Dropping Anchor - 7 of 7 Dreaming with Discipline

Dropping Anchor - 7 of 7 Dreaming with Discipline

You have arrived at your chosen island.  What are you going to do now?  You could sail around it.  You could sail past it.  If you want to set foot on your island, you’re going to have to drop anchor.  You could pull into a marina and tie off on the dock. We rarely do that when we were sailing.  It’s expensive to stay at docks and we’re always dreaming on a tight budget, so we like to drop the anchor.

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Trust Your Compass - 6 of 7 - Dreaming with Discipline

Trust Your Compass - 6 of 7 - Dreaming with Discipline

by ERIK ORTON

We were sailing with two other boats, Discovery and Day Dreamer.  We’d gotten an early start that morning and the wind was good so we were leading the group.  We were all making for the same point on the west edge of St. Martin after which we would turn northeast into Marigot Bay and anchor near each other.  I was using autopilot to navigate us toward the point. We were making steady progress and the other boats were catching up.  Their boats were longer and therefore faster.  I looked at St. Martin in the distance and it didn’t look right. It looked like we were going to cut the turn too close. 

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Set Your Autopilot- 5 of 7 - Dreaming with Discipline

Set Your Autopilot- 5 of 7 - Dreaming with Discipline

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.

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Dreaming with Discipline - 4 of 7 - Navigating Out of the Harbor

Dreaming with Discipline - 4 of 7 - Navigating Out of the Harbor

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.

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Dreaming with Discipline - 3 of 7 - Cast Off

Dreaming with Discipline - 3 of 7 - Cast Off

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.

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Dreaming with Discipline - 2 of 7 - Chart Your Course

Dreaming with Discipline - 2 of 7 - Chart Your Course

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.

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Dreaming with Discipline - 1 of 7 - Choose Your Own Island

Dreaming with Discipline - 1 of 7 - Choose Your Own Island

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.

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