It’s It’s funny how books come to be.
By happenstance, Lou Kief and Bill Walls lived an unexpected five year adventure on an old wooden sailboat. The logbook from their trip sat gathering dust on a shelf for years until one night when fate would seat them in front of “Finding Neverland”, a 2004 British-American film about a playwright's relationship with the family who inspired him to create Peter Pan. In the story, children who learned how to fly could escape the horrors of life to find happiness and security.
Centuries ago, sailing ships were the means that afforded adventurous men and women a way of reaching their own "Neverland" with new possibilities, people and cultures no one knew existed. This is a story of an old, neglected sailing ship brought back by two middle-age wannabe pirates who made a spur-of-the-moment decision at a hopeless time when dreams vanished.
Lou & Bill are adventurers who have lived most of their 38 years together on “the five-year plan”. There was no staying put and burning mortgages for them. The moment a good idea or opportunity invaded their space they took a look at it and if it lit them up, they grabbed on. This approach to life has led them on many adventures but none as crazy as the one you are about to read. Everyone who lived it with them said it would make a good book. They said it was five of the most fun and challenging years of their lives. Lessons learned along the way included; wealth is not the answer to happiness, and the most important one; there's no such thing as "the perfect place".
As Lou put it, “We’re just a couple guys with facial hair who live our lives in Levi 501s and love each other very much. For many years we did not hide who we are from anyone. We have the same likes and dislikes as most other men; an intense love of home, animals and tools. But we also appreciate architecture, design, good food, the plants and animals on our planet and a desire to manifest our dreams.”
The message you’ll take away from their book is that’s it’s never too late to become a pirate. People and places are waiting to become your friends and treasured memories. They might even enjoy a good pillaging.
So, what is this strange attraction many of us feel so deeply with the water that covers our planet? Why are we drawn to it in spite of the inherent dangers? Perhaps President John F. Kennedy explained it best in a speech he gave to the America’s Cup contenders in 1962:
“I really don’t know why it is
that all of us are so committed to the sea,
except I think it is because in addition to the fact that the sea changes
and the light changes, and ships change,
it is because we all came from the sea.
And it is an interesting biological fact
that all of us have in our veins
the exact same percentage of salt in our blood
that exists in the ocean,
and therefore, we have salt in our blood,
in our sweat, in our tears.
We are tied to the ocean.
And when we go back to the sea,
whether it is to sail or to watch it
we are going back from whence we came.”