Wednesday, November 01, 2006

It’s been a tough couple of three weeks…..

I haven’t been home much lately and when I have been home it seems like I’ve been locked in my office working. Word has kind of gotten out at work that I am pursing this dream and I am a little concerned the powers that be might think I am slacking off chasing down boats when I should be working. The real truth is I have never worked harder in my life. Knowing how much work I need to have done on this boat and the strength of the desire to make this trip happen has me chasing every sale and every dollar I think I can bring in. So much so that I have all but dropped out of the MBA program and I can’t even find the time finish all the closing paperwork on the boat.

Oh yeah, I am buying the boat. We haggled a bit more and I got the seller to throw in his custom fiberglass dingy and 15 hp Johnson outboard motor. Not exactly the financial break I was looking for but it will still save me several thousand dollars finding and buying a new dingy. I am really excited about finally moving into the outfitting stage and leaving the boat hunting stage behind. I never dreamed that buying a boat would be more complicated than buying a house, but either I am not getting all the info I should be or there are just a lot more details to get a boat purchased. There have been a lot of documents overnighted lately, but if I can get the vessel title documentation in order and fedexed back to the company tomorrow I think we can close on Friday. That is trickier than it sounds as I am writing this on a flight to Reno for a software demo tomorrow (Thursday) and have a Finance exam of Friday to boot. Nope, haven’t started studying yet. Save that for the flight back home.

I did find one new reason to love my job other than the money. We had our user group meeting in San Diego this year and I had a couple of customers and colleagues that wanted to go sailing. Fortunately, Marina Sailing of Southern California has a marina down there so I was able to pick up a Hunter 420 on short notice and take out 8 customers and colleagues. It was really a tremendous day. 15 – 20 knots of wind and seeing the joy on someone’s face who has never been sailing before reminded me of my first time on a boat and how hard the bug bit. This was the first time I has skippered anything over 32 feet and also the first time I had taken anyone out sailing other than my girlfriend and myself. Seeing the effect sailing can have on people makes me want to introduce as many people to this sailing thing as possible. Sailing has magic in it. It still seems kind of crazy to me that I didn’t start sailing but four or five years ago and I am buying a boat to sail around the world.

I was trying to remember the other day when the idea first hit me. Oddly, my Mom was visiting me when I was living in Dallas not long after I had finished grad school. There was a Discovery Channel show on that detailed a new analytical instrument that could submerge for 4 or 5 months on end collecting data. They called it the Slocum after that famous sailor. I did a little research and picked up his book Sailing Alone Around the World. That led to looking up a sailing school in Dallas and then to finding the Project Bluesphere website. Needless to say the urge to go sailing snowballed to where I am today. A big part of the impetus came from the difficult transition I had from Grad School to the corporate sales world. Something just didn’t fit.

I don’t know where I picked it up but I have always been wary of success. Only because success in the wrong field is far more dangerous than failure in a field in which you belong. Sales came easy to me and the money has been good ever since I started. However, I know that if I continue this way of life I’ll end up a hollow man. That isn’t a price I am willing to pay for wealth. So be careful, even if you are good at what you are doing, if it isn’t something you love, stop. Get out. Leave it behind and do what you desire to do.

1 comment:

rdgdean said...

Lee:

I too follow ALEX on Bluesphere. Have you communicated with him via his satelite phone or email? I live in Houston and I did see the boat you boat in Kemah. I had a 36 Islander which i sold 5 years ago. I am now looking at buying my nephew's 35 foot RAFIKI. What a solid full keel boat it is. Take you anywhere in the world. Really like your site. If i can be of any help to you let me know. I go to Clear Lake to visit my buddie who still own boats and they are leaving for the Bahamas in a few weeks.

Dean