Southwest Florida Yachts


Adventure v Ordeal
It's All About Attitude

By Barb Hansen
August 2015

As part of the curriculum at our liveaboard yacht school, we tell students about a bumper sticker we saw that says, "Attitude= The Difference Between An Ordeal and An Adventure!"  How true.  When "stuff happens," it's not what the problem is that matters, it’s how you handle it.

As anyone knows who lives in Florida, we get a lot of rain in the summer. We recently had about a 5-day spell of rainy weather.  I don't mean light rain; I mean frog-strangling, street-flooding rain.  Of course, it doesn't last more than a few hours, but when it rains, it pours!

We happened to have a family and their friends, a total of 3 adults and 2 kids from northern Florida chartering one of our large sailboats that week. The dad's attitude is one that we should all try to emulate during challenging times.  He always had a smile on his face and a pleasant demeanor to match.  You can imagine the pressure from two urchins saying, "Can't we do this now?"  Yet, no matter the weather or question of the moment, they were having a good time.  As we often say, a bad day on a boat is better than a good day at work any time!  

Of course it didn't rain ALL the time.  They did have some beautiful days. they sailed, they anchored, they fished, and they sailed some more.  They also spent a few nights at some of our local marina resorts enjoying the dockside amenities such as the pool and the bar! Smart Dad!

We've seen these phenomena before.  For some people, it takes very little to make them happy.  They could have the time of their lives in a canoe with a cooler.  Of course, we have seen the opposite attitude as well.  

We once had a yacht in the fleet with four (4) TV's.  One of the TV's went down during a charter. You would have thought the charterers on board at the time had been relegated to a dinghy for the rest of their cruise.  They complained and threatened retribution if the TV was not repaired or
replaced.  After thirty years in the charter business, you could say that we've seen it all.

Someone once said that if the feeling of relaxation and exhilaration you get on a boat is ever replaced by anger and frustration, you should probably take up golf.   I've been tempted a few times to buy some new balls for certain people – and I’d make them brand new Titleist to help speed the transition.

Boating is exciting and fun, but it is also all about the unknown.  You do your best to plan your cruise, check the weather, service the boat and pack everything you might need.  However, inevitably something will not go as planned.  That's just the way it is.  

We have all heard stories of boaters who insist on pushing Mother Nature in order to meet a schedule.  They say, this is the only day or week we can go and I don't care if there is a storm out there.  Sadly, some do not return.

So, whether your travel plans are on land or sea, maintaining a positive attitude will go a long way toward turning your vacation into an adventure rather than an ordeal, no matter what happens. Come to think of it, we may make that a prerequisite for sailors wanting to attend one of our onboard power or sail classes!



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Southwest Florida Yachts
3444 Marinatown Lane N.W. • North Fort Myers • Florida 33903
(239) 656-1339 (800) 262-7939 Fax (239) 656-2628

Marinatown Marina 26° 38.5'N 81° 53.0'W
Burnt Store Marina 26° 45.71' N 82° 04.20'W

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