YOUR DESTINATION IS
On November 18, 1921, Harry Pidgeon sailed out of Los Angeles
harbor bound for the Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia in a 34
foot yawl named Islander. He had just spent eighteen months and
one-thousand dollars building Islander on the beach with his own
hands, and he was now ready to sail to the south seas and around
the world. Islander carried 630 square feet of canvas and
had no engine.
Harry made a single-handed circumnavigation on Islander, and then
he wrote a book about his adventures. He sums his voyage up
with the following modest understatement. "I avoided
adventure as much as possible. Just the same, any landsman
who builds his own vessel and sails alone around the world will
certainly meet with some adventures, so I shall offer no apology
for my voyage. Those days were the freest and happiest of my
In 1932, Pidgeon set off an a second five year circumnavigation on
board Islander. After completing the second
circumnavigation, he eventually met a woman, got married, and in 1947 at the age of 73, he
set off an a third circumnavigation with his new wife.
Unfortunately, he lost his boat in the New Hebrides to a typhoon.
Undaunted, he built a new yawl, but died at the age of eighty-one
before he could set sail for new adventures.
If Harry Pidgeon was alive today, I wonder what he would do?
I suspect he would do exactly what he did before. He would
construct a strong and seaworthy small yacht and then set
sail. I'm pretty sure he wouldn't climb on board a treadmill
and spend years saving money so he could purchase an expensive
yacht. He would simply build an uncomplicated yacht from the
For Harry Pidgeon, a yacht wasn't a fashion statement.
Instead, it was a dream machine that took him around the
world. It wasn't about the yacht; it was about freedom,
happiness, and adventure.
When you set sail on the ocean of your dreams, like Harry Pidgeon,
you may try to avoid adventure as much as possible.
Nevertheless, adventure is a by-product of living your dreams, and
when you set sail, you can be sure that adventure isn't far
While cruising Langkawi,
Malaysia, we sailed by a square-rigger at a dock and took pictures
of the Malaysian flag flying in the rigging.
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