A Sailor Shares Useful Insights for Preppers

A couple of months ago my friend Gerald forwarded a YouTube video to me featuring Teresa Carey on her sailboat, Daphne. She had no flush toilet or shower. She had an icebox for a refrigerator, and you wouldn’t believe all the places she packed in storage food. She also had few electronic devices.

Teresa didn’t view what she was doing as a sacrifice. Instead, she saw it as an opportunity to grow and live a bigger life, unencumbered by possessions.

When I saw the video, a couple of questions came to mind. First, are there preppers who could live a minimalist and prepared life sailing? Second, for those of us who can’t take to the water to live, what instructive parallels might there be between prepping and sailing?

Intrigued by the video, I decided to contact Teresa to invite her to be my guest on DestinySurvival Radio. So we recorded an interview which aired yesterday.

 

About Teresa Carey

Teresa is a US Coast Guard licensed captain, writer, and educator. I’ll spare you her full educational credentials, but she has pursued studies in both the environment and creative fields.

She’s an outdoor and sailing enthusiast and a multi-faceted educator who has taught for programs such as Outward Bound that focus on personal development, leadership, and stewardship of the environment. She has also worked aboard a variety of sailboats from dinghies to schooners since the age of 18 as an educator, delivery crew, and charter-boat captain.

For two years she sailed solo and lived aboard a 27 foot Nor’sea named Daphne with her cat Dory for company. The video I mentioned above was made during that time.

Teresa began writing regularly for her blog, Sailing Simplicity and the Pursuit of Happiness. That led to a number of speaking engagements, including TEDx. You can view her TEDx talk here.

Teresa is a freelance writer with publications in a number of magazines. She’s also the co-founder of Happy As A Clam Studios, a production company. she’s working on a forthcoming sailing film project. She lives aboard a Bristol Channel Cutter 28 with her husband. You can view a more complete bio here.

Teresa’s a bright, passionate, multi-talented young woman, and it’s evident that she loves sailing and teaching. It was my pleasure to have her as a guest on DestinySurvival Radio.

 

About Sailing and Prepping

To be honest, I felt at a disadvantage conversing with Teresa because I’m from a landlocked state and have done little boating. Sailing on the ocean, as she does, is out of my realm of experience. It’s all the more reason I’m grateful Teresa was willing to do the interview. Now we can each glean something from it.

Fear–Since fear comes up so often in discussions about prepping, I was interested in Teresa’s point of view. She says fear is a thing to be managed. It serves a useful purpose and can be life saving, such as when storms are nearby.

Fear provides warning and guidance. Experiencing a fearful situation helps us prepare for the next time such a situation comes up. And fearful situations arise even when we’ve made certain preparations. The conclusion I draw is that we must not shun fear, but consider it as essential for adequate preparedness.

Simplicity and values–Living simply doesn’t necessarily mean living easier. If you’re homesteading, you already know that. It’s a chosen way of life that’s lived intentionally because you hold certain values regarding what you find enriching and enjoyable.

Solitude–Teresa and her husband value solitude. When sailing for days, one can contemplate important things about life and beauty. Again, if you’re a homesteader or go camping regularly, you likely have an appreciation for solitude.

Discrimination?–While men and women are different physically and emotionally, Teresa says a woman can sail a boat just as well as a man. Yet she says integrating into the sailing community as a woman has its difficulties. There are still a lot of negative stereotypes about women.

She believes in doing the best she can do. She’s aware of her physical vulnerabilities, but when it comes to lifting heavy objects or other strenuous physical tasks, there are alternative ways of doing them. She says she finds those ways because she has to.

That’s a great attitude for us to have as preppers. We can overcome challenges through creativity and resourcefulness. As a friend has said to me, necessity makes one do what reason will not.

A paradox–You can sail by yourself, but you need a good support community to back you up. Isn’t that how it is when we’re prepping? We take a different life path than most, but we need the support of like-minded companions along the way.

Dropping out?–If you’re thinking sailing is a good way to drop out of the system, Teresa says you still have to rely on others to help meet your needs. She hasn’t seen a hermit at sea.

Skills–There are many skills to learn when sailing, and Teresa says it’s a lifetime of learning. Just when she thinks she’s arrived as a sailor, there’s something else to learn. She’s always a student now. Also, skills may need refreshing when you haven’t done something for a while.

Isn’t that how it is with prepping, too? We need a humble, teachable attitude. It’s a chance to learn, discover new opportunities, and–as Teresa observes–cultivate friendships with people you meet.

Alertness–When sailing, Teresa can’t let her guard down. For example, water spouts can appear on an otherwise calm day.

Again, isn’t that how it is for us as preppers? We can’t stay on the thin edge all the time, but we must be aware of the world around us and any potential threats to our survival.

 

There’s More…

We talked about other things, such as how to get started as a sailor, growing food on board, communication, rules for sailing and technology’s role in sailing. Hear our entire exchange when you listen to DestinySurvival Radio for June 27, 2013. Also, check out Teresa’s Sailing Simplicity blog. Below you can view the video made a couple of years ago when she sailed on Daphne.

 

 

I’d love to know your thoughts. If you’ve ever thought of sailing, or any kind of boating, as part of your preparedness strategy, have you taken steps to make that happen? Would you like to? Feel free to leave a comment below.

 

4 Responses to “A Sailor Shares Useful Insights for Preppers”

  • Ben Dover:

    “She has no flush toilet or shower on her sailboat”

    Oh my, what’s a bare to do?

  • Having done what Teresa has done by myself I can tell you it is a hard life, hard, but rewarding. You learn very quickly what your vulnerabilities and limitations are, you also learn very quickly that you can never be prepared enough… And I can’t stress that last point enough!

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