As much as I hate to assume, I’ll go out on a limb here and say sailing around the world solo isn’t for everybody–most especially when starting out on a maiden voyage at the tender age of 14. And yet, that’s just what Laura Dekker did. She sailed her 40 ft. sailboat named Guppy, 27,000 nautical miles in 519 days and at the ripe, old age of 16, Laura became the youngest person to sail around the world.
On one particular stretch across the Indian Ocean, with little wind, the sails went limp for 12 straight days. Laura had only sailed what would amount to 1 day at sea. She had traveled 0.1 knots, with 4,500 miles left to go to reach her destination, the city of Durgan in South Africa. Laura’s morale was sinking fast and a self shot video captures her saying wearily, “Bobbing on the waves for days will make you insane.”
Making Peace With It
Eventually, the wind started to pick up and Laura was once again on her way. What is of interest however (aside from being 14 and sailing around the world solo), is what actually happened to Laura once she accepted her “sitting duck” situation. She goes on to tell how gradually, time didn’t exist anymore. This was something she had never experienced and it was the best feeling. She stopped caring or worrying about the winds–she made peace with it and became one with nature. What started off as the worst leg of the journey, ended up becoming in her words, “The nicest trip ever!” She then went on to reach South Africa after 48 days at sea.
So often people (myself included) struggle with the idea of surrendering to what is, as Laura first did when she found herself in the middle of the ocean with no wind. Perhaps it’s human nature to want to resist circumstances that may not go as planned. But what if we all followed Laura’s example? This doesn’t mean giving up–it’s more about allowing something to happen, rather than trying to make it happen. What if we were able to find acceptance in those moments where life throws us a curve ball, as we’re doing our best to tackle a problem? Where we strive to meet a challenge dead on, while embracing the attitude that “it is what it is,” as my Aunt Marie likes to say. Perhaps the less we worry about the wind, the better equipped we’ll be at adjusting the sails.
Would love to hear your thoughts,
most especially if you think it can help others!
Take what flows for you and let the rest float by.