Sailing Selflessly

By: American Sailing Association, Schools, Social Media

I met Lee Winters through Twitter (@SOSChildrenUSA). He is circumnavigating solo (the old-fashioned, sane, take-your-time way)–and he’s doing it to raise awareness for the nonprofit SOS Children’s Villages.

Lee got his start sailing with ASA a mere eight years ago, earning his 101 Certificate at North Texas Sailing School. Then he moved on to San Diego for 103 and 104 with San Diego Sailing Academy, where he recalls having an excellent experience. One thing led to another, and by fall of 2008, he had left his lucrative career in software sales and was readying his boat, the S/V Jargo, to cruise the world. Lee’s drive was spurred by compassion–or as Lee puts it, of desperation. In his own words:

Sailing For SOS was born of desperation. The desperation came from knowing that I was living the life of the status quo with a nice house and a good job, but wanting nothing that I would find at the end of that path. Wealth, corporate success, and all the trappings that come with it became just that in my mind, trappings. Sailing For SOS is the result of choosing to break free from all expectations, including those I held for myself, and living the extraordinary life of my dreams.

Through this portal I hope to accomplish many things. Firstly, I hope to show that anyone, no matter what your current path may be, can break free to follow your own dreams. The Ships Log holds my daily updates bringing you all of the good, the bad, and the ugly I encounter as I attempt to circumnavigate the globe, sailing solo, in a 39 foot sailboat named Jargo.

Secondly, this voyage is about more than my own selfish endeavor. SOS Children’s Villages builds homes and families for displaced, abandoned, and orphaned children the world round. These kids are given a home with a mother who will be their mother until they are old enough to move into society on their own. It is an organization like no other I’ve ever encountered.

As I circumnavigate the world I’ll be stopping at SOS Children’s Villages to spend time with the directors, mothers, staff, and children. The stories that come from the village visits will be presented both in the blog and on the village specific pages found to the left. It is my hope that through my interaction with these kids you will be moved to spread the word about SOS Children’s Villages and, if possible, help financially to enable them to do even more.

We all have the power to make our dreams reality. Sailing For SOS is my attempt at doing so. Thanks for joining me.

Lee is currently in Bora Bora, and maintains his blog regularly with fabulous stories and photographs. Check out his site, and let his story encourage you not to dismiss your own sailing dreams!