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“We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails”

Apr 27 2017

By Ally Nobles

Written on the white board in our galley this morning, this quote could not be truer than today. By lunch, we had completely lost all wind and were drifting slowly! So, we adjusted our sails, as well as ourselves, and took a swim in the stillness of the Northern Atlantic Ocean. Never in my dreams have I imagined such calm as I not only witnessed today but got to dive into with our all-star crew! Neither land nor boat as far as the eye could see- it felt as surreal as a movie set. The remarkable steadiness of the current around the hull shocked most of us- from looking at the surface you’d never know the life going on below. Treading along I looked down at my feet in the ocean, the water perfectly clear. The sun reaching depths further than I could reach myself, the reflection bounced up at me, twinkling brightly as a spotlight in contrast to the cobalt sea.

We reboarded Sea Dragon and were just getting ready to set off again when a massive pod of dolphins made their way over to the bow. To our delight, they danced around the boat for a good while as we set off on our course. They spun under the water, jumping up for air together, at times even in threes and fours. Today has been something unreal, like a dream that I still haven’t woken up from. We’ve all seemed to come down from cloud nine, resting, reading, getting back on track for our mission. But now that the wind is steadily blowing in the double digits again for us, the air is different.

We’ve seen a sliver of Haiti far off in the distance and some semblance of a ship, but our only company now is the flow of sargassum North and South of us and the setting sun directly ahead. At times it feels as though we’ve made no progress today, slowly chugging along- but I feel that today for us as individuals and even more so as a team has been one of tremendous growth.

Our journeys vary in purpose, but no matter- we’re all coming to know ourselves better, and inching ever so closer to the answer of what makes us tick. What gets us up in the morning? What brought us here? I believe each time we have these reflections we come full circle in our mission, and I am reminded of how remarkable it is for us to have Sea Dragon as this opportunity. We’re just under two-thirds of the way into our passage, but the seemingly never-ending sea will soon enough carry us to shore, back to our bustling society and daily routines. Soon the lifestyle we’re just now accustomed to will fade to a haze in our minds- but our progress will withstand time regardless.

Sometimes I catch myself and laugh at my fear of returning home, returning to our realities- at how I am often more afraid of having to rediscover that truth and readapt to who I am, rather than face the (to some) more rational fear of being on a sailboat with a bunch of strangers in the middle of an endless sea. How funny life can be in that way!

I’ll end with another quote I read and live by that resides permanently on my own family sailboat in our galley, as I feel it echoes each of our sentiments on board Sea Dragon as we work through our passions and dreams, our goals and purposes in life;

“A ship in a harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for” Unknown