In late September, 2005 standing with a friend at the Ballard Locks, I saw a young couple on a sailboat, barefoot on the teak deck. I was fifteen feet above them on the concrete wall of the locks, looking down. The image is still clear in my mind.

This was the first moment I had ever thought about owning and living aboard a sailboat. It was a revelatory experience. It was my obvious path and I have yet to second guess it. I read books about sailing for seven months, took a week long cruise-and-learn “class” in the San Juan Islands with my biggest sailing supporter, my father, and a friend, all of us getting our bareboat charter certificates, then read more books and researched boats for six more months, looked seriously at a dozen or more boats, and then, on January 20th, 2006, I met the Bruja Dulce. It was love at first sight. I made an offer, secured magical financing, and the deal was done.

For the first three years I sailed the Bruja Dulce, staying within paid-vacation distance from Seattle, I asked myself many times, “what’s the point?”. Why live on a boat? Why sail? The low hanging fruits ripened as fast as I could pluck them: freedom, fun, adventure, a 139.5 million square-mile backyard. But these fruits didn’t cut the mustard.

At the end of the summer 2009, unemployed, anchored off of Vashon Island, reconnecting to my friends there, seeking simplicity and frugality, pondering my long-planned passage south to California the following year, I became depressed. I needed meaning. I asked myself daily, hourly, “what’s the point?”. I began to enact change in my life, finding raw honesty within myself. I began to open myself up to possibility and I stopped planning altogether. As soon as I did this: contact- connections began to form, and new meaning began to saturate and animate even my wildest and most poignant dreams.

There are as many ways to describe this kind of dialogue with the unconscious mind and the universe at large as there are human languages, cultures, and religions. What it’s called and how exactly to do it is not important, just that it gets done.

Point of sail is the unfolding of a story. I will tell it as I live it and I will live it, in some ways, just to tell it.



  1. Doris wanted to say something so she can use my email address…..
    Tim – you are a WRITER!! I never realized this before….and you are a philosopher! I love your writing! Your metaphors and your nature descriptions. This plus your thoughts makes you a memoir writer! It’s definitely your style…and you have something to say. Keep it up! Much love…Doris

    • “Imok, you’re ok.”
      Doris, you’re way more than ok, you’re an inspiration! Thanks for all the talks and stories over the years and especially over Christmas 2009.
      You’re a great story teller. I want to have many more talks with you and hear many more stories, OK? Ok.

  2. I said this in another comment but I will say it again. I am totally blown away with your writing. I am so impressed and so proud of you. I love “Point of Sail”! How perfect is that! I can hardly wait for your next post. I have been here at the computer nearly two hours tonight reading and watching your video and want more. You are an inspiration!
    I love you, Grandma

  3. What they are saying is true. You write beautifully Tim. Living the story and writing the story brings us all together into the story. Thank you!

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