Not so far behind after all

Posted in: Uncategorized on Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

Well it’s done. It’s booked. It’s on the calender.  We’re getting our recreational boating licences. And it turns out all that fear and doubt I wrote about leaving behind hasn’t been left so far behind after all.  It’s right back beside me again. It’s been waiting just outside my comfort zone for a time like this.

What if i fail? How am I going to remember everything they tell me? I should definitely take notes. Will I have time to make notes? What if I make a mistake and everyone secretly laughs at me or worse, openly laughs at me? What if i’m the dumbest person there and I don’t understand anything they tell me?

So many what ifs. My head is spinning and I feel a little bit sick. I think I might have some underlying anxiety issues.

‘Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage’ – Anais Nin

With my rational brain I know that most of these worries are ridiculous, and having read my fears expressed in black and white they look downright silly.  Yet they still have the power to immobilise and undermine me. They started the second that Ben suggested that I take the licence with him. I wasn’t going to get my licence for a few months, all of this was going to be future Sarah’s problem.

“Look at it this way Sez, won’t it feel better to take the test with me by your side than on your own?” Ben said over the phone.  He has a point rational me thought It would be better to have him with me. Then irrational me piped up ‘what if i’m dumb in front of Ben, or I don’t understand something basic and they have to tell me 5 times and I still don’t understand but stay quiet. I don’t want to fail in front of him’

According to the website, the course will cover the following;

  • General safety obligation
  • Qld marine regulations
  • Collision avoidance regulations
  • Trip planning & vessel preparation
  • Safety & emergency equipment
  • Weather & tides
  • Vessel maintenance
  • Navigation & charts
  • Anchoring
  • Basic knots

For the next two weeks it’s going to be a constant battle to keep things in perspective, to keep the faith in myself, to remind myself that I’m smart, a quick learner and at the end of the day it’s just a licence.  To help with this my personal motto will be Prior Preperation Prevents Poor Performance. So i’m off to go prepare, I think i’ll start by revising some basic knots (which might help undo the ones in my stomach).


Time for this woman to ‘Man up’

Posted in: Uncategorized on Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Man up as defined by the Urban Dictionary is the process of strapping on a pair, of growing some balls, and putting a stop being such a complete and utter wuss.

Eloquent, accurate and most of all relevant.

The time has come for me to man up, to strap on a pair and stop being a complete and utter wuss.  I’m referring to the fact that over the coming weeks I’ll have to be dealing with boating contractors, most likely on my own while Ben is at work.

The boating industry, and surely i’m not the only woman who has noticed this, is dominated by Men. Dominated usually by gruff and intimidating men. Men who make me acutely aware of how little I know about boats and sea-faring things in general.

If given a choice I’m an email or text kind of girl, online enquiries and the like.  Phone calls and talking face to face with people I don’t know, let alone male contractors make me more than a little nervous.  Not to mention the fact that my more than adequate vocabulary deserts me, leaving me with ums and ahs and unable to communicate what I want in a coherent, intelligent fashion. Sometimes even with Ben it comes down to drawing pictures to get my point across.

Time to man up and be brave

Which on reflection is silly considering i’m a grown woman of 30 years.

It may be silly, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s how I feel…and I need to get over it if we’re going to get anything done to Tygress.  Ben’s out there earning the money, bringing in the bacon so to speak which means he’s not here to do the talking. He’s not here to be the point of contact.  He’s not here to be my comfort zone.

So not only should I be cooking him bacon (what man doesn’t love bacon?…Mmmm bacon), I need to be brave, man up, strap on a pair or whatever you want to call it and start getting things done.

Last week I finally called The Hatch Man after my emails went unanswered and made an appointment for him to come out and inspect our windows and hatches, some of which need replacing and resealing.  Thankfully Ben was home for that meeting.  Although we’re not so thankful for the shock and subsequent disillusion we got when opening his quote a few days later.

Today in what were’ hoping will be a cheaper endeavour, I’m meeting with the marine trimmer to start the process of getting a quote for the replacement of our spray dodger and cockpit canvas.

My plan? Put on my best ‘assertive, I-know-what-i’m-talking-about’ hat, smile nicely but not too ditzily, tell him straight out what our budget is and then do my best to communicate what bang we want for our buck.

I’ll let you know how it goes!

Have you ever had to man up, be bold, be brave, be fearless? When have you had to push outside of your comfort zone?


Chucking in the job

Posted in: Breaking Free on Thursday, June 16th, 2011
My employer, the State Government, has announced a Voluntary Separation Program as part of it’s measures to reduce costs through the abolishment of 3500 non-frontline positions.  This couldn’t have come at a better time in my career (I have trouble calling my working life ‘a career’, this job has only ever been something to fill the time and bring in the money, calling it a career feels like an overstatement).  They are offering a considerable amount of money for me to relinquish my position and not return to the sector for 3 years.This is an invaluable opportunity for our Great Escape! It’s an opportunity to pay off our debt in one foul swoop, eliminating some of our larger outgoing financial commitments.  We will need to reduce our outgoings as much as possible, which is why the cars are being sold. What we save on registration, Insurance (did you know according to our preliminary quotes, it’ll be cheaper to insure the yacht than both our cars combined), servicing and fuel will be freed up to be spent living.

We will of course have different types of expenses living on a yacht, but these are definitely manageable on one income.  Most will go on maintenance and the yearly dry docking.  While we won’t have rent per se, there will be berthing fees to consider.  After a bit of research, most marina’s up the coast to Cairns charge $170-220 a week to berth with a small live-aboard fee on top.  This includes water and electricity while berthed (I’m really looking forward to paying our last Origin electricity bill and ending the contract).

Part of the appeal of sailing is that the power of the wind is free to all those who can harness it.  With the use of sail power as much as possible, we hope to keep our fuel costs to a minimum as well.

I think more than anything the Voluntary Separation Program provides me with an opportunity, one that I’ve been sitting behind a desk longing for, to self-determine my future.  To take the chances I’ve been too afraid to take before, with the benefit of a financial safety net behind me. If I don’t stand up, take this chance to develop my art and my writing, to live life the free then I deserve to spend the rest of my life feeling unfulfilled and wondering ‘What if?’ from behind this desk.