Changing Lenses

view from the other lens:  our friends wishing us well as we leave St. Martin.  Photo by John Alonso.

view from the other lens:  our friends wishing us well as we leave St. Martin.  Photo by John Alonso.

Our editor asked us to gather up photos that might be good for the cover of our upcoming book.  He joked that it’d be great if we had a drone shot of our family on deck while sailing in open ocean.  One of these days we’re going to get a drone.

But I did remember when we crossed from St. Martin to Anguilla, our friends on Discovery sailed parallel to us and took some pictures.  I asked if they could forward them along.  Within a matter of hours, they’d shared not only the photos from that little crossing, but also photos from the several months we sailed together.

Here’s what I learned:  life looks different from someone else’s perspective.  It was so cool to see our same experiences together, but—literally—through someone else’s lens.

February 8—tomorrow—we celebrate Fezywig Day.  This marks the anniversary of the day we moved aboard Fezywig.  We also recently realized—in researching for our book—that the first time I wrote down the idea "sail as a family" it was, you guessed it, February 8.  Crazy, right?!  Four years to the day from writing down the idea, it happened.  When we realized that, it blew us away!  Ideas are powerful things.

So back to these pictures.  We had the pictures from Discovery.  And I pulled out the hard drive with pictures from Day Dreamer, the third boat in our trio.  As I scrolled through these pictures, it all came rushing back.  They triggered all kinds of memories, but also filled gaps, focused on different moments, and highlighted bits we missed.  The memories came back deeper and richer, because it was from a new perspective.

As Emily and I have worked on this book, we realized that—despite being in the same boat, on the same day, at the same moment—we often had completely different experiences.  Neither was right or wrong, just different.  As we looked at our friends’ photos, we got to experience our own memories from a new angle.

I couldn’t help but think how rich and varied life’s experiences must be for all of us together.  Here we are on this spinning planet, each of us in our own head living life as we see it, understanding why we’re right and the other person is wrong, confused by what’s important to us but isn’t important to them, struggling to understand what’s going on in everyone else’s head.  I know we don’t always have a chance to look at life through someone else’s lens, but to the extent that we try and do, I’m convinced we’ll see a truer picture. 

We were blown away when we saw this little clip. We'd never seen ourselves underway while sailing the old good ship Fezywig. It was shot by our friends on m/v Discovery as we crossed from St. Martin to the British island of Anguilla.  Our son, Eli, is the one shouting at us, as he'd decided to stow away on their boat.