One of the free seminars at this year’s US Sailboat Show in Annapolis was given by Bob Bitchin, founder/publisher of Latitudes & Attitudes Magazine. What did this world cruiser have to say that could be relevant to cruising the Chesapeake Bay? It’s all about your Attitude.
As Bob entered the very tiny and sweltering conference room of the Marriott Hotel, perspiration immediately formed on his brow. One might have expected the first words to come out of his mouth to be, “Man it’s steaming in here. Crank up the AC!” But true to form Bob yelled “Is this the Lattitudes & Attitudes Party?” The tone was set for his presentation: Attitude makes all the difference between an ordeal and an adventure.
Bob and his wife Jody cruised the world on their 64’ Formosa ketch, Lost Soul, logging in more than 75,000 miles. There’s a story that goes with most of their crossings, dropping of the hook or even landings. With Jody standing behind him Bob told one such story about entering an atoll with large rolling seas behind them, a strong wind on their nose and jagged coral reefs on either side of the channel. Bob conveyed that at the time of this entrance he was hooting and hollering with the biggest grin on his face that he could muster at the time. To him it was already an adventure.
Meanwhile, Jody had her panic face on saying, “We’re going to die.” To her it was an ordeal. But as Bob was telling this story to a crowded room Jody was standing behind him laughing away almost forgetting about the panic of that day. Time healed that ordeal and turned it into an adventure. It has now become a funny story for them to share.
You don’t have to be a world cruiser to have the same experience. This weekend is the infamous Baltimore Harbor Leukemia Cup notorious for high winds, torrential downpours and cold temperatures that goes all the way to the bones. How do we know this? Because we hear the stories being told every year around this time. An ordeal of a mast breaking, a shoot shredding or a crew member going overboard have all become great post-race stories. Most of these racers will be back on the course this weekend looking forward to their next adventure. For others though, time has not yet turned that ordeal into an adventure.
After the seminar I saw Bob and Jody walking about the show. I stopped him to ask a question that was really nagging at me. “Did you ever have an ordeal?” Without even hesitating to think he replied, “No!” As we talked it became clear that it wasn’t about ego or even a death wish. Bob truly enjoyed life and every day is just another adventure.
What a great attitude to have on life! Thanks Bob for sharing.