Amidst all the on-tap digital information that’s shoved in our faces 24/7, reading a book is still one of life’s real pleasures. The book ‘Get Real, Get Gone’ by Rick Page hit the mark for me. Rick describes idyllic adventures under sail to exotic destinations and how to do it.
As it turns out, Rick is a great writer. His style is super-direct and engaging. He’s also endowed with a wicked sense of humour and wit.
There’s so much to this book. Buy a copy through the links on Rick’s website here
A favourite book genre of mine is Adventure. Doesn’t matter what type, it’s a captivating way to let the imagination wander. My library includes books on hiking, exploration, mountaineering, cycling – and more! Reason being I enjoy adventure, albeit nothing too wild at this stage, and travelling to ‘off the beaten track’ places.
Sailing too. I’m not a sailor and can’t recall how this book drifted across my radar. It’s about Rick’s experience in going from training horses for a living to a life of sailing, mostly in the Southern Pacific, on his own yacht. What he terms being a ‘Sea Gypsy’. Without being hugely wealthy to begin with, and not just as and when he got the chance. Permanently.
Idyllic Adventures – In a Nutshell
Going straight to the last section of the book, The Afterword, Rick says, “with a little shift in attitude, great adventures can be had without great amounts of cash. Attitude, that’s the thing”. And he didn’t just single out sailing. Sums it up!
Sail Or Not
I guess one of the allures of the book for me was having done and enjoyed a little sailing of various types over the years. There’s something so special about feeling the power of the wind in a sail and being whisked along with only the sounds of the wind and the swishing water. But one doesn’t need to have had any, or very little, exposure to sailing to enjoy the book. Just some sense of adventure, excitement, and a curiosity about what might be out there.
As one would expect, it’s loaded with information for would-be and actual sea gypsies. There’s also a lot about the money and costs side of things. He’s figured it all out, and it’s quite a revelation.
Not just hot air – here’s a guy who’s actually done it from the ground up and evolved it into an eco-friendly and sustainable lifestyle. Bravo! And explained in a detailed and entertaining way.
Fair to say, he’s boxed very clever. With hard work no doubt, he’s also exploited the opportunity of writing this very popular book, as well as a sequel, ‘Stay Real, Stay Gone’. As he says, these add a nice passive income from sales. And he advises if we’re not into sailing, go find some other exciting adventure and write a book about it.
But what is in this book that might interest non-sailors, or those with only a passing interest in packing it all in and sailing off into the sunset? Or heading off on a different type of adventure, like cycling or hiking to whatever exotic destination, etc. Well, a lot.
And it might even work well as a travelling highlight for adventurous people who may have recently retired. Especially if they have some time at their disposal and they can just lock up and take off!
A Few Of Rick’s Gems
Much of what Rick advocates in Part One of the book, titled ‘Getting Real’, ten chapters in all, relates to attitudes and approaches for shaping an adventure. It might involve filtering out quite a bit of conventional ‘wisdom’ and cultural bias we normally buy into without question.
He tackles preconceptions and biases that steer us squarely and blindly into the teeth of marketing hype, consumerism, status symbols, etc. For example, early on he focuses in on the craft of living happily and well on much less than we might think. In fact Chapter 10 on sustainability (of the income / outgoings ratio) is a cracker on straight-talking about how to fit the idyllic adventure into our budget. And by the way, pop a few of the places he mentions into Google Maps to see the photos – they’re just fabulous!
One very amusing paradox he points out relates to the mega-yacht, Ostar, owned by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, compared with his modest, sturdy, comfortable, ocean-worthy yacht, Calypso. He’s done this with the help of a photograph showing Calypso in front of Ostar.
He points out that one fill of Ostar’s mighty diesel tanks costs twice the price of Calypso. With no pollution from the wind that powers Calypso. He says Carlos Slim’s ‘little boat’ uses 1000 litres of diesel an hour, while the auxiliary diesel motor on Calypso uses 150 litres per year. He rightly calls it ‘massively disproportionate consumption’, scuppering the bigger is better and safer notion. Powerful arguments.
And Tony Robbins gets bumped off the perch! Goal-setting and hyper-competitive junkies haven’t escaped a good ‘talking-to’ either. He says the sea is totally indifferent to such rather ingrained Western impulses. Trying to impose our will on such forces of nature is unlikely to turn out well. “Do not fixate on your ‘goals’ “, he advises. Go with the flow, and anyway, most of the great experiences of life happen when we let go.
Wonderful! Totally agree, plenty instances in my own life to validate that philosophy.
Rick has a great section on safety and risk, vital topics in most adventure pursuits. A fascinating factor he points out is that more people are killed every year by falling coconuts than by sharks. And of course falling coconuts don’t make for scary hit movies or sensational headlines! He also came up with his own quotable quote, “Blaming bad weather for boat losses is like blaming gravity for plane crashes”! Hmmm, as he says, ‘our perception of risk (like much of human intuition) is very skewed and not to be trusted’. Some great examples to rattle a few of our notions about safety.
Most of us will have thought, ‘what about the better half, how do we deal with that’? Rick plumbs those depths towards the end of the book in the chapter titled, ‘Staying Together – Relationships On Board’. Tread carefully and best read what Rick has to say about it. Maybe applies to more than sailing!
All Photos: Rick Page