The idea that ‘luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity’ has been attributed to the Roman philosopher Seneca. This viewpoint continues to have a major effect on me and was a driving catalyst to writing Oakum Strands. Such interpretation is based on individual perspective, but my opinion is that people can make their own good fortune by constant focus on preparation and trying new things. Paraphrased at the end of Chapter 2: ‘The Windlass’ under Good Fortune, this idea from Seneca is not about simply being at the right place at the right time, but more in recognizing opportunities, and being decisive enough to reach out and embrace them.
One definition of luck is when preparation and opportunity meet. On that day what became preparation, was to tour Singapore harbor by taxi boat that allowed spotting the unusual schooner masts amongst the others, encountering Rick at a timely moment, gaining permission to come aboard, and then jumping on the opportunity to find and solve the problem with the windless.
I never dreamed that a series of events promising so much spontaneous adventure would present itself during my time in Southeast Asia. This lucky, exhilarating whirlwind of circumstances all started just that very day before and was going to change my life.”