Last week, I took part in my first international ocean sailboat race. There were six of us in a narrow, 42-foot sailboat with teams working around the clock in shifts of four hours awake and four hours trying to nap, unless we had to do a sail change, in which case it was everybody up on deck.
I did this because I wanted an adventure, and I got it: whales, dolphins, sharks, flying fish (we tried – and failed – to catch a fish for dinner), and giant sea turtles. The race covered 850 miles from Newport Beach, California to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The days before we launched, I have to admit that I was afraid. The days after we finished….well, I was transformed. My most vivid memory is racing the last ten miles in the moonlight with a brisk wind: I was steering with tears running down my face because I was so moved by the whole experience.
Facing fears and enduring hardships changes you in a very good way. When you know you can get through extraordinary challenges, it makes everyday issues “mellow out.”
I want to thank my crew: Kevin Miller (tactician), Eric Bohman (navigator), Kit Will (one of the stars of Morning Light), Sam Solhaug, and Paul Wolthausen for the ride of my life!
from left to right:
Sam Solhaug, Paul Wolthausen, Eric Bohman, Dr. Laura, Kevin Miller, Kit Will