The Minimalist Sailor

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I found my father!

spiritual_people_likelier_to_be_mentally_ill_1357295305_540x540 Last September 14th Carla said something strange to me. “I don’t know what it is baby, but something big is going to happen in the states, something related to your family, someone is calling”.

Carla and I live in total peace away from the hustle and bustle of western culture and we are very sensitive to the world around us.

We wake up when we wish, sleep when we wish, eat when we wish, and don’t have one bill or any material possessions that complicate our lives in any way. I spend much time in silence listening to the world around me.

I like to think I feel my way through life rather than charging through it like a bull in a china shop chasing a buck. My church is the reef below the surface of the ocean, and the deeper I can free-dive, the closer I feel to nature (God).

The subtle nuances that light my path are the ones I’m always searching for. Slight variations in the wind, a delicate smell on the breeze, an offer of friendship, an opportunity down a possibly thorny path? DCIM\108GOPRO

In no way are either Carla or I driven by money. We don’t follow it, horde it, or cherish it. What we need just sort of comes to us in various forms of work, barter, donations, or gifts.

Last September 9th I had the most amazing free-dive of my life. I was so touched by the beauty of a cave thirty feet or so below the surface, I found myself crying in my mask, something had touched me.

The next day is when Carla told me something big was coming. A week later I was on a journey to New York that not only brought us a new boat, but reconnected me with my family in New Jersey, Maryland, Atlanta, and Florida.

walking-the-pathThis journey has never been about Eleanor. Eleanor was the carrot that lured me back to the United States which is a place where I don’t enjoy spending much time. It’s not the people or geography I don’t like, it’s the fact in no way do I want to support our military. With every cup of coffee I buy nearly half of the tax goes to war. Bullets are cheap and I don’t want to be responsible for one. Call me an unrealistic-idealist, but that is the way I feel. That being said, here I am, against my better judgment.

My mother died when I was 20 and my family quickly disbursed. She was Halynathe glue that held us together. I lost connection to my uncle (her brother) as he just reminded me of her death along with everyone else. Whenever I saw family it was the same, “I’m so sorry for your loss, your mom died too young (42), she was so beautiful, she was so talented, we loved her” this went on for years and I grew further apart from everyone as it was just so hard to face them or hear it.

My father, on the other hand, left when I was 4 years old. When I was young I saw him on television or in the movie theater more than in real life. He was an alcoholic (now sober for 13 years, so proud of him) and childhood was difficult. I was also a difficult child and had anger in my heart. I think this is often the case when a small boy doesn’t have a positive male role model in his day-to-day life.

4793-14860 I saw him during the summer some years, and went to live with him when I was about 14. I was in a gang in New York, doing drugs, and wandering down a very thorny path. My mother was a struggling actress, singer, and teacher and didn’t know what to do when I ran away from school in Atlanta, and found my way back to New York City.

My father was doing well as an actor and she ended up suing him to get money to put me in private boarding schools and get me out of the city once again. This put a big wall in between my father and I. But thank God she did it, if she didn’t, I’d be a completely different man today. I proceeded to get kicked out of two boarding schools for fighting and finally made it stick with a school up in New Hampshire where I ended up graduating.

10698546_10205397231195455_8774536646881879144_n When my mother died, I left the city to finish university in Santa Barbara, CA (film school), and pursued a career in Hollywood. I ended up opening a production company after many years of work and directed my father in a picture.

Showcase Entertainment was my distributor, and the owner, David Jackson, screwed my company (me) for at least $875,000.00 (Last accounting). It was the end of my carrier as I didn’t like the community in Hollywood, and was tired of the quality of people in my life. After a suicide attempt I left Hollywood for my own well being, and for good.

My father thought I stole all the money and escaped to Canada. We both bashed heads, and we didn’t speak to each other again for many years. This is one of the reasons I don’t like money, it can have a very bad affect on people, myself included.

Hollywood-Sign-Wallpaper-364x204I had invested everything in the picture and ended up leaving Los Angeles penniless. You guys know my story after that.

I moved to Canada to heal for a year, bought Namaste, and continued my life as a minimalist sailor.

Cancer took my mother, and money took my father from me.

My father changed his phone number, address, and never contacted me again. He was mad at me for something I didn’t do.

I recently ran a report on him and found his address. He doesn’t use the internet or email so he was very difficult to track down, not even a phone number. I did however get an address and Carla and I jumped in a car and took a stressful two-hour drive to knock on his door.

IMG_5531He answered the door and was very angry to see my face. “What the hell do you want?” he growled at me. “I just want to say goodbye” I humbly answered”. “Where are you going”?, “nowhere…, you are, I’d like five minutes of your time”, After an uncomfortably long pause he replied “Come in”!

It only took a minute to explain the past, and I had my father back. Carla said it was one of the most beautiful moments she has ever witnessed.

We spent a few days together and he is coming to visit me in Panama soon.

Many years ago he co-starred in an episode of “Highway to Heaven”. He was very close to Michael Landon and Victor French. The episode was called “man to man” and dealt with the subject of a dying father reconnecting with his son.

For whatever reason we ended up talking about it and watched it after Carla found it on Youtube:

The last few days have been very emotional for us. I feel my journey in the United States has come to an end and it’s time to go home. I am emotionally exhausted!

I will return in the late winter to retrieve Eleanor and bring her home. I’m hoping my father will join me for a while on the ICW and throughout the rest of his life, he is now 83.

Peace-peace-and-love-revolution-club-25246170-1500-1050 Life is a funny, fragile, and very delicate thing. A week ago I wouldn’t have shed a tear if I found out my father was dead, today I desperately fear losing him.

I suppose the moral of the story is: don’t let stupid shit interfere with the ones you love in your life. It only takes one person to drop their ego and extend a hand of love to make magic happen. There is no amount of money that is worth one single drop of love, family, or peace.

It’s often hard for me to express my feelings aloud and turn to writing when I need to release. I have changed so much in the last 14 weeks. Something far bigger than me has been guiding my path. I don’t like the word God as people destroy the concept with organized religion, war, guilt, and murder. But something appeared to Carla and I in the form of a sea turtle which some of you may remember from a previous blog I wrote last September 20th entitled “God, Family, and Love”

I’m excited to go home now, continue my apnea training/free diving, and get back to our humble life at sea.

Peace, Love, and Family.

Sail far and live slowly.

– alex

Published in Alex Dorsey
Updated: December 28, 2014 — 12:14


  1. I’m so happy for you man. I can’t say I’ve ever been there, but I can imagine what an amazing feeling of relief and peace it must bring.

    1. Its been a ride for sure, so happy to see you getting into a WestSail 32 :)

  2. Words can’t express how thrilled I am for you. I am so very happy for you, Alex!!

    1. It has been quite a ride for sure. I’m really looking forward to getting home and chilling for a while. hopefully this weekend. The states s a bit too loud for me and people spin around too fast.

  3. You’ll get out of the cab, take a deep breath, and smell that Panamanian air!! I am insanely jealous! I am however looking at the webcams at the Mira Flores locks. There’s a huge car carrier in there now. Plus I can scroll to the bottom of the page, and see all the AIS ships in the canal. Spent a few hours yesterday all over the Caribbean clicking on AIS boats. Some cargo, some sail.

    Damn I’m bored!!! :)

  4. I’m going a little crazy to go home but i’m torn leaving Carla behind for a month. I need a break and want to get back to my free diving. So much has changed i need to contemplate my navel for a spell.

    I cant wait to wake up at home, do my yoga, row out to the reef and shoot a fish, clean it on the beach and give the head to my monkey buddy who will take the prize up his coconut tree and eat it. then I’ll row back to the boat, write a bit, take a siesta, throw the fish on the grill and contemplate the sunset and stars from my hammock until about 10pm.

    Next day do it all over again, and again, and again, and again.

    it never gets old!!!

  5. You are honestly livin the dream! I hope to follow in your foot steps one day! I can imaging your stress level is at or near 0 !!!

  6. Thanks for sharing bro, I can relate. Resentments have been a major force on my tiller, down the path we go. May the new year bring your dreams.

  7. Capt. Ron, resentment is easly forgotten if we just decide to do so. It took me a long time to learn how to do something so simple, very rewarding :)

    I’m going to see my dad again on Friday and fly home on Saturday. So many new paths in my life blooming everywhere I look, priceless!!!

  8. Very Cool !!!

    I’d let you borrow the Lear Jet, but they’re polishing the Flux Capacitors that weekend!! :)

  9. Do i still have to go through TSA if I take the Lear jet?

  10. Wow …lost for words..I cried..and Iam so happy for you.. I was like your Father,you would need to read my Test

  11. Sam,

    Thanks brother, lots of crying going on. I’m returning home this morning 100% emotionally exhausted. He was so mad at me for something I didn’t do. When he told me he was “proud ” of me for all I had accomplished sailing it meant the world to me. Loosing my dad was a really dark spot on my heart that is now filled with light :)

    Peace brother

  12. Your core statement, “don’t let stupid shit interfere with the ones you love in your life. It only takes one person to drop their ego and extend a hand of love to make magic happen. There is no amount of money that is worth one single drop of love, family, or peace.” is sooooooooooo true. My mother died 3 months ago. It would have been easy for my brother, sister and I to argue over what she left behind. But our love for each other is stronger than that. Peaceful resolutions.

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