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Yesterday, with a planned break in our work schedule, Rebecca and I visited the local IMAX theater here with our friend Pip to watch the movie Everest, in 3D. The movie, based on a true story, has had a bit of media controversy with at least one person present during the events stating that it did not tell the true story of the 1996 tragedy (read Into Thin Air if you want another view). Regardless, the movie was exciting, and the cinematography was amazing!

In one section of the movie, Jon Krakauer, a writer from Outside Magazine who was attempting his own summit of the mountain, asks the climbers gathered in their small tent the all important question, “Why (are you climbing Everest)?” Only one of them could really verbalize an answer to the question, and he only did so later in the movie. This part was especially interesting to me as we have had the same question asked of us about our plans to sail to Patagonia. Why do you want to go there? Aside from the beautiful scenery in that part of the world that can’t help but inspire awe, and the obvious challenge of heading so far south, my answer is always “because no one else does it!*

  • Of course that’s not really true. We personally know people who have done it, and have read about countless others. Relatively speaking though, far fewer people venture south to that region compared to those cruising the warmer climates.

In the past few weeks, dealing with the teething pains on our new boat (isn’t that a nice way to put it?), I admit to, on occasion, being overcome by frustration. When that happens, I find it’s always because I am focused on the challenges we are dealing with rather than the goal. You need to keep your focus on the prize… not only do I know this, I used to teach it to my martial arts students! It’s true whether you are training to climb a mountain, practicing martial arts or outfitting a sailboat. For all those going through tough times, and I sense a few of our friends are doing so right now, keep looking forward. The day-to-day problems will work themselves out if you keep your focus on what you want.


  1. Thanks Mike for that reminder. Keep an eye on the goal!

  2. Another book worth reading is
    One Mans Dream, One Woman’s Nightmare
    By Reanne Hemmingway- Douglas.
    We have met the author and wife and they have gone on the write the very well done cruising guides from California – Alaska. The BC coasts bible to gunk holding . I am sure you will fine it very interesting with helpful info.

  3. Thanks for this, Mike! Perfect timing for me. We are reaching the final stages of remodeling our tiny cabin into a small, full-time cottage in northern Michigan, and preparing our large house in southest Michigan to be listed. Overwhelmed, stress on both of us, tears, feeling like this will never end, desperate to just close up the house and get back to our love of traveling the back roads and meeting new people, off the beaten path. Must keep our eyes on the prize! Thanks for the reminder!
    By the way, was very disheartened to read your link about our beloved St. Lucia. We used to go every year, not as the average tourists, as we have many St. Lucian friends/’family’, but nonetheless. We’ve not been in almost six years, but had hopes for our future there. Now, not so sure. Such sad changes, since guns and drugs found their way there. (:

  4. Last year, a fellow cruiser / circus-navigator told me that there are more people that successfully climb Mount Everest each year than there are who circumnavigate in their own sailboat. Do you believe it? I don’t know how many circumnavigate (and no, I’m not talking about doing it in “a year” – just doing it) but I’ll guess it might be about 100 or so, maybe less.

    • Stats on Everest are likely easy to find out. Circumnavigators would not be so easy. I don’t think too many people have summited this year.

  5. Thanks Mike, after / during a character building year, I always come back to the prize. I appreciate the challenges. I will be back on my beloved, Lady J..
    I am so grateful!!


  6. My favorite response is a quote from Tom Patey, a famous Scottish ice climber and mountaineer:

    “Climbing is like fun, only different.”

  7. Mike,
    I came across this during my daily viewing of
    Stunning footage of lightning in a volcanic ash cloud in Patagonia

  8. A question for you, as you posed it in your post, to the people who follow you, and are friends from “the other world”.
    I say other world because, I wonder if you understand the life of every person you come into contact with in the islands you are exploring.
    Do none of them wish to live the life you are? Do they live happily serving you when you visit them, with your money, to pay them to work on your boat, and keep your other boat, which they cannot afford to own two of?
    After you pay them for the work they do on your boat, and you sail off to another place, will they have a job tomorrow?
    In your own words, will their problems work themselves out because they are wonderful at what they do, and MAYBE another boat will come in with money to need fixing to pay them for their work?
    Curse me if you want, but I am sick of all of you “living on the edge of disaster millionaires” not knowing if they can pay for dinner tomorrow, on an island where the cost of your boat will pay rent, food, and a college education for three of their kids.
    You are a perfect example of call myself poor but above the commoners that p0opulate every port I sail into because I own this boat, and you will never escape your miserable life because you are not as good as me because you can never afford to own a boat like this, because you aren’t as smart as me, and I am a better person. Oh, and bring me some ice.
    90% of the people you meet who work in every port you visit will make less money in a lifetime then you spent for the boat you sailed into that port on, oh, and there is that other boat, you own, and can’t sell.

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