Nick Reminds Me


                   -Join us next week down the hatch to fix a problem

Expanding one’s comfort zone is, well, very uncomfortable.  You feel out of place, unsure, almost like you don’t belong.  A chef by trade, my comfort zone was always centered on my work in the restaurant business, more specifically, the kitchen.   That is what I had done from an early age and where I was comfortable.  I knew my way around.  No party was too big, no dinner too complicated.  I could handle whatever came my way.  I knew what I was doing.

Now, with the ownership of the yacht, I would be thrusting myself into learning and developing entirely new skills centered on the nuts and bolts of mechanical operations.  Something I knew almost nothing about but was determined to master.  Financially, I had to.  As they say:

“Necessity is the mother of invention.” 

That could not be truer for me in my new role as a yacht owner.

At age 55, entering a new phase of my life at a time when most men my age would be winding down toward retirement, I had decided to give a lifelong dream of yacht ownership a shot.  Was I crazy?  Would it work?

I had to try.  Ironically, something I had read from an unknown author came to mind:

“Those who are doing what they want to do and are continuously expanding their comfort zone at every opportunity, experience no more fear than people who are passively trying to keep life as comfortable as possible.”

That quote is so true!  And, I had the added advantage of having Nick right there  by my side guiding me through the process of yacht maintenance, supplying support, encouragement, direction, and teaching every step of the way.  He was in all ways a real life mentor.

As my training progressed from one project to another, I found myself uncomfortable most of the time learning these new skills:  uncomfortable yes, fearful no.  There is a difference.  Being uncomfortable is a very expected and natural feeling when attempting new things or learning new skills.  Accept it and keep going.  On the other hand fear can prevent you from moving forward.  Don’t give in to it.

If you’re experiencing uncomfortable feelings with whatever you’re trying to accomplish, recognize that they’re normal and try to embrace them while you concentrate on working your way through to a successful outcome.  In the end, you will feel so much better.  You will savor a sweet victory and perhaps even enjoy a well-deserved celebratory cocktail.

Initially, I had embraced my feelings of doubt when changing the engine oil.  Now that it was done successfully, we took the Papagallo out for a little shakedown cruise in the bay.  Returning to the dock, I opened the lazarette hatch and, to my horror, discovered that the deck below was covered with two inches of sea water.  NOT GOOD!

You might remember I mentioned in a previous blog that one of the cardinal rules in boating is to always keep the water on the outside of the boat.  Well, seeing all that water sloshing about between the port and starboard side of the vessel – where water is definitely not supposed to be – made me very uncomfortable.  And, honestly, I did not view this situation as a “new opportunity to expand my comfort zone.”

The only thought that raced through my head almost as fast as the water continued to pour in was:  “HOLY SHIT, THIS LOOKS SERIOUS.” 

This incident clearly illustrates that one’s comfort zone expansion rate is subject to ups and downs!

Join us for next week’s blog “NICK TO THE RESCUE REPAIRING THE RAW WATER PUMP IN THE AFT GEN.” And, don’t forget to hit the subscribe button to receive updates right to your inbox each week! 


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