Tuesday, May 17, 2011


The clock was ticking. Two countdowns were happening in my life during the summer of 2001. My husband and I were planning to cast off to go cruising for the first time. I had already quit my job. The boat was stocked and ready. And it was just a matter of some odds and ends and we'd be ready to go. Any week now. Any week now. Then there was the countdown clock on my mom's life. They stopped cancer treatment. They sent her home. She was drifting away and it was just a matter of time before she slipped the lines on this life. Any week now. Any week now.

This weighed heavily on my mind and my heart. How could we leave to go cruising while she was home, sick, and dying. Wasn't it my daughterly duty to be there to the bitter end? Wasn't it my job to put off my cruising plans, call off the trip, go to her bedside and be there? Our carefully saved cruising kitty was dimishing before we had even cast off as I frequented the airport to fly back and forth to be with her.

It was the last visit that she was really lucid. She was tired, slipping in and out of sleep at random. But she was still there. Her eyes were still a window to her soul and her smile was still the smile of my mom that was imprinted on my consciousness since birth. She asked how things were going with the boat. Of course, she asked not out of nautical curiosity or envy. She could care less about boats. She didn't like sailing. She didn't like the sea unless she was watching it from the safety of terra firma. And she was not much for adventures that didn't involve gourmet meals, strong coffee, and boutique shops. She asked out of love. She used those magical maternal powers to detect the weight on my shoulders.

I responded that everything was great, but of course we might not go, and this wasn't a good time, and there was always next year, and the dog wasn't deck trained yet, and we didn't have the money for a spinnaker... and... and... and...

She took my hand, looked strongly into my eyes and said one simple word.


I was stunned. I was relieved. I was conflicted.

"Cindy, this disease has already ruined my life, my plans, my dreams. The only thing worse would be if it ruined the lives and plans and dreams of my children too. Go."

Over the years we've heard every excuse in the book from fellow sailors about why they can't follow their sailing dreams. The kids, the career, the car payments, the pets. But here's the thing... it's doesn't matter if you are a world cruiser or a racer or a weekender or a rookie or a hot shot or an old salt. If this is your dream, then go. If you want it, then make it happen. Go.

The universe laid out its master plan. She left this world in August that same year. We left the dock that September.

We're feeling closer to that go moment again. Our swag care package came in from Dyneema and word is that our new rigging is on the way. We've joined this amazing online tribe of sailors now from all over the globe, and their energy is contagious. We all have very different boats and different goals and different situations but the one thing we have in common is that desire to go. Go around the world. Go around the race buoys. Go around the bay. Go explore. Go win. Go meandering. This is why we sail, because we need to keep going.
Thanks to Dyneema and all of you for supporting us and helping make it happen as we take each step closer and closer to go.

What makes YOU go?
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