this and want to get into it,,,,email the coordinator at the Warrior Sailing Program and tell them that LiveFree2SailFast.com sent you!!!
PS: I used a week of vacation time today to lock in this unique opportunity and can’t wait to help in any way I can-
Monday was Memorial Day and we wanted to take the girls to something that would be both fun and a reminder of the true nature of Memorial Day,,,,and be able to donate to a good cause while doing something semi-athletic. We found the perfect event in San Diego at (former Naval Training Center) NTC, Liberty Station in the Undefeated EOD Warrior 5K Fundraiser (with a 1K for the girls). While at the event, I was reminded of the all the various resources out there for both active duty and veterans,,,,,but the biggest problem I see is how to access those services. One way is to just talk to them at these events,,,,google them,,,or realize you might need some help and go find those resources. On my soapbox for a second: Do you ever hear about all the money folks donate to Wounded Warrior Foundation,,,,then stop to ask yourself where all that money goes??? I prefer the grassroots organizations like I met at this event and know about from other venues,,,,,there’s literally a whole gamut of help and assistance out there, just plug into it! Here’s a few I talked to at the EOD Warrior 5k:
www.SpartykaFoundation.org– these guys support the modern-day warrior with a full gamut of services and programs- check out their site for more info-
www.TravisManion.org– This foundation uses mentoring to build character and strength in youth.
www.PegasusRising.org– This organization uses a specific program with horses and actual doctors of patients to find connection. I was pretty impressed. The gentlemen at this organization took the time to talk to me about the possibility of connecting sailing, big boats and veterans via a 501 (c) foundation in order to use sailing as a possible treatment venue for PTSD and other physical challenges.
Lastly, not from this weekend but I need to take the time to mention this worthy organization, a friend connected me to the founder of ObjectiveZero.org. This organization highlights active duty and veteran suicide and has made it a goal to stop this terrible trend in our country. Their resources are growing as is their important message. I was honored to start texting the founder of this organization and once we get the boat moved and settled, we’re going to get him and his family out for a weekend sail.
Memorial Day energy has reinvigorated the kernel of thoughts on starting a grassroots organization to get active duty and veterans into sailboats, starting some kind of a journey toward healing much like the Pegasus Rising Program does using horses. A Sailboat and the Ocean have unseen benefits that have helped me tremendously. I think I could leverage my own boat, small boat fleets around San Diego and various other larger boats to create stable and ongoing opportunities for veterans in a place with great sailing, great climate, large group of active duty and veterans and plenty of folks who would be willing to instruct to leverage this as an opportunity.
All in All, neither me or my wife did blazing 5k’s, but our daughters did very well in their first 1k’s. We’re going to continue to do events as a family that give money to good causes and start slowly working our way into better shape.
More to follow-
This post is a beginning to this project and I know the writing and thought process are not perfect or well-refined, but give this a chance. It’s a kernel starting to take some kind of shape.
You haven’t seen posts for a couple days now because we just got back from three days at the Pacific Sail and Powerboat Show in rainy Richmond, Ca. We had a great time, but too much to cover in just one post. Over the next couple days, I’ll discuss the following:
- Pacific Sail and Powerboat Show- Vendors, hot new trends in the industry, bad weather start to the show, disappointing in-water show, possible new gear we’re looking at and other stuff.
- Being who we are, we had to go have some other adventures in the area: we gazed into history at the “Rosie the Riveter” musuem, we checked out one of the original ships built in the Richmond shipyards during World War II- the “Red Oak Victory” and got a huge surprise when we found a spectacular wine co-op literally in the building across from the Red Oak Victory, making Napa fruit into some bitchin wine,,,,,so good we went back twice!
- And, I got to use my new camera, so you’ll get to see the first pics coming out of it,,,,after I do some editing and spruce them up a bit.
- Lastly, I’m working on a book review about “Portraits of Courage” by President George W. Bush. I was a bit choked up when I found someone I knew in this book; but after reading about his foundation and TED talks, I think my friend probably has a far more tenacious spirit and reliency than most of us. I’m working on this post now, in conjunction with working on a roadmap to using a sailboat to take veterans with PTSD sailing to introduce them to the wind and water. Might help, might not?
Want to read my posts of these topics? Stay with us or follow us to read more-
Yep, Re-Blogged with pride as I am determined to use my blog to make sure others see that PTSD is something we need to have a conversation about, as it effects veterans and lots of others too. This is a great article-
Should I go through the hassle of starting a non profit organization? Will other Veterans organizations work with me if I don’t? Should I just try to secure direct food, fuel or other non cash donations? Should I start a “GoFundMe” page and see what happens? Maybe it’s a combination of all, I’m not sure. […]