The Minimalist Sailor

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No more fucks to give

When life is lived to the fullest, it should be a constant lesson. Every day should be an adventure and an opportunity to become better and more whole, so that we can also improve life on this planet for all beings who live on it.

The journey is hopefully about becoming more balanced and less self-centered. For some, that means becoming more giving -less greedy and selfish so that you don’t end up becoming abusive. For others, it’s to become less giving -stronger and less sensitive so that you don’t become a victim.

I’ve always belonged to the second category,6-portrait_jorgenrasmussen_wannaplay-australiansealion-best-ocean-animal-photos-of-2013-6740x440 I’m a non-confrontational, deeply sensitive person. Moody and opinionated yes, but never greedy. I always focused on other people’s needs rather than mine and, more often than not, that got me weak and depressed. My journey has often been about learning how to defend myself and set boundaries to prevent the world from collapsing on my head.

And still today, at 40, it makes me angry that some people are insecure and greedy and need to accumulate money, property and power, taking it from others just to sit on it instead of just enjoying life and using their time in more fulfilling, intelligent and interesting ways. I really cannot live in this system we’ve created because I just don’t like human nature sometimes. The Earth would be such an amazing place if we just learned to share our toys, wouldn’t HawaiianMonkSeal_JamesWatt_SeaPicsCropped_0_0it? You may say I am dreamer… but as you know, I’m not the first or the only one. And I will not accept defeat. I will keep using any media I can get my hands on to try and raise awareness.

I’ve been quiet here for a while, so has Alex, but so much happened lately. We often preach about how money or possessions bring us more head and heartache than happiness. We speak from a personal point of view of course, everything is always subjective, but you would be surprised how many people do not believe us. And since we have not been actively involved in the urban way of life for so long, living on the hook and off-grid, sometimes it was hard to know whether we really knew what we were talking about anymore. Until recently.b493efcdb7e22dd739a2344d52e166c4

Since the moment we met Alex’s dad in the States andwe started the process of bringing him to Panama we had the most eye-opening, incredible series of events: from the point of view of an American old man with a good regular income and some savings in the bank we could see the darkest, most ridiculous forms of greed, deception and
stupidity. It’s amazing what happens when old people do not have younger relatives to defend them. But it was even more amazing to see what happened to Alex and I when we came back to Panama to look for property for him. We saw the big contrast: the difference between how people had been treating us for years knowing we did not have money, and how they treated us now that we were driving the car Joe gave us and were looking to buy a house.

Shadier people started approaching us and everything started getting so complicated, dealing with debit cards, and international wire transfers and credit card fraud, medical insurance, lawyers, real estate agents, land surveyors, bills, car part dealers and Workshop1mechanics. We started feeling sad, angry, ill. Being the Dorseys official translator in Panama I had to learn once again how to be a warrior and defend my family from the human vultures money always attracts. All we wanted was to come back to the boat. To our $250 bucks a month for groceries. Row. Fish. Read. Swim.

And after a few weeks I saw a new me appear, like that photo of Jack Nicholson which circulated around Facebook a while ago, I found myself having no more fucks to give, no more patience for negative or insensitive people. I stopped feeling sorry and started getting angry. I felt the need to do something about it. It’s not a coincidence that since Joe appeared in our lives “The Minimalist Sailor” is finally happening. 

This movie is our grain of sand, our revolution. We’re so excited. Stay tuned :)

Published in Carla Dorsey
Updated: October 2, 2015 — 13:27


  1. Carla, I feel your pain. Seems like every where and every time I turn around someone wants something from me. There are still awesome people out there, but they are fewer and much farther between.

    Still planing of casting off one day, and living like you and Alex. I’ve found a few cheap boats, but I’m still dedicated to paying off my debt first.

    Keep your chin up…not everyone is a jackass!

  2. I know I know. Most beautiful people I know have never been on a boat. It’s just that the contrast has never been so overwhelmingly clear, after a couple weeks all I wanted was to be back on the hook, away from all of it.

    We make some money when we make charters but most of all it’s the most hands-on direct way we have to show people what we are talking about, why we keep going on and on about it. We write about it and it often feels like we’re just complaining when what we want is to share this that we have. There is nothing like living in the water 100 or 200 yards away from land. It’s such a different world.

    During the supermoon eclipse a couple of nights back, we were on the foredeck with Alex looking up at it and suddenly we looked at the land and realized that there was no power around, all three towns visible from the boat were completely dark. I just sat there so happy to be an outsider, to not even know what day of the week it was. Things are so much simpler here.

    So happy you’re planning to give this a try. Don’t give up the dream, move towards it. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I purchased a video this young man made when he bought a boat in England, and sailed it home to Austrailia. One segment of it was where he was picking the brain of another guy, who was German, and just did a complete circumnavigation. The kid from Germany said it took him almost a year to get re-adjusted with the hustle and bustle of society. At first it just made him miserable. All he wanted was to be back out on his boat, back out in the ocean. Here in South Florida it is ALL about the money. Developers are buying up property in “The Hood” and putting up half million dollar townhouses! It’s hard to keep up, and definitely getting unaffordable to continue living here.

    Those that “Get it” know you aren’t complaining. Most of your followers would join you in a second. Personally. I’m on Yachtworld, Sailboatlistings, Craigslist, and Boattrader several times a week. Not even close to buying right now, but I love to dream!

    Please give my best to Alex, and his Dad. Alex should be heading this way to start working on the Westsail. If he’s close enough to Fort Lauderdale, I’ll happily volunteer to help on weekends.

  4. One more thing. Next time you’re on YouTube check out “Sailing Uma”

    Watch their very first video titled Don’t buy a couch. After the first 2:30 I immediately thought of you and Alex.

  5. Cool I’ll check it out!

    Thanks so much for your support, it really means so much to us. We learnt how to share our thoughts and concerns publicly but at the end of the day we’re just two introverts in a 40 foot sailboat you know? We don’t have much other contact with society.

    My brother lives in Florida too so I visit a couple times a year, I sort of know what you mean. Please don’t give up and also don’t wait till all the stars align. Life on the boat will also have its good and bad periods like everything else, but so many things get easier and beautiful right away. Even if you’re just on a mooring somewhere in Miami still going to work. There’s nothing like the dinghy ride back to the moonlit deck.

    Take care and I’ll tell Alex!

  6. Thank you Carla and Alex for all you do.In the last 10 years or so I have seen people turn really cold and harsh. I live in San Francisco and have for 30 years. This used to be an interesting place with alot of characters.It was laid back.It was fun to be here.Now its been turned into a sterile,mean,uptight,kind of frightening place.The techies and deveopment carpet baggers decended on this place like plague of locusts aided by greedy officials.It is now the most expensive rent in the US, about $3500 per month for a crappy little one bed room apartment.People dont really talk.I ride the express bus downtown to catch a train to go to work( on boats ;-)). the bus is packed and…..silent.Everyone is staring at a smart phone and has an ear phone.It dawned on me one day that it was very strange that NO ONE is talking. That is what is scary.We are losing our humanity. I hope it just in SF because this is the center of the tech douche bubble, and not the rest of the US and Europe. I have never felt so alone as on a packed bus rolling down the road in silence.
    So complain away I hear ya!.Thank you

  7. Wow, yes I always thought that it was somewhat an oasis in the US, with people more artsy, healthy and less puritan. I’m so sorry it too has become so de-humanized. There’s some things that are just evolution, right, and there’s not much we can do about it. Young people always live in a world that is very different from their parents’. We’ve seen it happen ourselves as teenagers and now we see it from the other side. But there are things that we must try and preserve, if we can’t change society in the big urban centers then perhaps we should move to a place where things are still that way. I found that the rural areas take much longer to fall into trends, people are still in contact with nature and retain their social interest, a sense of community. That’s what I did at first, move to a mountain town. And then I met Alex and we are always anchored away from cities. Life is slower and warmer. Nothing is perfect but at least one should try and live as happily as possible. For me the answer ultimately was the water. It’s so lovely. I’m so happy to hear you work on boats! An oasis away from the former oasis ha :) thank you for sharing!

  8. Carla…

    Thank you for that nice WhatsApp message last week. You are kind and loving and Alex is a blessed man to have you in his life. Heck, who knows where he would be with out you. In any case, I just wanted to say thanks.

    Sure life get hectic here in Florida, but it gives me opportunity to share and connect with people. I too have been a giver all of my life. Sensitive and with that walked on a lot. In fact I have come to the conclusion that I’m an enabler and it is at this point that I am becoming a recovering enabler. It’s hard and yet freeing at the same time.

    I’ve had a situation that has made this happen and I’m grateful for it. Well I’m not going to get into that here…

    You have a beautiful way of looking at things and it is the awareness that makes it special. To be able to look at a star or ripples of light on the water and hear a splash or the breath of a dolphin and be able to smile, understand, connect and know that we are all one that sets you apart from the rest.

    You and Alex are what sailing is all about. At least, my type of sailing. We are the journey. We are the destination.

    I continue to lurk and sail and appreciate the comments and blogs of other sailors that see things the same and see things differently, because I know, we all are connected and sailors everywhere, no matter how disciplined, or how laid back all have those moments where they say, “Isn’t this great!”

    Sail on sister. Give Alex our best and enjoy every precious moment.

    Capt. Paul
    s/v Panacea

  9. Thanks again Captain Paul. Like I said, we never get to physically share a cup of tea with you and your loved ones, but we feel you very close to our hearts and feel that if there was ever a team, this is it, my friend. The lovely anarchic community of sensitive freedom seeking sailors. We are scattered all around the world but our sense of togetherness is so palpable, and so beautiful. All our love goes to you and your family :)

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