The Best Wind Isn’t In the Harbor

Back in May, our family went sailing to celebrate my dad’s birthday.  It was on a gorgeous sailboat, from Newport Harbor in Newport, RI.  We left the dock with the motor, which helped Captain Dave navigate the boat more easily.  Once we were clear, the crew hoisted the sails, and off we went. 

(c) AdobeStock Photo

(c) AdobeStock Photo

Sort of.

There wasn’t much wind in the harbor.  It is a bit protected, which is I guess why they call it a harbor.  (It gets pretty windy there, especially in the winter, and the harbor affords some protection to moored boats.)  And we were sailing into the wind, which meant we had to tack to catch it at an angle.

So we sailed for a bit, albeit slowly.  We didn’t mind.  We just enjoyed being outside and being together.  And the view from the water was quite different from the view we usually get on the street.

But there WAS a time limit on this trip, as there was another one right after.  And at the rate we were going, we weren’t going to see much.  So Captain Dave kept trimming the sails and changing course ever so slightly to try and catch the best possible wind.

All of a sudden he turned to us and said, “You see that?”  That rougher water?  That’s where we’ll catch some good wind.  The best wind is where the water is rougher.”

Captain Dave was right.  The wind did pick up when we hit that spot where the water got rougher.  I had never known that before.  We had a good sail from that point on, until we came back to the protected harbor.

As I was driving home, his words stuck in my mind.  I realized that doesn’t only apply to sailing; it applies to life too.

When do we grow the most?  When we hit rough waters.

When do we learn the most?  When it’s hard.

When do we do the most?  When we face challenges.

We want what’s comfortable.  Easy.  Yet, that isn’t where we learn and grow the most.

So if you want to grow, you need to navigate to the rougher waters.  Where it’s less comfortable.  Where your skills and mettle are tested.  Where the best wind is.

Now I’m not talking about gale force winds.  There’s a reason for tropical storm and hurricane warnings.  We just saw that with Matthew.  The wind and waves can swamp your boat.  Cause you to drown. Nope, you want to head for just short of swamp-the-boat waters.

If you get caught in a raging storm, you do what you must to survive.  And learn a lot in the process.  Skills you can use when you’re caught in another, lesser storm.

So hoist your sails and head for the rougher waters.  You’ll have the ride of your life.
Sail on!  Love, Kathleen

Have you been sailing around in the harbor?  Where would you like to go?  Share in the comments.

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  • Venturing further from shore these days, and how bracing to read your good words, Kathleen. Here’s to “skills and mettle” rising along with the waves! Such an encouraging post!!

    • You have indeed, Laurie. And you seem to be thriving, too, even with the smashed window. Love seeing your adventures! What’s next? White water rafting?

      • Oh dear, for me, white water rafting is right up there with zip lining. Maybe if I sing the Little Engine’s song, but I’d rather read a good book. :)