Monday, February 06, 2012

The Far Reaches of a Little Blog

The other day, I got this email from "Uncle Al":
Today I was in West Marine getting a few things for my upcoming sailing trip.  As I was checking out, I mentioned to the man behind the counter how I was heading to the islands to sail from St. Lucia to Grenada. 

He said - "Oh, that's where Brittany from Windtraveler is".  (Sorry Scott - that's what he said).  Of course I had to tell him you all are now in Trinidad, etc., but he knew you were headed there, pregnant, and on the way home.  He said he started following you around the time you stopped by Hilton Head as he had heard about your blog from someone at the Windmill Harbour Yacht Club when Rasmus was there.  He said he read other sailing blogs, but your was the "best by far". 

Of course by then I had to tell him I sailed with you two, and had to say that Scott was part of the team too.  Anyway, it was interesting running into a fan - one of many I'm sure.*
It's no question I spend a lot of time on this blog, probably an average of two to four hours a day, depending on how "inspired" I am.  I love it - it's as much as passion for me as beach combing, crocheting or photography is to someone else and it enriches this experience for me that much more.  I think the fact that I write so extensively about this journey forces me to constantly reflect and see the world with fresh eyes.   It heightens my awareness of the world around me and I am able to find beauty, humor, and/or interest in even the every day "mundane" things as well as the spectacular.  In other words, writing keeps me present.  It makes me appreciate what I see and live just a little bit more.

We get a lot of wonderful emails from friends and followers.  People often say things like "I feel like you're my best friend" and "It's like I've known you guys forever" which is a huge compliment.  We get a lot of praise as well; people give us accolades for the writing, the photos, the general "vibe" of the blog and many tell us that ours is their favorite sailing blog stating that "I start every morning with Windtraveler, it's the first thing I check when I wake up".  It's wonderful to hear.

The flip side of this is that we don't know many of you.  In fact, we hardly know any of you.  While we do get quite a bit of email, we probably only hear from less than 5% of you.  Which makes this kind of a one-way relationship, which is the nature of the blog beast.  So, when we get the opportunity to meet some of you - well, it's just plain awesome.

Before we left Grenada we had two separate encounters with blog followers who came up to us after recognizing us from the blog.  One follower, Shannon, approached us as we were getting up from our dinner at The Aquarium restaurant - she was so polite and so contentious: "Brittany, I am so sorry to bother - you don't know me - but I love your blog..." she started.  She's an awesome sailor chick from Annapolis and was in Grenada racing for the Sailing Festival.  She had no idea we were still in Grenada because, last she had checked before she left, we were leaving for Trinidad two days earlier.  "It's a real honor to meet you, your blog is a huge inspiration".  Another couple, Lesiya and David, approached us as we were just about to shove off for Trinidad, "Brittany" Lesiya began timidly, "We absolutely love your blog.  It is our absolute favorite - it is just so lovely... In fact," she continued, "We bought our boat in large part because of you and your blog".  Both of these encounters were incredibly humbling, soul-lifting, heart filling and such a pleasure.  I was so grateful that both of these women approached us to tell us a little bit about themselves and let us know that they're "out there".  As a blogger who writes from behind a computer in a small boat, it's so easy to forget how far my words might travel and who they might effect.  To hear it first hand from the mouths of our readers, well, that is the greatest gift of all and makes all the time and effort I put into this blog worth it.

This is Shannon, an avid sailor from Annapolis.  She was in Grenada racing in the Grenada Sailing Festival.
This is Lesiya and David, they bought a boat in Grenada on ebay and are planning to cruise the UK with her!
So I just want to take this moment and say thank you, thank you, thank you dear readers.  Whether I know you or not, whether you are a silent participant or a super fan, it's an honor to be read by each and every one of you.

Brittany & Scott

*Hi West Marine guy!! Bet you never thought you'd end up on the blog, did ya? ;)


Harrison said...

Still following you...even from Afghanistan. Please keep posting. You guys keep me inspired over here...

Katie said...


I saw a man with a red Mount Gay hat at our local Farmer's Market Saturday morning. It was old and tattered, and you could tell he was very proud of it!

I would have never known the meaning behind it unless I had read your blog! Thank you for the "insider" knowledge into the sailing world! :)


Tillerman said...

Well said.

My blog isn't as popular as yours but it really is one of the unexpected rewards of blogging when some stranger comes up to me and thanks me for writing the blog. And it's even more amazing when someone says they took up Laser sailing or got into racing because of reading my blog.

Anonymous said...

While the vast majority of us only have the odd snippet of the lives of our forebears, you will be able to present this blog as a lasting legacy to the little one you are bringing into this world. What a rare treat it will be to be able to look at this and have a day by day account of the lives of your parents and the events surrounding your earliest days.
Thanks for spending the time to keep us all entertained.
Paul from NWOnt

Uncle Al said...

Didn't know my comment about the West Marine guy (I now have to go back and find out his name) turned into such a great and thoughtful blog. I agree with Paul. I cannot imagine how much fun it would be to read about my parents early days - as your daughter (and more to come?) will be able to do. Great post.

SailFarLiveFree said...

Sharing the experience is a defining characteristic of what cruising is all about. Congratulations on your loyal readership. Keep up the inspired writing!

Lisa Hanneman said...

So proud of you!

Sean said...

I always enjoy reading your blog! I never thought I would be written about in one of them. Keep up the great work! Safe Travels

Sean (The West Marine Guy)

Paul said...

No....Thank YOU Brittney and Scott! It's bitter sweet; happy about the baby, will miss you from the islands. However, can't wait till you are writing about your newest crew member. Best of luck and can't wait till you write your next piece.

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