Posted by: Zen | December 28, 2012

Bamboo in the storm…

20121228-001456.jpgOne of my Chan sisters said this will be a spiritual journey for you as well as sailing. A spiritual journey can take on many forms. Some of the things about being spiritual is compassion, gratitude, charity, forgiveness. The thing about these things is that they not only apply to showing these flavors of spirit to others, but also to ourselves. Logically speaking from a Chan view, as we are all, as in everything and everyone connected. What we do to others we do to ourselves. That means the earth, the waters , all life. So as we forgive others, there is also a need to forgive ourselves.

Over the last few days I have been somewhat beating myself up for not leaving earlier than we did. Yet not really that so much as not leaving later than we did, leaving early was sort of out of my control. however leaving later, like in the spring. I could have kept working, we would have left with a little more financial comfort level and be comfortably in Alameda now. Not that we a uncomfortable, we do have to watch carefully our money output, but we are safe and could be in a lot less comfort.

Another thing I have always believed is if there something I am planning on doing or doing and it is not in my best interest or accord to the Tao, then it will not happen. With my spirit eye/ heart open I can perceive this layover here in Morro Bay as just that act of God/the Tao/ the great Spirit/ my guardian ( labels)  as LZ calls it doing just that. Saying yo Zen dude give this some more thought, you are trying to force the Tao. You can replace the word Tao with whatever you like, God, Allah, etc. I like the word Tao because it implies something bigger than the limited view wars are fought over, in my opinion.

anyway I digress…

This forced pause has given me thought as to am I trying to push the river? Am I being the oak in the storm or bamboo? Am I too stuck on the idea of making Japan this up coming spring and making wrong choices. I am in stillness now because of the storms , which I perceive as going with the flow by stoppng and would have continued on had the Force not stopped me. Yet the dawn of reason catching up with me says this is the worse time of year to travel, Zen Dude is that going with the Tao or trying to push the river?

There was a time that would have been good to go this year, however I missed it. As the Eco slogan says re-cycle, reduce, re-think, this is my time to rethink.

It would be nice to make Japan by spring, but is there a real need for me to be there by then? If I am suppose to be there. I will get there, when… I am suppose to be there. The Bible says there is a time for everything.

“Be the Bamboo”

This was my catch phrase to friends when they remarked about how messed up things were in the past at work.  I need to remind myself of this from time to time.

I can be hardheaded and stubborn… so I have been told. There is a saying in the hood, hard heads make for soft behinds…I do not want that.


522995_10152222068245942_1962249257_nA new plan has been taking shape in light of current conditions. It will be very costly, too costly to stay in LA area and wait out the winter. A better choice it seems will be to spend the winter in Ensenada, Mexico. Not as cheap as Alameda, but we can do it easier than LA. It is also warmer, warmer is good!

One of the experienced Japanese sailors we encountered in Alameda advised us recently it would be better sailing to wait until later in April before crossing to Hawaii, before hurricane season. Hang out in Micronesia or the Marshalls until late fall then head for Japan to arrive by November or wait until Spring. If he was a beginning ocean crosser this is what he would do, says he.

It is a workable idea.

“…bamboo in the storm”




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  1. Zen,
    Dena and I have always held to the philosophy that if you feel it is wrong, it’s wrong… There have been so many times that we are ready to cast-off, the lines are in our hands and the sails are uncovered and yet one or both of us has “that feeling”, that feeling that something is not quite right, that something will go wrong and that is the time to listen to your feelings the most. But the exact opposite can also be true. I have in the past worked myself up to a fury by just trying to feel something that isn’t there and once underway discovered that all that emotion was burned on nothing at all.
    I do think that you are a bit late in the year to be heading towards the trades and the fact that you are farther from Hawaii now than you would have been if you had just gone there from Alameda doesn’t make that any easier I’m sure but the further south you go at this point the further from your destination you will be and the beat against the Trades will be viscous in a cat that’s for sure. The idea of heading south of the equator and then back up the Asian coast sounds so much better than against the Trade Winds sounds wonderful but the fact that you don’t have any self steering gear would make that journey a very long one indeed.
    I would recommend that you stay put through the winter and put your captains license to work while you’re waiting out the weather window while at the same time finding a good deal on a Monitor Winvane… Just a thought.
    Good luck to you and LV…

    • Yo Popeyes, thanks for the Input. The plan is to finish the Coastal trip down to Encenada, and hang out for the winter where we can afford to live on my small SS check. Then West to the islands.

      I have a auto pilot however there were some issues with installing it. The steering wheel is bent! So whilst in SoCal I will take care of that before heading offshore. A windvane would be great however not doable on a CAT , also with mine having an outboard.

      I thought you guys were heading to Europe?

      Fair winds

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