Posted by: First Mate | April 6, 2014


It has been a Long time since I have posted. I miss it – work and life have kept me busy.  But I am giving myself a 30 day challenge to write every day and be present.

Today I am going to write about trust or actually control.  I try to control a lot of things in my life: my weight and thus my health, my attitude/outlook and thus my family’s mental health (sarcasm) and lastly many other things that have NO relevance in life but help me to feel as if I am predicting “outcomes.”  I work in medical education/public health and write grants so “outcomes” are a HUGE buzzword.  Clinical and patient outcomes etc, etc.  Honestly, – I think if we are present in our right mind and doing our best we are naturally intending and working towards the best outcomes.  In this crazy life how do you measure: fault, guilt, accountability, cost, etc when sub-optimal outcomes are achieved?  Intellectually, we want to understand who messed up and why. Sometimes intellect blocks educational opportunity.

The news today is filled with stories of the Rebel Heart, a family with two  young daughters (3 and 1) who left San Diego in 2012 to circumnavigate.  The one year old became very ill as the family lost their rudder and all communications and they signaled for help probably on an EPIRB. Losing their ability to steer seems symbolic – most parents feel as if they have lost direction when their young child is sick. I don’t know this family or their story, what I know is from news reports like this one on

Our local news in Hawaii reported that the family is being called reckless and irresponsible on social media.  And this is where trust comes in, this couple Eric and Charlotte and their two children: Cora and Lyra were prepared, he is an experienced licensed US Coast Guard captain and she has been sailing since 2004 and grew up in Alaska (extra points for that).  Their children are small but in America, I think we often have the impression of safety while living in places like San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco – you get the drill.  We raise our kids debating the quality of preschool teachers, the newest squeezable toddler food, the sustainability of the station wagon vs the Prius; while much of the world including many islands in the Pacific struggle for food, medicine and infrastructure.  Do I think they made the wrong decision or are irresponsible parents: NO. We can’t predict outcomes in many situations.

This couple made a decision that worked for them at the time.  They trusted that their intelligence and experience would carry them and they got a mulligan.  Thankfully, the US Navy answered their distress call and rescued them.  And I hope their baby is okay.  Their outcome will be what it is, their defense is sort of inane but makes great news.  The cost that tax payers cover will be expensive – a friend who works for the USCG, has mentioned the outlandish costs for rescuing boaters to us before and a sick baby with a high fever and rash….  I have spent 5 years studying, developing curriculums and learning about staph, strep, food borne illness and other horrific things but this is life.  Many doctors could have potentially chosen an incorrect medication for a 1 year old in this situation….but the baby could have been driven back to the office in most cases or taken to an ER.  This little girl wasn’t in that position.

Frankly, I get more pissed off at parents who live in Marin County and choose not to vaccinate their children, than the ones who sail around the world with their children.  The parents who sail are at least attempting to open their minds first hand vs. the parents who are following the cult of the former playboy bunny/celebratty who argues against vaccination.

I’m clearly no expert on parenting, tonight while I was washing dishes, the captain was playing SNL from the DVR and Weekend Update was on….  our 10 year old was doing homework.  When the show opened Ruby said “oh no, what happened to Seth Meyers?”  As if she watched the show every week?!  Um, oops.  I trust she will be ok also.

Be up to date on your marine or wilderness medicine.  Trust that life has lessons and that not all them will be pleasant and follow your dreams.  To be stagnant or living the past or the future is a recipe for disaster. We can’t predict all outcomes.






  1. you are an amazing writer! Loved our one on one today and let’s do it again soon.

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