We crossed path with the Queen of sails.

During our life more often than not it is special moments that shape our destiny and our vision on life. It is such a good fortune to cross path with great individuals or an organization that will open your mind, and to be able to live a moment or through a crisis. Those define who we are and which fork in the road you take. And as William Shakespeare wrote so well : “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”

As we moved across 4 countries over the years we have been able to live those experiences. We changed our lives, with that the way we were thinking and ultimately the way we lived. In other words, we evolved. And again, this past week we were very fortunate to spend a day with Carol Hasse from Port Townsend sails. Not as a customer, not as a business associate but as a friend would. We knew the expert, the passionate advocate of a well built/cut sail maker, but we discovered better : the warm person behind those words.

Carol was giving an educational speech about sails inventory and trim to an association we belong to. We came back home together for a glass of wine. What we discovered was a wonderful promoter of community living, a business person who look after her employees as if they were family, and an overall healthier than life vision. All this rooted in the anti Vietnam War era, followed by 30 years of activism in Port Townsend and countless contribution to the marine world that we don’t have to expose here.

This is what represents the quintessential of cruising/travelling for us? It’s not the destination but the people and the moment that surround you. What you make of it, what you give and what you get out of it.

The difference of generation, background, education and life baggage make for lively discussion. We may not agree on everything but you may change my vision, you may change my world and same for you.

This is the secret of a rich mind for us, more than the next island, the next sunset or destination or the speed of the wind during a passage. In other words, we can’t wait to get going, and discover. Furthermore, it is so enriching to meet different vision of life, simply priceless and it is a guarantee no budget needed.

In this post we want to thank you Carol for sharing your time with us.

In memory of this War time let’s travel to Vietnam for Island 272nd.

Cu Lao Cham Marine Park also known as Cham Islands Biosphere Reserve is part of the eight islets of Cham Island, located in South China Sea under the administration of Tân Hi?p Commune and Hoi An town, in Quang Nam province, Vietnam. The terrestrial and coastal ecosystems of the islands have been recognized as a global Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO on 26 May 2009 under its ‘Man and the Biosphere Programme’ for its rich biodiversity value. The eco system also includes the ancient Hoi An, which is 20 kilometres (12 mi) away from the islands, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Biosphere reserve area covers 5,000 hectares (12,000 acres) including 165 hectares (410 acres) of coral reefs and 500 hectares (1,200 acres) of underwater plant life. 947 aquatic species have also been identified in the biosphere.

The social history of the islands is traced to the Cham people who reside in these islands. They have inhabited the islands from 2nd century AD and are of Indonesian decent. They have been subject to attrition by wars by the Chinese and internecine wars with Khmer regime on the south and the Vietnamese to the north during the 10th century and finally they were fully subsumed within the present day Vietnam. However, their identity as a major ethnic group in Vietnam has been recognized. They retain their ethnic culture, which is rooted mainly in Hinduism. Islam and Buddhism have made inroads into their social culture and ethnic diversity since the 14th century. Their written language is a derivative of Sanskrit. My Son was their religious centre at the height of a Hindu empire, which ruled from Danang, which was the capital of Cham in the past.