May 2006. Sailing south from Morro Bay on my first boat, the Tabula Raza, a 29ft Columbia monohull.
While getting my ass thoroughly whooped in a little monohull around Point Conception about 10 years ago, I wondered: “How hard can this be? I can sail this little cork all the way to the South Pacific!”
But as I plunged into the crazy business of boat prep, I discovered that it is a huge undertaking. Particularly when I had the bright idea to buy a big ol’ trimaran!
Over the years, the dream seemed to crumble under the weight of its monumental implications.
Dreams, however, have their own magic and timing. Behind the scenes, a hidden transformation was occurring…
February 2013. Dinner aboard Aldebaran at Ladies Harbor.
Sailing became about sharing. During our trips to the Channel Islands in the last two years, I heard a constant refrain from the many friends who joined us:
“That was the best weekend of this whole year for me”.
People were shining… re-energized, feeling a deep connection, we became a floating family enjoying great meals and moments.
Off-the-grid, fully present with each other, alive in Nature’s unceasing majesty, we returned to the harbor every time like new people.
I realized something special was happening. Somewhere along the way, the informal Aldebaran Sailing Cooperative turned from a way to subsidize the boat into a service for our community of friends.
Keeping it alive became an amazing gift to ourselves, and that has become my work and passion.
Re-igniting the vision of a trans-oceanic voyage was a big step I wasn’t prepared to take alone. A number of crew encouraged — no, gently insisted — that it happen. “What’s it going to take?” they asked.
If the Channel Islands are so fantastic, why not take this singular chance in our lives and go farther..? We put it out to the group, to see if this is part of our collective dream. It is appears it is.
Our first round of fundraising has been awesome – 14 friends and fellow ocean-lovers have pledged to participate as Trip Partners and Early SeaBirds on the trip.
This is a great responsibility and honor. It apexes on the boat, which is now its own entity, and I no longer just “the owner”. Instead, like a community plot of land, I have become the Steward, and everyone who is participating, its Trustees.
The trip has a mission, our way to give back and have fun. It is called the Green Coconut Run, a route along remote protected areas, from California to New Zealand, which will become a Travel Guide so others can visit & support these unique islands and their conservation efforts.
We deeply thank those who have taken the leap — and we invite you to participate, in the way that fits you best, in this wonderful madness.
Giving thanks to this and much else this Thanksgiving —
(Head Honcho Steward & El Capitan)