While sailing around the world, there were many elements that challenged the completion of our journey. There were mechanical breakdowns, weather setbacks, and the emotional highs and lows of being at sea for a long time.
And there were the ocean currents. They’re not something you think about initially, but when your boat speed is cut by 25%, or increased by the same amount because of currents, you begin to notice their effect. While sometimes we had no choice but to buck them and fight our way to more favorable conditions, we tried as often as possible to “go with the flow.”
I wish we had the attached “world currents” video with us, but instead, we relied on good old-fashioned pilot charts to guide us. It’s all we had, and we made them work for us the best we could.
As much as we try to fight and control what happens to us in our lives, sometimes it’s best to turn, let your sails out, and go with the flow. It’s not giving up or giving in. Rather, it’s working with the currents to perhaps push you to a place you didn’t see, or know you wanted to go.
For those of you who read The Boy Behind the Gate, you will recall that we lost our steering gear in 35-knot winds and 15-foot seas in the Caribbean. We were on our way to the Panama Canal and were going to bypass Colombia because we heard rumors of pirates in the local waters, soldiers on the streets, and drug war violence.
The broken steering gear put us in a dangerous situation; we had no choice but to turn and head for an unscheduled stop in Cartagena. Schedule or not, pirates or not, soldiers or not, we were headed for Colombia.
We arrived at Cartagena’s huge seaport at midnight and it was a real challenge to work our way through the harbor, past over 30 sea buoys guiding us into the busy metropolis, using only our push-button autopilot.
It was meant to be though. We ended up loving Cartagena. We got the steering gear fixed, we were warmly welcomed by the locals, the soldiers on the street corners gave tourist directions, the food was fantastic, inexpensive, and the city is one of the most beautiful in the world. And it was all because we went with the currents. We had a positive perspective about what was to come. We learned to “go with the flow.”
I hope you’re in a favorable current. If not, can you alter course?
P.S. I’d love to know what you think