Monthly Archives: July 2013

Crossing Life’s Ocean – Some Insights From the Ocean!

(Paul Adamson)

“Okay, drop those lines!”

The time was upon us for Audrey and I to sail double-handed to Vanuatu!

We had 620 miles of deep blue ocean to sail and we both relished the challenge to sail this ocean together alone.

The breeze was in the SE at 20 knots and we hoisted our main and unfurled the headsail…. LUSH answered our call by heeling to 10 degrees. I always love the feeling of raw, awesome power washing over me as LUSH accelerates under sail!

We head into the deep blue and our bow begins to rise and fall with the ocean swell.

“Off to sea once more” I thought. Audrey and I stood up on the bow as LUSH cut through the South Pacific effortlessly at 11 knots!

We both stood there looking out onto the ocean with a feeling of true gratitude!

Grateful to be alive…

To be in this moment…

At this time…

Sailing this yacht…

In this ocean…

To be with each other…

The line from the Christy Moore Song, “The Voyage” popped into my head, “Together we are in this relation…SHIP, we’ve built it with care to last the whole trip!”  This is so true for Audrey and myself!

Then it struck me….

Our lives are just like sailing across an ocean. We have the choice to sail wherever we want, with whomever we want and be whoever we want! What a gift from the universe

“That’s It!” I thought, that’s the answer, “CHOICE!”

We all have the CHOICE where we sail to!

Across our life’s ocean of dreams it’s our choice whether we take charge of our ship and direct her or let the ocean and the weather push us around and end up wherever the wind blows!

As a navigator, I understand we have to know our destination otherwise all the skills of navigation are useless!

In life this starts with, “What do you want?”

I mean;

What do you really want?

out of life,

your relationships,

your businesses,

for your children?

Once we know what we want then we can start sailing towards that destiny by plotting our course.

When you sail an ocean you will encounter all sorts of weather, sometimes its sunny and calm, sometimes it windy, dark and stormy…..but…..that’s just the ocean! We adjust our course, reef our sails, prepare our crew and once the storm passes, we tweak our course and sail our way to our desired destination – simple as that!

I wonder what would happen if you believed that life is like that to?

We all have beautiful hot and sunny days and we all have dark and stormy ones, where we have to batten down the hatches and sit out the storms.

Here’s the key though, it’s not what the weathers like, it’s how we adjust our course & sails to get through it!

Said differently, its not what’s happens to us that makes the difference, its what we do!

So what do you do in the storms of life?

Do you anticipate, prepare, take in some sail and accept it and get on with it?

Or do you let the ocean and weather push you around?

When I realised a few years back this fundamental rule in life I took charge and actively started designing and shaping my destiny and my wish is for you is to do the same and live your dreams!

You see we only get once chance in this voyage of life and its time to be the master of your ship and take charge of your destiny so when you make that final journey of sailing over the horizon into the sunset, you will leave behind you in your wake a fine example of a life fully lived!

So wherever you are,

One Life…..MAKE SURE your living it!

God Bless

Paul Adamson  xxx

A Fijian Welcome

(Audrey Adamson)

After a lumpy enough passage from Tonga we arrived into Vanua Balavu, the main island of the Northern Lau Group of Fiji.  It was extremely tricky navigating in and around the reef that encompasses this stunning island and we were grateful to have Eddie Scougal and Debbie Johnson, Oyster Rally organizers, on board for our entry.  The charts were way off… well, as in half a nautical mile off, which when you’re navigating around a reef with about half a boat length of room for error this can have serious implications.  We waited till first light to make our approach.  Most of the navigation marks charted were absent and those left were unlit so it certainly wasn’t an option in the dark!

In summary: Reef + poor bouyage + very little room for maneuver + charts off by half an nm = serious potential for disaster!!!

We slowly crept in (as in 0.5 knots boat speed) along the first transit with seven other oysters behind following our line.  I was on lookout from the bow, Eddie Scougal on the helm, Debbie on radar and Paul piloting using all available means of navigation.  It’s at moments like these that you’re grateful to have two sisters’ opticians who kitted us all out with Maui Jim sunglasses (a la Eyeworld) for this trip!!  Polarized sunglasses are the only way to go when negotiating reefs and coral heads, or bommies as they’re aptly named! In fact this is the first piece of advice listed in the Fiji Pilot book!  Ideally the best time to cruise in reef/shoal waters is in the hours between 10am and 3pm when the sun is high in the sky.

Finally, after an hour of ghosting along this reef, we reached the most magnificent anchorage surrounded by dramatic cliffs and lush tropical growth.  Debbie breathed a sign of relief; this certainly was worth the huge effort she put in to get a temporary port of entry set up for the fleet at this outer island.   This is a first and something that the Fiji border agency will look to make permanent.  The local villagers would truly welcome this move and it will give them a source of income by setting up marine services and supplying consumables to cater for international yachts.  Over 600 yachts visit Fiji annually spending a combined $15million USD (Marine Survey 2012) and very few of them visit the Lau group as it’s upwind of the islands where you normally clear customs.  We certainly wouldn’t have sailed back upwind. After 14 thousand miles of sailing we’ve only sailed upwind for 80!!!  It’s downwind sailing all the way baby when you’re sailing west around the world through the tropics!  Remember we’re all about cruising on this trip!!!  We’ll leave the upwind sailing to you lot back home 😉

The people of Daliconi, a village on Vanuabalavu held a massive reception for the Oyster Rally fleet.  They were so proud to have such a prestigious fleet of yachts anchored off their island.  This reception was the most moving experience of my life.  Initially we presented the village chief with some Kava root, which is customary in Fiji, for the sevusevu ceremony.  The chief then welcomes you in a small ritual involving drinking the gifted Kava after it has been ground down. The villagers went to huge lengths to throw this party and ceremony for us.  They had been preparing the village and plans for months and you really got a sense of this when the organizing chairman, a massive Fijian man, stood up to thank all the villagers for the effort they put in preparing for this.  He could hardly speak from emotion, I have never seen a man so choked in all my life.  This meant soooo much to them.

As part of the celebration the kids dressed in traditional costume and put on a great show of song and dance.  Huddled in the corner were the teenage lads playing mandolins and singing in perfect harmony.  The women served beautiful lemon leaf tea and had jugs of milk there, as they thought that to be the correct thing for us ‘Westerners’ with our tea!!  Now this was hot water infused with a lemon leaf, not something you’d want to add milk to!  They had made lots of little pancakes and were so unbelievably proud serving them to us.  The previous night they’d prepared a massive delicious seafood spread over by the first anchorage, as there had been a lot of rainfall we couldn’t make it to their village that day by land safely.  We then sailed to Daliconi for the ceremony the following day.  Honestly, this was an enchanted place with the most beautiful selfless people.  There was an innocence and giddiness when they interacted with us.   In their eyes was a deep level of appreciation and gratitude that I’m really struggling to put into words here.

They kept getting us all up doing the conga, like I’d just sit down for a rest and they’d have you back on your feet (it seams they don’t tire of this particular party piece!).  They then got us into a massive circle with everyone hand in hand, moving in and out just like back home at the end of a wedding, however here with a few cups of lemon leaf tea inside us dancing around on the grass seamed quite childish and sure what harm is there in that?  We all started to get a bit giddy and silly!  I wonder what would happen when I return home and start doing the conga after a cup of tea??  Maybe ye should try it?  What the heck… you only live once and all that!!

We have cruised Fiji for a few weeks now and the celebrations in Dalconi will certainly be our most enduring memory of this beautiful country with over 300 islands.  How lucky are we to be travelling around the world by boat?  You get to places no one else can go, no tourists, no resorts, just untouched unspoilt islands, villages and people that have very little idea of what’s outside their island.  People who don’t take themselves too seriously

and just live day-by-day taking pride in where they’re from. Most importantly, they don’t see themselves individually or as a family but rather as a community where giving and sharing takes priority over taking and receiving.  People who are grateful beyond measure for what they have which really materially is a whole lot less than what we have but spiritually and emotionally they are far richer for it.  One Life…. Please Live it!

Audrey xxx