It all started when I was a little girl and I stepped aboard my first little sailing dinghy. Well, it wasn’t technically mine, but I kind of liked to think it was. The sense of freedom and excitement I felt when I first set sail alone in that little girl (I think I was about 8), is what courses through my veins today when I sail off alone on my boat. There is no feeling like it for me, whether it is a short day sail or a cruise to Catalina Island. Every sense comes alive, my heart rate slows, and an immense feeling of peace washes over me. It is as if the whole world comes into sharp focus and everything all of a sudden makes complete sense. It is probably the only time I can say that I am truly in the present moment. Though I love sailing with others, and do so often, sailing alone deeply feeds me. Something transforms in me when I am alone on my boat, and I feel at once whole in myself and deeply connected with spirit. Nature has always been my “church”, and the ocean is the most sacred of sanctuaries in that church. Not always peaceful, but always transformational and healing.
I learned to sail from my father, not so much by being specifically instructed, but rather by observing, feeling and absorbing all that he embodies when he is in command of his vessel (you can read more about my awesome dad and how he influenced me here). Being with my dad on a boat is almost like being with myself. We often don’t talk much, but much is communicated and understood nonetheless, from basic logistics to the most profound emotions. My dad is my soul mate in so many ways, and through that connection, and our time shared on boats, I have absorbed so much of his love and knowledge of the sea and sailing. Being on a sailboat with my dad is one of the greatest joys of my life to this day.
I have always regretted not making one of his many Pacific crossings with him, and now that he is no longer making such trips, that opportunity has sadly passed. So, since I purchased Haunani (my 2nd boat) in 2013, I have had a dream to follow in his footsteps and make the crossing from California to Hawaii. Hawaii is my birthplace, and I have greeted my dad many times from her shores as he sailed in from the mainland. I am now ready to turn the tables and sail to him. His proud and happy face waiting for me on the other side is already in my mind’s eye as I plan for my 1st Pacific crossing on my beloved boat.
I am making this trip alone. I have a pressing desire to do this, and I honestly have no idea why. It occurred to me about a year and a half ago and then I lost my drive for various reasons and let the idea drop. That is, until I met a certain Frenchman who flipped that switch back on for me again. I met Jerome Sammarcelli about a month ago at a sailing event, and we quickly got to talking about singlehanded sailing. If you know anything about Jerome (which I did not at that time), you know he is a very accomplished sailor and has done many singlehanded races on small hi-tech racing boats called Mini Transats, including the Singlehanded Transpac (you can check out the video of his start in 2012 here). Like I said, I did not know any of this at the time of our meeting, but I could tell from his confidence on the topic that he had a lot of experience. In the course of our conversation, I very shyly mentioned my own dream to sail to Hawaii singlehanded, and within about 10 minutes he practically had me signed up to do the Singlehanded Transpac in July 2016. Mind you, I am not really a racer and I had no intention of racing across, but this guy is extremely persuasive, to say the least. I am so grateful to Jerome, because if it hadn’t been for that fateful conversation, I would not be on fire as I am right now, and determined to prepare my boat and myself to cross the pacific in July 2016.
I am blessed to have a lot of sailing mentors, most importantly my wonderful Dad, and I feel very grateful to have their support as I lay out my plans to prepare for this journey. I have a lot to do between now and then, and this blog is dedicated to documenting that process and all of its ups and downs. I will do everything that I need to do to make sure my girl and I are safe and ready, and if we are not, there is always 2018……