When we were living aboard s/v Fezywig, autopilot was our best friend. If you’re just tooling around in a 20-foot daysailer with no motor, it’s fun to always have a hand on the tiller. If you’re trying to cross 80 miles or 500 miles day and night, like we did, hand steering will drain your energy fast. Autopilot is a tool that can preserve your energy and help you stay on course towards your island of choice.Read More
by ERIK ORTON
Emily and I did a couple interviews yesterday about our book and I found myself saying something I don’t usually say. They were asking, how did you come to live on a sailboat with your family in the Caribbean? I said something like, “There were no big sudden risky moves. Everything was deliberate, well-considered and incremental.” I don’t usually say that, but it’s true. Yes, I quit my job. Yes, we bought our boat sight-unseen. And yes, we flew down and moved aboard as a whole family. But nothing was hasty. If anything, I would say we were very pedestrian about it. If you want to revisit the story from the beginning, click here or read the book when it comes out in a few weeks.Read More
One long winter break, we drove from New York City to a boat rental in the Florida Keys. Erik was at the helm. I and the two oldest girls each held fenders outside the hull to make sure we didn’t bump any other boats as we pulled away from the dock. Erik eased us forward and then…chunk. We stopped. The girls and I could easily see that we hadn’t hit anything so Erik proceeded to troubleshoot. He quickly found the problem—we were still tied to the dock.Read More
by ERIK ORTON
In Patagonia, the southern region of Chile, there’s a mountain range called Torres del Paine. Los Torres del Paine is one of the most beautiful ranges I’ve never seen. I’ve never been there. But I had a picture of it in my locker in high school. I’m working on getting myself and my family down there this winter (summer in the southern hemisphere) because I want to climb the central tower. The whole thing feels remote and challenging. I don’t really know how I’m going to pull it off, which brings us to our topic for this post: Chart Your Course.Read More
by EMILY ORTON
This is week 1 of 7 in a series counting down to the launch of our new book, Seven at Sea.
Warning: These stories are not like a made-for-TV cooking show where the counters are wiped down, the aprons are clean, sous chefs chop all of the ingredients, and a gorgeous version of your dish already warm and waiting in the oven. These are real crowded counters; what can I use as a substitute?; crap, I have to go to the store again; who turned the oven off?
The is the real deal Dreaming with Discipline. It doesn’t have to all happen at once. It doesn’t even have to happen every day. It can come in spurts and seasons. But once you have a vision and you take one step in that direction, you are on your way.Read More
Raise your hand if you have a 401k. Raise your hand if you have an IRA. Raise your hand if you’ve looked at the stock market lately.
I’m a big believer in action. Taking action makes things happen. However, there are times when doing nothing may be the best action. I’ve written previously about this in The Ancient Art of Waiting, but this time I want to talk about it in the context of money.Read More
One day, I noticed an unusual chart my sister-in-law had taped to her refrigerator. It was a grid of squares. Each square was coded with different colored stripes. She told me, “Each square represents a year of my life. These squares are the years before I had children. These squares are the years my children will be home full time. These squares show school days. These squares show the kids moving out.”
Brilliant! If you were enjoying parenting one day, you could see at a glance how short and precious your time together was. If not…well, you knew when it would end. There were decades before and several decades after in which to make all kinds of other choices. I made my own grid not knowing precisely what life would bring, but knowing that it would surely come to an endRead More
by ERIK ORTON
I grew up playing classical music (violin in orchestras and symphonies, piano recitals, and Suzuki competitions). Now I prefer to play music for fun with friends and for strangers. As we’ve traveled through Europe we’ve come across street musicians in every major city. I feel best when I’m in a city with street musicians; buskers. There’s something aspirational and generous about buskers.Read More
by EMILY Orton
Erik and I were listening to this podcast on our way from Germany to France. We learned that the ancient Greeks measured time in two different ways and used two different words—chronos and kairos. Chronos is time measured in seconds, minutes and days. Kairos is time measured in meaningful experiences—moments that shift our paradigm, open our eyes, touch our hearts, and deepen our relationships.Read More