It is a month ago now that we were some 250 miles off the coast of Mexico trying to make it back to land. We had hoped to reach some land base and make repairs and put the boat up for sale. The sail had proved we did not have the equipment or funding to make an Ocean crossing. We had spent a week getting 250 miles closer to land from 500 miles off shore. It had been a unpleasant passage. Not terrifying but unpleasant and enlightening to our weak points. Mostly, the lack of a wind-vane and stronger rudder gear. More so the wind-vane.
We are blessed to be now safe in Osaka. There is some sadness in being boatless and out of some items. It does feel weird being boatless. Yet, although a discomfort to lose things they are just things, and as such with some effort and luck can be replaced. Our lives can not. Due to the blessings of compassionate gifts, some things have been replaced. As well as we did make our overall goal of arriving in Japan…alive So on some level we were successful. We are deeply grateful to those who made it possible. _/|\_
Over the last few weeks I have read some misc posts and articles about our trip and loss. I never expected to be infamous this way. There is even an article in Latitude 38. Some of the misc sailing boards had some folks who had voiced their “expert” opinions. It must be a great thing to be born an expert or a sailing prodigies. Like Jesus born with no sex involved, nice! Still the “experts” say they did not read the whole blog or know the full story, yet never the less they spoke, critiqued from their limited perspective. I guess that is one of the benefits of being a sailing prodigy. Whatever I suppose this is to be expected, people are like that. Some will always have some judgment to make on others. Take words the wrong way, see/hear what they want. Same as many people only listen enough to respond, not understand what one is expressing to them.
Those people do not matter, they are only about themselves. like the couple we helped when they had trouble, but have not heard even a word of compassion for our issues. Just out for themselves, anyway I digress.
I did what I felt was right for my family to survive. More importantly “I did”, not talk. There were times on board and afterward I felt a failure. However more than the few who had negative statements, even more had positive statements, coming down to one thing. “I did” I did not talk about doing it, I went out and took the step, cast off the lines. It was not my skills that failed, but equipment. In my youth being a small person I looked up to Bruce Lee, I found this statement from him. True or not from him, it is still valid.
So now looking back from a safe dry place even after the lost of much, we gained. My Tai Chi coach often told me, ” there are times when you lose, you win.”
We lost things, items, but we won the understanding and gifts of true compassion from friends we had met and those we had not. This compassion went beyond, race, class, or the other BS, which in we as humans get so lost. As well as knowing who are my true caring friends. These are the true things to value in life. We are on the road to recovery due to the compassion of these people. I have a better understanding of interdependence and compassion, not just from seeing it, hearing about it, but receiving it!
To those who were wondering, I am not giving up on sailing, just Ocean crossing, and defiantly on a tight budget! It will take a while before we can get to a place were it is possible to sail. However giving up no! Even LZ still wants to sail, though not for weeks on end.
I have read some very judgmental things said on various forums about our trip, no matter, they do not know me or my background. Even though I said, while writing in the middle of depression I am not a “Sailor”. I can and will continue to sail, but a “Sailor”, which was referring to is all about that life style, the high adventure, the man against the sea mind. I am strong enough to say a sailor, not a Sailor, small “s” not big “S”. Like saying we all are “gods” small “g” not big “G”. Having some of God’s essence make us still part of that. A drop sea water is still sea water. If that makes sense, or matters . Maybe I am going to far off, digressing :-)
I am still looking forward to one day sailing the inland sea, Okinawa and parts of Korea, perhaps even over to China and Taiwan to visit friends. Who knows maybe my boat will end up here in Japan on it’s own one day, stranger things have happened. Otherwise once we get reestablished I understand I can get a smaller reasonable weekend sailboat here to explore around in. I do miss being able to go out there, blend with the elements and enjoy the scenery. Sailing, like being a musician is not something one gives up, it can go on hold, but it is never abandoned until you can not physically play.
I do not want to make another attempt at a crossing. Not really, unless conditions, are better, a lot better. Meaning the boat and equipment. I do not have the fear of the Ocean or being “out there” with no real control. However having the best equipment po$$ible is important. One of the Main pieces is a dependable windvane. This was the first weak link on our passage. The rudder could not be helped. It was checked before we left. I believe though if the auto pilot had not failed the rudder would have survived. I still love sailing and want to do more. However I am not a hard core sailor seeking the big adventure. I never was that but now it is certain. Knowing ones self is part of the goals of meditation. The good and bad sides of one’s self, strengths and weakness, this is what makes one a warrior, a survivor of life. In Kyudo we work for beauty of individual expression within the limits of the eight steps of Shooting. In living we work within the limits of our strengths and weakness. However we do not have a manual on what they are, we must take chances to find them. Meditation can help but it just one form, a formless form, we must find out our limits within form since that is were we live. To do that we have to take chances in the world of form. From this passage I learned on both levels of form and formlessness.
Nothing has been heard of the Zenamaran, perhaps in a few months something will be. One never knows what the new tide will bring. As the religious would say, God works in wondrous ways. The flow of the Ocean flows passes Japan, would it not be too amazing to have it show up here, as the debris from the Tsunami ended up in Cal/ Oregon, like that Shrimping boat. That would be quite an ending to the “lost of Zen” story.
In closing another positive point is now I have a more interesting story to write about, rather than the same old we went here and saw this and that. Swam here and there, etc etc. We had a real adventure and most important survived. Also it did not cost the US government anything for the rescue. Just a side note for the naysayers.
We are grateful to all, those who helped with words and funds. I do wish though that we could have made an impact on the minds of people for the need to change our, we humans way of thinking about the Oceans, the environment, our food supply and animals in our care. This is more important than if “I should or should not have been out there” if I made it or not. My sailing success or not effects a very limited group. Our Care or in this case the LACK of CARE for our environment effects everyone! What we do to the Ocean/Air we do to ourselves and all life. There is no backup planet, there is no rescue ship, there is no space EPRIB. We, the earth, the Oceans and it’s multi-life forms on this planet, this is the real Interdependence we need to come to terms with. Cut the BS about race, sailing experience, gay marriage, who this sport figure or movie person is sleeping with. Our air, food, and water supply is the real issue to our and our children’s future.
Perhaps our case of losing in sailing is another form of losing, yet winning. Maybe this will give us a chance to be heard about the real things of concern to us as earth people, not just Americans, Japanese, Chinese, Africans, Mexicans or other labels we use to divide us and keep us in the illusion of “us and them”. There is only US (earthlings), there is no duality. Our sail was only “the finger pointing to the moon”.