If you ever run into me on the street, chances are I'll have my "lucky charms". These objects have come to me during rough or challenging times, and somehow became part of my daily routine, carried on my person at all times. Whether or not these objects actually contain any luck or power beyond their physical being is for you to debate - as a sailor myself, I swear by them.
Much like the "what-ifs" about the house, we have often second guessed our dreams of living aboard a boat in the Caribbean. One particular day as I was contemplating the sanity of leaving a great paying job to chase sirens on the sea - I cracked a fortune cookie to read "Never fear! The end of something marks the start of something new." Case closed, it was a keeper - the dream and the fortune.
The Beach Bar in Cruz Bay St. John. In the fall we were preparing for our annual sailing charter in the Virgin Islands. I was pushing my gym workout to new levels, dealing with extreme stress at work, and attempting to complete my ASA 104 Navigation & Piloting certification before we left. I was stressed out, overworked, and depressed. My wife Sharon, in an effort to pull me from my depression, ordered my favorite coffee (Spiced Butter Rum from St. John Spice), and these free drink chips from The Beach Bar. When she gave me the package, I immediately put the chips in my pocket for some unknown reason and I would continue to carry them until our trip. I passed my ASA 104 exam with those chips in my pocket - my left pocket. When we finally reached St. John for our trip, I cashed the chips in for my "free" drinks. Almost immediately I called the bartender back over, and informed him that I wanted to buy my 2 chips back. Not 2 chips - but my two chips. With a look of confusion, the bartender complied with my request, giving me that look that said "what is wrong with you?". I gladly took my chips back, quickly explaining myself with - "Don't ask. It's a long story."
Superstitious or not, sailor or not, I guess we all have to believe in something. One of the challenges Sharon and I face is believing in ourselves, believing we can take a leap of faith and make our sailing dreams happen. Chasing something new means leaving the safety of the harbor and venturing out into the unknown with faith that it will all work out in the end. Overcoming that fear of the unknown, and believing in success takes more than a few "lucky charms" - but then again they don't hurt either.
And if all else fails - just take Journey's advice...