"Raise your sail one foot and you get ten feet of wind."
"Our greatest regrets are the risks untaken.”
“The truth is that to sail, to even contemplate sailing, calls for a fundamental faith in one's self.”
“The sea being smooth, how many shallow bauble boats dare sail upon her patient breast.”
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”
“Life is not so much a problem to be solved as a mystery to be lived.”
"People waste time, effort and money on all kinds of things that don't make sense, when by owning a boat one can consolidate and waste them all on one thing."
"The only way to live is to have a dream green and growing in your life - anything else is just existing and is a waste of breath."
"We went cruising not to escape from life,
but to prevent life from escaping from us."
"How inappropriate to call this planet Earth, when clearly it is Ocean."
Arthur C Clarke
"We discover a profound communion with things. Sailing is such a communion. Those who have sailed may know the mystical satisfaction, the exhilarating expansiveness that comes from being at one with wind and sea. The sailboat itself is an image of this special way of being. It is resourceful, adaptive, silent. From the silence of its weight and shape comes a power that is peaceful and strong, serene and exciting, a belonging that does not trespass or counter the breathing wind and sea. So the ship moves in accord with the energy that is attendant, affirming itself and it's harmony with the Great Mother. It has the presence of the Taoist sage, the sense of the Taoist way."
"A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving."
“If we don't die young, we usually end up leading a life of subdued frustration and get stuck in a groove, but the only difference between a groove and being in the grave is one of depth. Along the way to that grave in the comfortable groove, you might get a new car or a greenhouse or, if you really hit the big time, a holiday home - but these things are palliatives, the opiate of a materialistic lifestyle that is impoverished through lack of meaning. I wasn't interested in the trappings of material success - all they lead to is entrapment in spiritual failure - and the conventional rewards of career advancement meant nothing to me. With each passing year, I knew I would become more enfeebled and the mad passions of youth would give way to the cautious sobriety of middle age. Whatever happened, I didn't want to end up slumped in an armchair in an old people's home looking back on a life of comfortable but frustrated existence. I also knew the world is a big, beautiful place, and I wanted to experience as much of it as I could in the split second of eternity that was allocated to me. I had seen too many friends die young to wait any longer to fulfill my dream. Life is too precious to be squandered in denying dreams, even if they turned out to be sour. I was determined to try and take hold of my life and squeeze every drop out of it. There is no God, no meaning, no purpose - all we have is love and existential experience. The sea was where I might lose one but where I knew I would find the other.”
From "The Breath of Angels"
“Odd to think that living as we were, tuned to the vagaries of wind and water, sun and clouds, night and day, the size of the waves, the movement of the fish...is described by distant observers as 'escaping reality'.”
“Live! Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!”
"Looking back, I've come to believe that it takes more courage of a certain kind to stay in suburbia and do the expected thing than it does to sell out and sail off. I came to a point where I realized that my talent was modest, that I would never be a star in the galaxy of fame. If I didn't change I would, for the rest of my life, do my best, pay my debts, and finally die the mediocre middle class man that I really was. And if that sounds a little strong, I intend it to, because those are some of the feelings that allowed me to act quixotically. And for those feelings I shall be eternally grateful.”
"One of my great accomplishments is that, to this day, I have never held a real job. If there is any advice, any lurking pearl of wisdom, hidden in this book, it's something as simple as how to go sailing at all cost while steering clear of the stealthy nine-to-five routine that slyly steals from you the only thing you own in life: your time."
John Kretschmer, 'Flirting with Mermaids'
“If you have food to eat and a warm, dry home, there's just one thing money is really useful for. You can use it to buy your life back. Then you don't have to waste it doing things you don't like to do just to make money. Don't look for a way to make money; find a way to make a living doing what you like to do anyway. Otherwise you're just raising funds to buy yourself out of slavery.
“Why do I sail? Because the water is endless: once you set out you're free of where you were and linked to everywhere else. Because the gurgle of water under the forefoot is both lullaby and promise of things to come. Because on the ocean you know there won't be anyone to meet, no egos to contend with but your own. And because of the connection and the connectedness. From millions of miles away the stars tell you where you are, while nearby the porpoises and whales tell you there is company for your soul. The permanent impermanence of the ocean itself banishes “I” and reaffirms “I am”. There is the potential for perfection in the sailing: a perfect boat, a perfect breeze, a perfect sunset, and the actuality can come very close to it. It is tantalizingly near, and you sail on to seek it.”
"It's a privilege to live any part of one's life in proximity to nature. It is a privilege, apparently, even to know that nature is out there at all. In the summer of 1996 human habitation on earth made a subtle, uncelebrated passage from being mostly rural to being mostly urban. More than half of all humans now live in cities. The natural habitat of our species, then, officially, is steel, pavement, streetlights, architecture, and enterprise-the hominid agenda.
What we lose in our great human exodus from the land is a rooted sense, as deep and intangible as religious faith, of why we need to hold on to the wild and beautiful places that once surrounded us. We seem to succumb so easily to the prevailing human tendency to pave such places over, build subdivisions upon them, and name them The Willows, or Peregrine's Roost, or Elk Meadows, after whatever it was that got killed there. Apparently it's hard for us humans to doubt, even for a minute, that this program of plunking down our edifices at regular intervals over the entire landmass of planet earth is overall a good idea. To attempt to slow or change the program is a tall order."
"Our life is short, and our days run
As fast away as does the Sun;
And, as a vapour or a drop of rain
Once lost, can ne'er be found again."
“Idleness is not doing nothing. Idleness is being free to do anything.”
“To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea... "cruising" it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about. “I've always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can't afford it." What these men can't afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of "security." And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine - and before we know it our lives are gone. What does a man need - really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in - and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all - in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade. The years thunder by, The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed. Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?”
“Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out.”
“I think that maybe we do not climb a mountain because it is there. We climb it because we are here.”
“The soul of a journey is liberty, perfect liberty, to think, feel, and do just as one pleases.”
“Life goes by fast, and you only get one shot at it. It makes sense to make your dreams happen sooner, rather than later.”
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.”
“A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drownded….for he will go out on a day when he shouldn't. But we do be afraid of the sea, and we do only be drownded now and again.”