Rob takes in the sunset on a dinghy ride back to the 40 foot sloop, Wizard, owned by John and Sue out of California.

From Sailor to Stunned

Posted on Posted in Fishing, Reflections on Life

Two months ago I woke up every morning to the sound of large fish splashing against the hull of a sailboat, took morning swims in the nude and read books against the backdrop of coconut trees and sandy shores.  For some reason, I decided I didn’t like that any more.  It seemed too boring. Not challenging enough.

Ironically enough, I had similar reasons for leaving Missoula in the first place.  Although I had a well-paid job and worked for a cause I believed in… Although I had the comfortable existence that comes with a salary, health insurance, and a routine that included annual paid vacations to interesting places… And although I had good friends, fun toys, caring neighbors, and a trunkful of costumes for impromptu dance parties…  We left.

On the Horizon Line - Brianna Randall and Rob Roberts

Two weeks into our return home and sometimes I want that all back. I don’t want to be looking for income, searching for a decent car, or a place to live. I want a child and am glad that we will have one, but it doesn’t make things any easier.  Any one of these life events, these tasks or milestones, can be stressful for some people.   We decided to twist them together and swallow the damn bundle whole.

“Decided,” right?  We sat on the deck of a boat, bathed in tropical heat, and sun made the conscious decision to leave. We were jaded by slow days, easy meals of fish and fruit, and the peacefulness that comes from living on water.  I know what you’re thinking.  I wouldn’t have pity for us either.  Because I will never forget how fortunate we were and how fortunate we are.  To have the opportunity to leave in the first place, to meet amazing people along the way, to swim with sharks more times than I can count, walk barren flats of white sand, form a band at a beachside bar, laugh, stretch, breathe.

On the Horizon Line - Brianna Randall and Rob Roberts

But to be honest I wasn’t prepared for this.  Bills, meetings, insurance, loans, jobs, schedules.  Just swimming through this muddled mass of minor tasks and major decisions.  Like a little minnow hiding underneath the hull of a sailboat.  A big ocean all around.  The tuna attack in formation, stunning their prey through the blunt force of tooth, body and splash.  Then they circle back around and pick through the spoils.

I tell myself that I’m not a little fish. I tell myself that this was a conscious decision, to challenge ourselves, reinvent, and open the way to new ideas and revelations. Sometimes it helps. But I’ve certainly found the challenge I was looking for.

desert ocean - fishing in the south pacific ocean - tropical reefs and fisheries

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6 thoughts on “From Sailor to Stunned

  1. Life for me has never been about living in boxes, with or without walls, but of our own conceptualizing. it’s been about living well, discovery, focusing, working, play, music, art, children, birth, death, moving, learning and forgetting, loving and helping. Whenever I’ve become fixated on where I am, i’ve lost sight of the movement that is what life is really about. Keep moving, in your heart, your mind and body (if only out the back door once a day), and you will find what is new and enlightening and satisfies your soul. It sounds like you are on a good track. I wish you a wonderful journey through life.

  2. It is A LOT to handle! I have been very impressed by how well you’re both doing. Someone would have had to peel me off the ceiling if I were in your position.

  3. Lol. Well done. From previous attempts to get/break away but having to return to the roots it always only took me 2-3 weeks (kind of disappointing little time) home stuff to make me decide that i had to leave again for more exteded holidays and 18-24 months to actually get up and do it again.

    In my case the solution that i had to start to enjoy the couple of years home more and see that time as the ‘holiday’ and chance to hang out with friends and family while the traveling was work. This worked great and i loved my last time at home so much that it has taken me five years to feel like i have to visit again (this Christmas)

    We are all different, we are all the same, and he who has the most fun wins.

    Take care, good luck with it all and hope to run into you down the track some time.

  4. Sorry Rob I thought Bri wrote this!!! Just yell “tuna attack!” As the code word to your friends that you need help.

  5. Dude! That’s my car! – sorry that’s not very eloquent. Let me try another tack, your willingness to embrace difficulty will serve you well as a new mom. Because its a tough, beautiful and often lonely road. Sorry there’s no sugar coating there but I know you can handle it and find the joy. Continue to ask for help fending off the tuna.

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