I love Oysters, they are one of my favourite foods, especially with the traditional Tabasco sauce, or even a Chardonnay and shallot dressing.  Little did I know that I would spend a year of my life sailing on a luxury yacht designed by the yacht builders Oyster! But that is exactly what I will be doing for the next year and what I have been doing for the past 3 weeks.

You see, when I set out on my journey I didn’t know what would happen.  I still have a return flight back to the UK on the 18th May reserved for me, but now with this new opportunity to complete half of my circumnavigation of the world, writing my books as I go, I am so excited to know that The Mermaid’s Guide to Hitch Hiking has taken on a whole new level of excitement.

Over the last 3 weeks I have had to sort out so many logistics back home in the UK, making sure all my records accurately reflect what is now happening.  Many people in the offices that I (all with the help of my ex-husband) have had to deal with, simply cannot comprehend the fact that I am running my online business, writing books and coaching from different locations around the world (as well as healing from the awful Scotland Saga!). Their viewpoints and systems are stuck in the past, it is very frustrating, but hey ho, it is a learning exercise for all of us.  I don’t fit into any of their small boxes, nor their limited mindsets of what is possible, but then that is the part of what this trip is about – opening minds and coaching people into knowing what is possible, writing books that inspire and educate others on different options available to them, as well as encouraging them to follow their dreams and live a life they love.  My dream life may not look like the dream life of others, but it is not supposed to.  It is my dream, and my life, and I am going to live it the way I wish to live it, where and how I wish to live it.

Sailing across the Hauraki Gulf and the South Pacific Ocean has been wonderful, especially at the helm of the Oyster yacht ‘Venture’.  I’ve seen the largest dolphins I’ve ever seen.  I have witnessed beautiful sunrises and sunsets.  Sailed passed beautiful remote islands uninhabited by man.  I have anchored up in some of the most beautiful bays, enjoying being rocked to sleep by the sway of the ocean.  I have been getting to know my new Captain, Nigel, who is a lot of fun, and I am feeling totally blessed to have been given this opportunity to sail with him on his yacht.  He is an incredibly inspiring man, with a strong work ethic and a very lovely nature.  He has sailed many times around the world on different rallies and he is a lot of fun to be with.  We have visited Great Barrier Island, been on a three day fishing trip (more on that later!) and been getting the yacht in order for us to complete the next 2 stages of the Oyster World Rally, from here in New Zealand, all the way to Antigua.

I am learning a lot about myself, about sailing, about nature, about taking my business to the next level and of course about Oyster Yachts.  I have been rocked to sleep by the gentle swaying of the water (yes I have mentioned it twice, because it is a wonderful experience after a severe lack of deep sleeps over the last couple of years).  I have helmed this beautiful 53’ sailing yacht in 20knts of wind, enabling us to sail at 9.5knts.  I have cooked food for 5 people for 7 days, all in the space of 4.5 hours, in a kitchen (or rather the galley) that tests my organisation skills due to the restricted space available.  I am learning a lot about my partner and his life, without actually being with him; in fact he is sailing around Europe on a Tall Ship right now – enjoying life at sea too, albeit is a different piece of the ocean to me.  It’s all good, we’ll meet up somewhere along the way.

I am learning how to not micro manage my ex husband when it comes to parenting, because let’s be honest, I chose to have children with him in the first place, so I should really let him have a go at parenting our children the way he wants to, as I have for the first 11 and 15 years of their life.  (We’re quite good at that ladies… micro managing the fathers and not letting them be the dad they are capable of being.  Let it go; let them all grow and thrive together)

I am learning to exercise and maintain my fitness, readjusting my eating habits all whilst being stationary is a challenge.  I lost a huge amount of weight a few years ago, and I am not about to put it all back on, although a couple of kg’s more than I would have liked have crept on over the last few months.  The mission is on to lose them again, with my 10km runs that I have started doing now we are moored up here in Opua Marina.  I have been promised that I will lose weight whilst I am sailing, so not to worry about it, but when you see a lot of overweight sailors around you, men and women, it doesn’t instil a lot of faith in you. I know my swimming, my walking with my backpack has been giving me the lifting and the cardio to maintain my fitness, but I miss my MMA workouts, my long swims. I have been paddle boarding, I will be hiking and exploring in these new locations, I will be swimming in the ocean and I will be kayaking, so lots to keep me fit and active whilst on my travels.  I have lost the weight once, and I will lose these few kg’s again in now time.  The most important thing for me though, is I am living my dream.  I am living at sea, writing books, articles and I am coaching my clients on how to live their dreams, often helping them to discover what that dream actually is in the first place.

There is still a lot to do before we head off on Monday to Vanuato, a place struck by severe volcanic eruptions that has seen one of the islands suffering from a shortage of food due to acid rain, a heavy covering of volcanic ash and now all 11,000 inhabitants have to be evacuated to another one of the islands in the Vanuato province.  I am hoping we can help out in some way, I am hoping to be able to bring awareness of the issue to the masses, so international aid can get to these people who desperately need support in rebuilding their lives.  I have a lot of skills and experience, and a desire to help where I can, but if I can’t do something practical there, the least I can do is write about what I discover.

But right now, it is time for me to head off and get some more work done on the boat, so I will love you and leave you.  I will post my next blog entry in the next couple of days and if you wish to contact me with regards to discovering your dream, or actually starting to live your dream, then click on this link www.dawnbates.com/coaching/personal-coaching or if you would like to know more about how to make it as an author then contact me through www.dawnbates.com/coaching/author-coaching

Ciao for now! :)