“Everything creaks and bends in heavy seas – what will not bend will simply snap. So many times I wondered how much load we could carry in a powerful storm without breaking apart. If we flooded any faster I would drown in seconds.”
Patrick Dixon spent years working as a doctor at University College Hospital – a high-pressure career that demanded long hours away from his home, his family and his passion for sailing. It is a frustrating story many occasional sailors can relate to, but unlike most, Patrick realised early enough that he could only bend so far before something snapped, he could only take on so much before he drowned.
This is his story of how he made changes (some more challenging than others) that he knows other sailors could make too, regardless of where they are at the moment – how he changed his priorities but managed to sustain a new career that fitted in around his life rather than the other way round.
It is also the story of his and his wife Sheila’s personal journey, both physically (across the Atlantic and to little-visited corners of the Mediterranean) and metaphorically – how a doctor who treated cancer patients coped with a partner facing the same battle. Neither of them wanted to let that flood things either.
Through his personal story, with plenty of mishaps that led to insights (both about sailing and life in general), and encounters that turned into opportunities, Patrick explores the importance of prioritising the right things in life, and the simple benefits of travel. The book is packed with inspiring but practical advice for all those who have salt in the blood.