Cutting The Engine & The Circular Economy

San Francisco Bay

There is nothing quite like the quiet after the engine is cut. That moment without fuel or engines when the pure power of the wind is harnessed. I’ve been on about a hundred sailing trips since I started sailing four years ago, and it is this particular moment that I wait for. It literally makes my heart stop.

It’s this precise moment or the feeling of this moment that inspired me to start my company Ocean SF. It’s not possible to completely enjoy the natural beauty of the world while shivering. On the cool February day pictured above I was wearing my jersey knit hoodie and the men’s size large jacket over it. I was luxuriously comfortable. I actually had to help sail this time too. After my husband died suddenly of a heart attack three years ago, I was scared of everything. I did not get on a boat for months. I was afraid I would fall overboard or get hit by the boom or some other catastrophe would befall me leaving my minor children orphaned. I was not going out to the bow in 30 knots of wind to pull down the jib like I used to, that was certain.

I stayed on land as long as I could stand it, and then I started going out on Race Committee again. Race Committee officiates the yacht races. We motor out to the course and anchor. Nothing could be safer. When I did go sailing I wore my life jacket, not the inflatable, the real kind so I could be certain it would not fail. I even wore it below deck while docked. Yes, I was teased about this. On these trips I was almost afraid to move. Slowly, I was able to begin walking around on a moving boat again. It takes quite a lot of balance to do this and it’s actually surprising more people don’t fall in. On this most recent trip I did fail to board the boat after untying the lines. I was supposed to jump aboard, but I didn’t. I just stood there on the dock in my life jacket and Sperry sneakers. The captain had to back up and come back and get me. He gave me a puzzled look, but didn’t say anything. Once onboard I had to pull in some lines and later take the sail down and flake it. I hadn’t done that in a long time. It felt really good to not be scared anymore. To feel safe again.

Once the engine was cut we set our course toward Angel Island. We had a porpoise following us. He playfully swam near us, and then I got a lesson in the migration habits of cormorants who could be seen flying in formation low to the water ahead of us.

Earlier in the day, I met with my new Ocean SF partner Boomerang. They are doing my vintage resale program. The circular economy is the wave of the future now thankfully.

I grew up on a farm where nothing was wasted. I took my lunch to school in a brown paper bag, my mother made everything from scratch including our jam. She wrapped everything up in wax paper which I returned to her and she reused. I was taught to value every apple and every walnut that grew on our farm. My mother always told me to keep my best clothing because it would come back into style. True to her word, I wore her knit suits and dresses to work when I was out of college, and my daughters now wear mine. I was also taught to cherish nature. As a little girl I would put on my rubber boots and follow my father out and into our beautiful fields in the Willamette Valley.

I bring these same values to my work and life whether I am crossing a field of wheat or designing clothing.

The past few years have been difficult for me, I’ve been working nonstop to achieve my many goals, take care of my children, and build a sustainable and ethical brand. I think it might now be time to cut the engine.

Love and blessings to all.

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