The Minimalist Sailor

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The wind.

WestWindI find it hard to believe that many people don’t hear, see, or feel their own calling.

If I had a super-power it would be my ability to feel the little magnet in my heart repelling or attracting me, towards or away from, the opportunities in my life. Actually, scratch that. I believe most people feel their hearts magnet, however they choose to ignore it, numb it, and walk the predetermined path laid out for us by government, obligation, and society. I’ve never been a “rational” man, nor do I aspire to be one. The wild side of life is just so much more fun!

That being said I’ve been questioning my magnet, or internal compass if you will. My brain tells me one thing, and my heart tells me another. I believe we should ALWAYS follow our heart’s direction save the consequences!

you-must-listen-to-your-heart-and-follow-it-or-it-will-find-a-million-ways-to-remind-you-that-there-is-something-missingShould I sail South towards home and my wife, or should I be more prudent and wait to see what happens with tropical storm Ana? My heart tells me to wait when the weather service tells me its fine to proceed. I’ve forgotten how stupid that computer voice that lives in my VHF can be. I don’t have the VHF weather service in the areas I choose to sail (out of the country), and I’m grateful for it.

The other day, against my better judgment, I left Atlantic Highlands New Jersey and sailed a few hours south on a beautiful sunny day. I had the sails up on Eleanor for the first time, very exciting! The low pressure system that was approaching the Carolinas hadn’t been given a name, and the GRIB files (weather information) looked good for the Delaware, and Chesapeake bays. Sailing friends were telling me to “Go, Go, Go”, but something just didn’t feel right. It was too calm, too comfortable for the North Atlantic.The little hairs on the back of my neck stood up.

PWEK89My internal compass told me to turn around despite my overwhelming desire to sail south towards Panama and my wife. So here we wait, back in Atlantic Highlands New Jersey reading, napping, snacking, and relaxing. Waiting for mother to carve my path forward. Waiting for the wind and sea to grant me passage south.

What will this time bring, what opportunities will present themselves to me? This is the magic of voyaging and the seed of adventure. This is where I am a wealthy man, I have time, and I have the ability to listen to my heart and the subtitle vibrations that resonate throughout my life.

No more should I question my internal compass. The wind is what it is. It is my consult, my friend, and my teacher. I must listen to her without question, and I must respect her decisions. She has never let me down and has always brought me where I needed to go despite my whims or desires.

saileleanorEleanor, Todd, and myself will most likely be sitting here throughout most of next week. If the weather gets bad I may take a mooring from the Atlantic Highlands Yacht Club. I was up at their clubhouse last night. A really nice group of sailors!

I must say that despite the delay in my journey south I needed a little time to slow down and screw my head back on. I have been pushing myself physically, emotionally, and mentally getting this trip started and a little break is welcome. I’ve been taking a few naps a day and getting back to the calm and spiritual place I like to live within.

email_thumb.jpgIf you need to contact me, please do so through email and not any social media, my email address is listed below.


Sail far and live slowly.

– alex dorsey

Published in Alex Dorsey
Updated: May 9, 2015 — 08:48


  1. Prudent seamanship!

    1. Thanks Gary, bummed about my progress but happy im not closer to Ana :)

  2. Alex, I’ve been watching, and under the circumstances I think you made the right call. Anyway, you made your decision. No sense in second guessing it now. Looking forward to seeing you a little more south. Wade

    1. Wade, looking forward to meeting you brother :)

  3. You are way better being safe, and delayed than having the Coast Guard out looking for you.

  4. My instructor at Pacific Maritime Academy(Hawaii) said the most important lesson was to always error on the side of caution= prudent seamanship. Wise words.

  5. I always make the prudent call, it was just hard this time because I feel like I lost Panama this season :( my schedule was far too tight.

  6. You´re a wise man Alie…Enjoy!

  7. Here’s a great conglomerate site for watching tropical storms. I’ve been following it for years. Lots of good info from different sources:

  8. The forecast looks interesting for the next few days to get to Norfolk…. It may be brisk and will want to hug the coast. The Southern Swell won’t be swell. Also,you may want to time it that you have an ebb tide for crossing the mouth of Delaware Bay. With a NW blowing stink, it might get bumpy.

    Whatever you do… Fair Winds!!!!

  9. According to the gribs the wind should shift around midnight Wednesday morning. I’m planning on leaving at first light, and sailing about 1/2 mile off the coast south. By the time I get to the deliware it looks like the wind is spinning around to the south, and if it does, will do the C&D canal.

    I’m going to make way as fast as possible, but promised myself not to get stressed about it :) I am quite motivated to get back to my wife and Nacho.

  10. A buddy sailed by and gave me a 75lb CQR for my trip. I put it down the other day in-line with my Bruce in case Ana graduated to a hurricane and came for a visit but this is turning out to be a non-event in NY. I’m not a fan of CQR’s but is really nice to have another anchor aboard. I’m giving a 25lb CQR to an old sailor here in the anchorage, he seems to really need it.

  11. Happy Thursday Morning…. I’m hoping this morning finds you on a nice dead run off the Maryland/Virginia Coast that puts you in Norfolk this early evening.

    Good Luck!!!!

    1. Unfortunately the wind died before I got there, had a hell of a good ride to Cape May though, saw over 9knots :)

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