Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bombay Sapphire's "The Spirit of Exploration" Contest

While we were away on our Odyssey trip, I received an email invitation from a media company represesenting Bombay Sapphire:
You've been invited to participate in Bombay Sapphire's The Spirit of Exploration blog! We feel that your blog embodies that of a true spirit of exploration and we're exclusively inviting you to be part of the journey. We are only extending this opportunity to select top bloggers and we are pleased to let you know that you are one of them!

We invite you to write an entry answering the question: What does The Spirit of Exploration mean to you?
Here's the entry I composed during our sailing passage from Kusadasi to
To me, the Spirit of Exploration is a mindset, a way of looking at life that strives to pack in as much experience as possible. It requires leaving the comfort of daily routines to seek out new and interesting challenges, forsaking certain safety for the joys of accomplishment and survival.

For example, as I write this, I am sailing across the southern Aegean Sea with five other people in a 47-foot sailboat, directly from Kusadasi in Turkey to Pilos in Greece, a distance of about 300 nautical miles. We pushed off before dawn this morning and expect to make landfall in two days, weather permitting. This passage will involve sailing overnight for two nights, sometimes out of sight of land. It is the sixth leg of our voyage, which started in Athens more than a week ago and will finish in Corfu next week.

Undertaking a voyage such as this involved more than planning and coordination. It took self-examination. Did I possess not only the necessary sailing skills and experience, but also the desire and commitment to face the uncertainties of a journey halfway around the world, sailing through unfamiliar seas, and experiencing languages and cultures different from my own? As I look out across the water to the passing island of Ikaría--named for Icarus, one of the most daring adventurers from Greek mythology--I am certain of my answer: "Yes!" I desire to live the Spirit of Exploration and I am committed to sharing that Spirit with others, that they may experience it for themselves.
They requested photos, so I submitted two from my The Odyssey: Early Photos post, the one taken at the Temple of Poseidon and the one of me at the helm.

The official contest begins today. If you're interested in participating, you can fill out an entry form online at Good luck!

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