The fine folks at Rum Therapy put together a nice interview with me.
The fine folks at Rum Therapy put together a nice interview with me.
Twice this week I’ve received news of a friends passing. Even while celebrating the early success of my new book, I was saddened by the news. Two different people, two different reasons to mourn.
First I learned of the death of the previous owner of our boat. As many of you know, our boat is also our home. Her name is Leap of Faith, which I also used in the title of my first book. Graham owned her for many years before we purchased her. He took tremendous care of it. The reason we fell in love with this boat was the fine condition in which he kept it. I sit on my boat right now and reflect. Before me, someone else had a deep relationship with her. Graham and I became friends during the buying process. We’d come and visit before the settlement was final. Then he would come back and visit after we became the proud new owners. I know he was sad to see her go, but I also know that he was happy for us and knew that we would love her like he did.
Graham and his wife Barb.
THOMPSON, Graham Ross (Retired R.C.M.P.)
At Toronto East General Hospital on Friday, February 7, 2014, in his 67th year. Graham Thompson was the beloved husband of Barbara (nee Briggs) of Collingwood; the much loved father of Teri Hart (Eric) of Midhurst and Wendy Peterson (Jason) of Airdirie, Alberta; and cherished Poppa of six. Graham was a retired law enforcement officer, having proudly served six years with the Ontario Provincial Police and 23 years with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
The second bit of sad news was hearing of the passing of Sailmaker John. I wrote about John in my first book. We met one sunny day in Marathon, Florida. John Rose was the only sailmaker in Marathon. We spent a fine afternoon drinking beer and swapping stories. he lived on his sailboat Trini at the city marina. That was one of his sisters names. Jamie Merkel reached out to me on Facebook to tell me of his death. John was Jamie’s brother. John had turned us on to the Reacher books by Lee Child. He gave us a well worn paperback and we ended up buying all the Reacher books. We meet a lot of people in our travels, many that we never see again. John stood out as a kind and genuine person. This incident also points out what my books have done as far as my reach and readership. Jamie Merkel found me, through reading my first book and seeing John discussed in print. RIP sailmaker John.
Sailmaker John on the left.
Death is a part of life. You never know when it will come for you. Take that leap. Live your life. Grab your dreams now.
Enjoy each day, each moment and each person.
Both of my books are available at Amazon.com
From chapter 21, Leap Of Faith / Quit Your Job And Live On A Boat
(discussing the freedom to do whatever I choose)
Maybe I’ll stalk the world’s most sought after game fish, the mighty tarpon. I feel the quiver in my knees as the school approaches, black backs and silvery sides slicing the surface of the azure Gulf. I try to make the perfect cast, presenting my lure expertly, hoping they are willing to play today. My arms are jolted by the lightning strike as the silver king rises, exploding out of the tropical waters in a writhing mass of acrobatic fury. It is primitive raw power combined with grace and beauty. Time slows and I am spellbound as his twisting arc continues incredibly high. Small rainbows form in the shaken off sea water. At the peak of this majestic leap, one more wrenching flip and my lure is dislodged and and spit back in my direction. The King crashes down with an ear cracking splash. I glimpse one mirror-like eye as he departs. I imagine him saying, “Not today my friend, not today.”
My heart is beating so fast I can barely retrieve my line. I bow to the King, tip my rod in salute, and say “May we meet again, some other day.” It’s a once in a lifetime experience for many, but I am free to attempt to recreate it anytime I wish.
If you’ve never fought a tarpon you can’t fully understand what it’s like. There is no other fish that can combine the power, speed and acrobatic ability of the tarpon. I just happen to spend most of my time in the world’s best tarpon fishery. There is nothing like it.
To get your copy of the entire book, click here:
Today I am honored to be showcased at Gutsy Living. Sonia Marsh is the author of Freeways
To Flip Flops, and the My Gutsy Story Anthology. Her blog shares true stories of love, courage, and adventure from around the world.
My Gutsy Story is titled “A Leap Of Faith”. I hope for it to be included in the second Gutsy Story anthology. You can read it here: http://networkedblogs.com/R1Ldt
Here’s the text:
A Leap Of Faith
My wife and I found ourselves discontented. We had good jobs, a strong marriage and an all around decent, middle class, American life. Somehow it wasn’t enough. We decided to make a change, a really big change.
We decided to quit our jobs and run away to paradise to live on a boat. At first it was a crazy dream. Later, as we planned and took actual real steps to make it happen, it became a true possibility. Eventually we made our dreams come true.
How did we do it? What steps did we take? First we tackled our debt. We continued working hard and made it our life’s goal to eliminate all of our debt. It took several years of dedication, but we finally managed to rid ourselves of every single debt we had. What a feeling!
Next we saved money. Without a car payment or credit card bills this was not so hard. We simply kept on living at the same comfort level we previous enjoyed, but put all the now freed up cash into savings. We maxed out our 401k plan contributions. We put every spare cent in the bank.
Along the way we learned to stop buying things we didn’t need. We simply quit buying anything new unless we could eat it, drink it, or wipe our butts with it. We started donating clothing to Goodwill. As our load was lightened, we started to feel unburdened. It was then that we made the decision to get rid of EVERYTHING. That’s right, we sold or gave away everything we owned, except some clothing, laptop, and a few momentos we couldn’t part with.
One day we decided we had taken enough of the ‘work till you die world’ and we quit the rat race. We loaded our meager remaining belongings into our pickup truck and headed south on I-95 for Florida. Did we have enough money saved to carry us for the rest of our lives? Nope. Did we have enough to hold us over until we reached Social Security age? Probably not. What did we have? We had enough to buy a decent boat and enough to live on for several years. We called it our Leap Of Faith. We were going to live for today. Tomorrow? Who knows?
Oh what a feeling of freedom we enjoyed driving south. We had no job to report to. We had no bills to pay. Of course, we had no home either, but that didn’t matter to us. We were only looking ahead. We landed in Punta Gorda, Florida on January 3, 2010. We rented a condo for a month while we boat shopped. Soon we settled on a gorgeous classic trawler, laid our money down and moved aboard. We named our new home Leap Of Faith.
After a getting acquainted period, we threw the lines, left the marina and set off to explore the west coast of Florida. We lived at anchor, mostly off uninhabited islands. We became one with nature. We made friends with the dolphins and manatees. We staked claim to our own personal beach. Every night we celebrated the sunset. Every night we slept the sleep of the contented.
Once we got our sea legs we began to travel. We cruised to the Keys, hopping from island to island until we landed in Key West.
We cruised north, falling in love with Longboat key and the Manatee River. The place we called home was Pelican Bay, a pristine cove tucked between the islands of Cayo Costa and Punta Blanca. We would spend months isolated from society, returning only to re-provision occasionally. Our love for each other deepened dramatically. We learned so much about each other. We also learned to appreciate the silence sometimes. We slowed down our pace and took in the beauty of nature. We discovered our Eden in Pelican Bay.
Our blood pressure lowered. Our heart rates slowed. Time itself slowed down for us. We lost weight. We felt healthier. We felt happier. We were so damn happy, sometimes we would just sit and laugh at our good fortune. We still feel that way today.
Money? Yes we still had to spend some. Food, fuel, boat maintenance and repairs all added up. Two major boat repairs took a big chunk of what was left of our savings. We lasted three years before we started to get nervous about how little money we had left. I constantly reassured my wife, “It will work out.” Soon enough we returned to civilization. I wrote a book that is selling moderately well at Amazon. I also picked up a part-time job at the marina. My wife is waiting tables in town. I’m well into writing a second book and we are starting to rebuild our bank account.
We have absolutely no regrets. We’ve got egrets, but no regrets. What will we do when the bank account gets big enough? Take off again of course!
ED ROBINSON was a reporter and editor of a weekly newspaper, The Smyrna Times. He was also a contributing writer for The Mariner Magazine, a Maryland based publication covering all things boating and fishing. After twenty years working for a major utility, he quit his job and moved onto a boat. He and his wife Kim are somewhere on the west coast of Florida.
His book Leap Of Faith / Quit Your Job And Live On A Boat is currently a best seller at Amazon.com.
Click on cover to go to Amazon
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