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
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
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!