Tuesday, September 18, 2007

"Another mad Englishman . . ."

My special thanks to Canadian novelist James Bacque for his insightful and hilarious comment on my adventure to Labrador. Soon after I posted the opening lines of this blog, he wrote, "Another mad Englishman mounts an unlikely expedition in a flimsy conveyance through an extreme environment." Well not quite, but the comment captures the spirit of the enterprise. Sane or crazy, I am going. "Kuan Yin" is a steel ketch (A Tahitiana 32) and far from flimsy but in the scale of the sea, iceberg and rocks, she is; and Labrador certainly is certainly an extreme environment.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Making a Dream a Reality

Welcome! I'm starting this blog today because I'm at the start of a project that has got me truly excited, and more than a little afraid, for the first time in years.

By journaling how my dream becomes a reality, I hope to help other people to fulfill their dreams.

We all have dreams of how we want our lives to be or things we want to accomplish - some so daring and seemingly far-fetched that we either instantly dismiss them as "impossible" or feel butterflies in our stomach and daren't allow ourselves to imagine what life would be like if our dream came true. We get busy with the "here and now reality" and only years later look back and wonder "what if?". Sure there are bills to be paid, but if we are forever looking at the ground under our feet we're not going to go very far or have much fun.

What's my dream? To sail down the St. Lawrence river to the Atlantic Ocean and then explore the coast of Labrador in my small sailboat, to write a bestselling book about the adventure and to use my quest as a way to encourage other people to follow their dreams.

The coastline of Labrador can properly be called the forgotten coast of North America. Less than 15,000 people live on her shores in all 800 miles. The land area of Labrador is twice the size of New Zealand. The mountains are the highest east of the Rockies. Icebergs hazard navigation for all but a few months of the year. Its people -- Inuit, Innu and settlers -- have learned to adapt themselves to the often harsh yet stunningly beautiful and rich environment. The world's largest herd of wild animals -- 700,000 caribou -- roam Labrador and whales swim off her shores. The Vikings and the Basques came here more than 500 years ago. The northern part of Labrador has recently been declared a national park, yet there are no roads and access is by water, on foot or floatplane. What better way to explore at least the coast of Labrador than by sailboat? It's wild, challenging and I believe will be a rich experience and great adventure for both myself and all vicarious travellers reading the book and following online.

So that's the project. In the next six months, I plan to blog about three aspects:

1) planning, budget, research etc of the journey
2) the process of turning a dream of a book into a tangible reality in bookstores 3) life lessons learned

That sets out my stall, so that's enough for today. Also check out my website at www.dennisonberwick.info and subscribe to my newsletter.