Linda K. Ford Award-Winning Author
Caution to the Wind recounts your thrilling and sometimes perilous journey
out on the ocean. Why was this an important book for you to write?
I kept a journal throughout the entire voyage and soon discovered that I had a real love for writing. My cruising life took me on an incredible journey, which strengthened my desire to share this adventure. My passion is to inspire those who are contemplating a similar voyage, and to encourage people to follow their dreams!
You had been through so much while sailing, both physically and emotionally, was there ever a moment that you were not prepared for and made you rethink things?
Being caught in a major storm with no ability to make contact with the outside world, was an intense experience. There was nothing that could have prepared us emotionally or mentally. What was crucial at the time was how to stay alive, in such extreme conditions. There were moments where I questioned my life and the decision that I made to make this voyage. What was paramount for me was the possibility of never seeing my family again. What really stuck in my mind is that if we didn’t survive, no one would know what had happened to us. We could disappear without a trace, consumed by the very ocean that I love.
Looking back on that time, what do you miss the most?
I miss the freedom and the simplicity of life, that cruising offers, which I found to be incredible. It is hard to replace the excitement of navigating to foreign shores, and the diversity of cultures and people, that I met along the way. I have strong memories of amazing sunsets & sunrises, brilliant starlit skies, and an interesting array of sea and bird life.
If you were to take another trip, without limitations, where would you go?
Without limitations, I would buy a yacht in Europe, to cruise around the Mediterranean without a time limit. Venture up through the beautiful canals of France once again, cross the English channel to explore the UK, and eventually head back to Australia. Which route, I am not sure at this point.
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF GOING TO SEA!
Posted in Sistership Magazine
BY Linda K. Ford
The cruising life fuelled my passion for being in, on, or by the ocean. Sailing to foreign shores has the ability to weave a kind of magic’ where you fall under a provocative spell. Once smitten, you have a passion for life.
“Caution to the Wind,” is all about sailing out into the unknown, where nothing would be predictable. How does one prepare for the psychological impact? I personally don’t believe that you can prepare. I was a novice when we first started and I hadn't been on a long, offshore crossing. In theory, one week, two weeks, or even three weeks at sea had no real meaning for me. It was hard to comprehend how I would feel, and what it would be like, as I had not yet, experienced this.
Looking back, I recall various poignant moments. Leaving New Zealand wasn’t easy. Firstly it was very hard emotionally, especially to leave family behind. We also had various teething problems with our yacht ‘Ebony,’ and encountered unfavourable weather conditions, with strong winds and rough seas, in several attempts to getaway.
We had made it up to Port Taranaki, in the North Island, of New Zealand, and were waiting for a change in weather. I remember feeling trapped and concerned about our ability to get away before the winter set in. Doubt crept in; will we be able to complete this ocean crossing, to Sydney, Australia? I began to question, whether or not, we had what it takes to succeed? The greatest impact for me was encountering severe storm conditions as in the following excerpt from “Caution to the Wind.”
“Geoff and I were cocooned in the yacht, with no radio contact with the outside world. We were truly alone!
Ebony, like a fearless warrior, battled against the elements; there was nothing else we could do. A sense of hopelessness filled the small cabin, enveloping the profound silence that was created between us. My mind raced with a jumble of thoughts; what if things worsen; will Ebony incur any damage? One of Geoff’s fears was the dread of Ebony doing a 180-degree turnover, would she right herself? It was as if we were living out our worst nightmare. Ebony was sliding down huge wave’s broadside on, hitting the bottom with a loud crash, and knocking her violently over onto her side.
“Are you all right, Lin,” Geoff called?
At the time, he was lying wedged in on the saloon floor, as I lay in the quarter berth.
“As right as one can ever be at a time like this! Geoff, do you think we’ll…well, what I mean is, do you think we’ll come through this a.....live? “The Storm, page 48”.
What was paramount at this time was the possibility of dying, and never seeing family again. What really stuck in my mind was the thought that if we didn’t survive, no one would know what had happened to us, we could be lost without a trace. With all aspects of cruising and especially when sailing with only one other person, being able to work together 100% of the time is paramount. We were both very lucky to be a great team and could rely on each other always. We had to deal with whatever the weather dished up, and was faced with many challenges. We had to push beyond any fears and just do what needed to be done. For our own safety, and to ensure that “Ebony” didn’t incur any damage.
Cruising can also be like a retreat from the world, with the experience of solitude while out at sea for days on end. These times provide special moments with time to think and reflect, and alternatively very social when in port. At times being together so much created a few huddles, which were well worth jumping over, as overall our cruising experience was truly amazing, an epic voyage that I will never forget.
Literary titan book interview
Decrypto: Unlock Your Life Journey is an inspirational book that uses your life stories to help people understand and overcome challenges in their own life. What do you hope readers take away from this book?
I would love the reader to feel inspired and empowered and to continue with their journey of self-discovery. I’d like them to realise that life is an adventure of ups and downs— but ultimately they are in control and don’t have to stay stuck in a life that is less than what they want. I want them to believe with confidence, “I can change my life!”
In your book, you discuss how each one of us has the potential to experience happiness. What do you find is the biggest impediment in people’s lives that keep them from that?
This is a very complex subject matter although often this can be as simple as a lack of understanding of the underlying causes that prevent a deeper connection to happiness. Many people are not living the life they truly want and find themselves holding onto regrets and what-ifs. Our past, if unresolved, can strongly impact and impair, our ability to connect to and to experience happiness, especially if fuelled by strong emotions.
You give a lot of good advice in this book. What is one piece of advice that you wish someone would have given you when you were younger?
I’m the ninth child in a family of ten children. I felt as if I was born into a crowd, where individuality wasn’t valued. I believe this had a powerful impact on my life. The advice that I wish that someone had given me is that we are all unique and each person has something special to offer. To dream big, as anything is possible! If you believe you can achieve it, you will!
I felt that hope was a key theme in this book. What were some themes that were important for you to capture in this book?
There are many themes that individually and collaboratively are important aspects of the book. The main theme that underpins Decrypto is self-empowerment— the sharing of knowledge being the key that opens the door to a new beginning. I’d like to encourage my readers to nurture their belief in themselves, and to know that they have the potential to change their life, to find themselves, and to live a dream…