VS. the places that take the race lead and change the course of your life time & time again…They are the diamonds strewn across your path you find when you stay true to your dreams.  You’d be a blind person not to examine and hold them in your hand.  We are truly one.  So beware the person standing next to you at the cross-walk or on the bus – ‘assumption is the ultimate fu*k-up’!  You never know who or where this ‘normal’ looking person might lead you down the yonder blue road!

Besides, it’s quite stupid in this day and age not to work as a team for the benefit of all nationalities and tear down cultural barriers versus our personal vanity and show-boating.  Everyone has done so much these days that nothing impresses anyone anymore !  What’s impressive is when we join to overcome all obstacles together!

International boundaries and ‘nationalism’ are old-fashioned and out-dated.  We must work together to save the planet – we can’t do it alone!  In a America now with a black president, a national majority that will no longer be white but instead Latino in a few years – it is truly a beautiful new dose of needed diversity in what was once called the world’s ‘melting-pot’ but foundered and might only now be regaining her footing – America.

…Its no coincidence that her winning America’s Cup team is truly a ‘rainbow’ (no pun intended San Francisco) with her Sponsor Larry Ellison from (USA), her CEO is a Kiwi (Russel Coutts), the boat captain an Aussi (James Spithill), and designer of the winning cup boat France (VPLP)…!  As it should be – as ‘home is where the heart is’ , especially for a sailor when we carry our ‘shells’ on our backs in the form of a yacht or sea-bag!  I joke to people I never know what country I’m in anymore 😉  And I’m loosing some of my American accent as people in France are asking where I’m from these days – they often guess Canada vs the US!

Every major fork in the road and mile-stone following my dreams has been due to meeting extraordinary but ordinary looking people.  We all have it in us to be anyone we want!  Here’s a few examples, if you’re not here you know who you are – you’ll be in my book –“Lab’s Picks” 🙂

1.  Jan Caldwell – my mom by forcing dad to cut the dock-lines when I was 9-years-old to go cruising the South Pacific for six years which ruined all of us and opened our eyes and directed the course for the rest of my life – thank you!

2.  Bruno Peyron – What a life…meeting and sailing with his Jules Verne winning “Commodore Explorer” from Hawaii to Tahiti in 1997.

3.  Jacques Vincent – Co-skippering my mini in races and sailing the 2005 TransPac with this 8 X maxi-multihull circumnavigator who’s going for the TransPac absolute record next year of under 4-days aboard the French foiling “Hydropteur” which can do up to 50-knots on open ocean!

4.  Linda Pasquariello – I would not have found my S&S 34 (she did), among several other major milestones and miles shared together to say the least!

5.  Eddie Dakota – whom is a fellow American Indian and who stood bye in time of need to insure a gear shift was executed smoothly right when I most needed it!

6.  Donald Kang – (Tony) the first Korean solo circumnavigator who I had the pleasure to race around the world from bar to bar & port to port while I was 19-years-old!

7.  Jon Sanders – my mentor.  “You inspire me to think if I’m fortunate enough to live to age-72 I might still be sailing too and even more lucky to have completed my 8th round the world no less!  It means that now that I’m age-36, it s just year one and all I’ve done before ‘was simply the prologue’!  And its due to your protege David Dicks who broke my record as the youngest solo circumnavigator introducing us!  Proof that what is your greatest defeat is also your ‘next’ and liberatiing victory if viewed from the right angle.  It’s no accident that the quote goes – “To make an omellete you need to break a few eggs!”

8.  Donation Carme – my French fellow mini sailor and Figarro preparateaur for Corentin Douguet among others, whom is like a team-mate and whom I look forward to sharing many adventures involving ‘palm-trees’, ‘girls’ and races in France and the Pacific in the years to come!

9.  Jeff – the Australian skipper of a super-yacht who led me to my mini transat sponsorship of #433!  You’re one of the funniest people I know and I’m forever in debt of thinking of those around you!

10.  Vincent Kerbouriou – who finished one place in front of us on the last UK Mini Fastnet steering in black aboard a Nacira 650 (below) and is a scientist with whom I chatted with on the ferry-ride back to France after the race.  As we were about to part ways I said that Dournanez (where he lives) was my favorite place in France and we should catch up over a beer sometime when I’m back there and handed him my business card.  A week or two later he contacted me after looking up my website and CV and said – “You have a few miles and US Captain’s license – would you be interested to drive a boat on the north slope of Alaska…?!”  

PS:  And as I wrote in the previous blog entry – perhaps another one on the list, I’m sure Anna will lead us to new wonderful places and career choices – I look forward to seeing what she finds over the horizon!

(Below) Vincent Kerbouriou in black – behind us for once 😉


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