Sunset Sensations and Salutations

After taking my last finals, ever, at UCSB I was in a mad dash to get ready for three months at sea. A nice couple was sub-leasing my apartment (furnished) for the months we would be away, which meant I had to clear all of my personal belongs out of my little one bedroom apartment and determine what made the cut to come along on the trip.

All of my “things” getting ready to be moved into a storage shed

It is amazing how heading out on a voyage of this type forces you to think, What do I really need? What is a luxury? How can I live sustainably? I found myself saying “Adios amigos” to many of my belongings. The boat life had begun. A mixture of gather what you need to survive as well as get rid of everything you possibly can!

Never leave home without my journal, old photo albums, and Magical Mermaid and Dolphins Oracle Cards..or my hand knit wash cloth from my Grandma

I knew after returning on this voyage, things would never be the same for me. I was no longer a student going to University of California, Santa Barbara. I knew that it was time to ask myself, “Who am I?” “What do I want to do?” and “Who do I want to do it with?” I knew that once I returned home to Santa Barbara, if that is in fact what we decide to do, my identity as a student would be long forgotten. The journey of self-discovery has begun.

A final sunset as a student at UCSB’s Campus Point

Luckily for me, I am actually developing a fun and transformative personal growth online course that my Father had written into a series of books. What better way to work on my career and learn about who I am and who I want to be, than to try out the personal growth course for myself. So that is what my intention is on this sailing journey. To try out the Heartwood Path step-by-step and understand the full experience so I can better support the future participants. I will also continue working day and night on my computer designing the next course and directly applying all of the entrepreneurship concepts taught in my Technology Management Program at UCSB.

Before heading home to St. Louis to visit my beloved family for Christmas, I had dropped everything off on Natural Mystic for the trip. That way I was ready to leave soon as I arrived in Santa Barbara. We had no minutes to spare. I arrived in LAX to find my flight to Santa Barbara cancelled. I went from a flight from Chicago > LAX, followed by a bus to Santa Barbara, followed by an Uber to get on a boat to sail to Mexico. After the quickest shower I could possibly manage in the Marina 3 bathrooms, I literally ran all the way down the docks to the end-tie, happy as can be, ready to see what’s to come.

Me and my beloved sister Jennifer, just a few Christmas’s ago

Within 10 minutes of me stepping on the boat, the engine was running. While I was back in St. Louis, Kyber had told me how he was getting everything organized for our trip, and me being quite naive thought that meant clearing room for my belongings. I was rudely awakened when I found out there was no place for my clothes much less my backpack. He said that when we arrived in Ensenada we would clear some space for my stuff. Here we go again, welcome to the boat life.

12/22/16 iMessage from Kyber.. 12/27/16 upon arrival, rudely awakened.

It was pitch black as we departed from the Santa Barbara Harbor and I was on the bow making sure we didn’t hit the lobster and crab trap buoys. I was using a giant flashlight that began to get heavy and found myself having to switch hands to hold it straight ahead. I was genuinely relieved when our fellow crew member Paul, took over the flashlight. Eventually I went down below to get some sleep. There is nothing I love more than to sleep out at sea in a warm fuzzy bed with too many pillows. I slept all night long.

Passing Catalina on our way to Ensenada
View From Descanso Beach Club in Avalon on Catalina Last Summer

I woke up to sunny blue skies which after a week in dreary rainy Midwest winter weather, this was exciting. The sun was warm and cheerful. We were passing Catalina and I thought back on this summer when we spent an amazingly relaxing 3 weeks there. I could not seem to get enough sleep and ended up taking a nap during the middle of the day. Later on the pink hues of the sunset shined through the cabin window. I felt a deep desire to get up from my nap and to see tonight’s show. Disco arrived in bed purring. By the time I was finished appreciating his loving affection, the pink hues were gone. Sunset Over. Or so I thought.

Disco enjoying the sunset with me after our long cuddle fest at sea

I went outside and to my surprise the other side of the boat, the starboard side, was shining bright as ever. Dramatic orange skies contrasting royal blue water. I sat there and just absorbed the rhythms of nature. I noticed that the sun was illuminating the rolling swells of the sea, something time of day would have remained unnoticed. These reflections on the rolling sea have soothed me. They encourage me to slow down and go with the flow. The swells building, providing a solid sense of exhilaration/anticipation for what is to come on this sailing journey.

Passing San Clemente Island on the way to Ensenada

I’m sure you know that feeling after watching a sunset where all is calm, all is appreciative. Gratitude fills the air. You have reflected upon your day and now feel refreshed to welcome in the night. A sense of closure, but of the good sort. You feel satisfied and happy. You also feel even closer to those you watched it with. I found myself daydreaming back on the many sunsets I shared with so many friends and family, and felt extremely grateful that everyday we have the opportunity to share something so romantic with the ones we love.


“Ain’t No Stopping Us Now” -McFadden & Whitehead

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