An Able Mariner

Many years ago, businessman Rene Henry invited a friend and their dates out for an afternoon on his sailboat on Santa Monica Bay. The good times quickly soured when a thick blanket of fog appeared late in the afternoon, making visibility nonexistent.

For Henry, who raced his boat every Wednesday and sailed 12 months out the year, the arrival of the fog was of no concern. Armed with a compass and sophisticated nautical charts, (GPS was not available at this time) he plotted a course that would get the boat safely back to the marina.

Things began to change when Henry and his friends spied five sailboats lined up in a row, heading in a different direction. Henry’s guests believed the best course of action was to follow the lead of the other boats. Five captains couldn’t be wrong.

Henry was confident in the course he’d charted, but agreed to recheck his calculations to appease the others. He turned the wheel over to his friend so he could go below deck. When he returned to the helm a short time later he realized his friend and taken them off course so they were now following the other sailboats.

Henry resumed the wheel and steered them back to the course he’d figured out. By this time Henry’s friend and their dates were anxious, and there was little Henry could do to assuage their fears. His years of experience sailing for both pleasure and sport had made him an able mariner, and the course he plotted delivered them safely back to the marina.

Later that evening Henry received a call from a friend who happened to be on Venice Beach that day. The friend told him about how five sailboats emerged from the fog and crashed onto the breakers at Venice Beach, one right after the other.

Henry’s experience is a good example of why you should never doubt your own abilities or blindly follow someone else’s lead. Had Henry been swayed by fear of his friends that day, he too would have crashed on the breakers.

Spread the word. Share this post!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: