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I was taking a much-needed break from my non-hectic country schedule this past weekend and convinced myself with little pressure I needed some binge watching.  There was a wide selection of shows and movies to choose from when I happened on a little-known movie.  It was the best of all worlds – true story, young people in love, setting sail into the sunset from a tropical paradise.

In 1983, Richard Sharp and Tami Oldham met and fell in love in Tahiti.  Richard had an opportunity to sail the Hazana yacht to San Diego for friends and were eager for the opportunity.  Before embarking on their voyage, Richard proposed to Tami with a make-shift ring.  (It was about this time I was hooked and getting misty-eyed).  Several days later into their journey, the emergency radio warns they are in the path of Hurricane Raymond, a Category 5 hurricane.  Richard decides to stay the course to San Diego directly in the path of the storm instead of changing direction to Hawaii as Tami suggests.  The winds and waves increase tremendously and Richard, being the experienced sailor, ordered Tami below deck for her safety.  Waves of 50 feet and winds over 180 miles per hour caused tremendous damage to the yacht, washing Richard overboard, while knocking Tami unconscious below deck.  The force of the storm caused the ship to capsize, but immediately righted itself on the surface.

When Tami awoke from her injuries almost a day later, she searches for Richard but quickly realizes what has happened when she sees the damage to the sails and mechanics of the ship.  Reality sets in and quickly.  Tami is left on a ship with no motor, torn sails and no radio. Most frightening of all — she is all alone.  Tami Oldham is adrift in the Pacific Ocean for 41 days, surviving on rain water and fish she catches, until a Japanese research vessel sees her flares and picks her up.  On the 41st day she arrives at Hilo, Hawaii.  To this day Tami continues to sail around the world despite the gut-wrenching experience she underwent.

As I watched this movie (“Adrift”), I realized some things.  First, if it were my story in the same setting, this movie would have lasted 15 minutes — I either wouldn’t have gone or would have given up by day 2.

Secondly, and most profound to me (and perhaps to you, too) is the fact we are all “adrift” at some point in our lives.  Through circumstances of our own making or life in general, we can drift aimlessly with too many questions and too little purpose.

I believe we are each called to make an impact in this world and in someone’s life everyday we are breathing.  Sometimes I forget that and I have to be knocked “unconscious” to avoid being adrift.

Do you ever feel the same?


Tagged: adrift, drifting, hurricane, purpose, sailing, survive, yacht

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