Sun And Games

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Saturday, January 22, 2005

The Voyage of the Northern Magic

While I was in Aruba last week, I happen to have the good fortune to read the book The Voyage of the Northern Magic. This is the story of a young family who took four years of their life, and circumnavigated the world in a thirty-seven foot sailboat. Mom, Dad, and three boys aged 5, 9 and 11 when they left. The amazing part, is that they only sailed six times before starting their journey. And, those six times weren't even on the boat they used for their circumnavigation. Foolhardy? Yes. Courageous? Yes. Inspiring? Yes Breathtaking? Yes! Yes! Yes!

I happen to have started sailing myself just a couple of years ago in a boat (29.5 Hunter) not much smaller then theirs. I thought I was a little crazy when I bought the boat when neither my wife or I had sailed before in our lives (not counting that little dingy hanging up in my garage). Having had some sailing experience, the story of the Northern Magic was that much more incredible to me. They encountered horrific storms, met some real life pirates, gave themselves the trip of a lifetime, and still managed to make the world a better place with their generosity and compassion towards those they met.

While the story is about sailing around the world, the lessons they learn and impart are universal. I could certainly apply their lessons to my dreams these days of running my own business, and the obstacles I face. The one that really struck a chord with me was number seven off their list: Never, never, never give up.

While the story certainly has a happy ending, the epilogue to the book doesn't. Diane Stuemer, the author passed away from cancer, shortly after the book hit the best seller list. But, what an adventure to have had, and what great memories her family will have to remember her by. The family has a website, where you can learn more about their story.


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