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Our First Drama-sode: How my Brother and I Almost Ruined the Trip

Dear friends and family, I salute you for being patient with me. It's been a few months since my last post, and a lot has happened since then. I'll admit, I have procrastinated updating the world on my progress with the sailing trip, but during my hiatus I was swamped with work, school, relationship dramas, and family squabbles (one of which was with my brother -- to be touched upon below). Despite the relentless pleading from my parents to forget this dangerous venture, I am happy to report that the trip is still very much in the works (sorry mom and pop).

Since my last update, I finally was able to take three sailing courses through the American Sailing Association (ASA 101, 103 and 104) over the course of a week in June. The classes were based out of a small town on the coast of Houston, Texas called Kemah, and it was by far one of the most fun and exciting endeavors I have done this year. Though the week on the water was paradise and hopefully a foreshadowing of the good times my brother and I will have on this trip, it was not without its lows.

The morning of our flights to Houston, my brother and I got into one of the most ridiculous arguments ever over the telephone: whether my brother's name should be listed on the hotel reservation. You see, in order to make the sailing classes happen the way we wanted it to (i.e., three classes back-to-back) our instructors required us to have a three-person party. My longtime friend Adam agreed to accompany us, but our hotel room was booked for two adults maximum. Now, without getting into details, any group of people on a budget looking to rent a hotel room for a night knows how to get around that rule. For some reason my brother kept coming up with several highly unlikely nightmare scenarios in which, in his view, it would be necessary for him to have his name on the hotel reservation instead of Adam. I usually am slow to anger, but what appeared to me to be nothing more than my brother wanting his ego stroked set me off.

I suspect our emotional outbursts were a result of our anxiety; other than our telephone conversations it had been a year or two since our last reunion. In any event, when Adam, my brother, and I all reunited, the tension disappeared and my brother and I forgave each other. Everything seemed fine, and we were ready for the start of our adventure. Things went drastically wrong the next morning...

Shortly after waking I received a call from our instructors--due to a time miscommunication on my part we were running very, very late. As I tried to rush my brother (who was moving with less intensity than Adam or I) out of the hotel room, tensions flared once more. Unbeknownst to Adam or I, my brother had a secret distaste for Adam, which I found out when my brother called me while Adam and I were out grabbing coffee. Adam can have an abrasive personality to people who are not familiar with him, but Adam is quick to apologize and change his behavior if he offends one of his friends. I tried explaining this to Michael--that I knew if he just talked to Adam, my friend of almost 10 years, they would be able to work something out. Michael would not have it.

To make what could be an even longer story not so long, rather than hash things out, Michael booked a flight home, left me and Adam in Kemah, and didn't even say goodbye. Needless to say, when the person I intended to go with on a sailing trip around the world threw a temper tantrum and made the drastic decision to fly home and forfeit his chance to learn how to sail, I was both pissed off and sullen. Is this how he would have acted on the trip every time I did something he didn't like? Would I be able to count on him in a dangerous time? I was even more irate when my brother asked me for a refund of the amounts he had already advanced to me for the sailing courses--not a chance.

While those first few hours of the first full day were filled with negativity, as soon as Adam, our instructor, and I got out on to the water, the raincloud over my head vanished. We ended up having a blast over the next few days (that will have to be its own post). So much so that Adam is looking for a way to accompany me on the main sailing trip around the world.

It took a few weeks for my brother and I to speak to each other, especially when I told him Adam wanted to join us on the main trip, but my brother did the mature thing and apologized for his outrageous behavior that day. Though he set himself back by missing out on the chance to learn how to sail, I think it was a good thing for us to establish a baseline for how NOT to act when we are out on the open ocean for weeks on end with only each other.

That was almost two months ago, and my brother and I are on much better terms now. Though I still think it would be wise to gauge how my brother and I are able to stand living with each other in a confined space, I just don't know how to test that out without either moving back to Atlanta or just diving into this sailing trip head-first and seeing what happens. Either way, plans for making this voyage a reality are very much in motion, and it is now only a matter of time and money. I'll hopefully have specific updates later this week.

- Anthony

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