Late Winter Musings…on People, Passions, Pirates, and Podcasts

I’m fascinated and inspired, and sometimes a bit jealous, of those who can get away for long adventures or take epic voyages. Their stories, photos, and insights sometimes prompt additions to my own bucket list.

So, I thought I’d share a couple of things that have entertained or otherwise captured my imagination during these often chilly indoor months.

One of my recent discoveries is Gone Floatabout, an amazing adventure blog by a Washington State couple who call their sailboat home. I’ve been caught up in their Arctic Voyage videos and also enjoy their gorgeous wildlife photos. I also find it noteworthy that they finance some of their travels with sponsorships, as well as with writing, photography, speaking and teaching. I’ve long envied those who are able to seamlessly integrate work lives and passions, as opposed to being solely weekend and/or vacation adventurers.

Tightwads on the Loose is a book that describes a seven-year adventure, sailing the Pacific on a shoestring budget. I first heard the author interviewed on a Port Townsend radio station recently. I was interested to hear more and fortunately discovered this similar interview featured on The Sailing Podcast (itself, a treasure trove of boating adventures). As my own proverbial bucket might need to be used for bailing as opposed to chilling champagne, I admire and look for lessons in the resourceful ways this couple navigates through challenges.

My curiosity about brave and adventurous souls also extends to those who lived in earlier times.

I’ve long been inspired by the 16th century Irish “Pirate Queen,” Grace O’Malley. Her courageous maritime adventures and bold exploits are now documented in books and music. This was not always the case; she was not in the history books I studied in school. It was 10+ years my graduation when Granuaile, a musical journey through her life, was broadcast on the radio. I am delighted to find that it has made its way to YouTube.

Do you know the story of Ida Lewis? Her life was highlighted in a Google Doodle, Ida Lewis (Lighthouse Keeper). Captioned, “The bravest woman in America,” it caught my attention. It also reminded me that there are many adventures to be had on shore, as well as on the water… and there are multitudes of ways to make an impact in this world.

google-doodle-ida-lewis - bravest woman




I’m almost overwhelmed by the abundance of compelling stories, music, photos, videos, spoken or written word, and even tweets, that are instantaneously available at our fingertips and on our devices. They, literally, help me survive the winter months and the shortened days each year. Books, films, concerts, classes and similar in-person activities help do that as well.

Hope you’ve found ways to enjoy these cozy winter months as much as I have. The optimist in me sees some signs of spring here this week, despite a few light snow flurries. Cheers to warmer weather and a long season of outdoor activities!

Karen Berge

Karen Berge

I enjoy living in Seattle, where boating opportunities abound. My goal is to take advantage of them all!
Karen Berge

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