My name is Steve Hubbard. I suffer from a chronic, life-long case of wanderlust. It all started with a book. When I turned ten years old, my Auntie Madeline gave me a book entitled “All In The Same Boat.” This book, written by Earle and Barbara Reynolds, chronicled their experiences in building and sailing the yacht “Phoenix.” It is a marvelous story, full of mystery, heartache, adventure, intrigue, danger, family values, and fun.
I had barely read the first few chapters, when I found that I was hopelessly hooked. I marveled at the story of the yacht’s construction, by Japanese craftsmen, using hand-tools and ancient techniques. I laughed at Dr. Reynold’s cleverness, in tracking down supplies and equipment in dusty old surplus stores and other unlikely places. (The fact that he somehow found a Navy-surplus radio and installed it aboard his yacht, was just “too cool.” That little tid-bit inspired me to study for my first amateur radio license. That is a hobby that I enjoy to this day.) I marveled at the various preparations made by Mrs. Reynolds and the Reynolds children, as they prepared to live aboard the yacht for months at a time. Their preparations were quite detailed, because they planned to sail the “Phoenix” around the world.
The further I read in the book, the more entranced I became. I first learned about intriguing places like Pago Pago, Bora Bora, Sydney, Auckland, Honolulu, and dozens of others. The more I read, the more I was determined to have a life of unusual adventures, just like the Reynolds family. At age 10, I doubt I could have adequately expressed it. But in my heart, I knew that I would, indeed, try to live an interesting life. (It did not escape my notice that the Reynold’s daughter, Jessica, was just about my age, when the book’s story first began.)
I must have read that book 10 times. Each time, it made further impact on my life.
Learning about how the Reynolds family faced difficult decisions, was inspiring. Reading about how the Reynolds children adapted to shipboard living, and how they all learned to live together with their crew, on a 50 foot boat, taught me important life-lessons. Lessons of tolerance, perseverance, self-reliance, and resourcefulness. And, the goal of having adventures never left my mind. It just grew and grew. That is still my goal, and it continues to bear fruit.
In the 50 years since I received that wonderful book, many of my dreams of adventure have come true. I have been most fortunate, to travel the world as a trumpet soloist and conductor. Providential friendships have lead to becoming a pilot, living aboard ship in Alaska, flying in historic airplanes, and visiting a couple of dozen countries. At age 59, when many people are anxiously looking forward to retirement, I am always seeking to be even busier. Where other folks may see difficulties or impossibilities, I try to see opportunities and worthy challenges.
My faith in God, clean living, and a loving wife, serve to keep me young in almost every way. I have not yet visited all of the places mentioned in “All In The Same Boat,” but I am working on it. I try to cultivate a positive outlook on life, and firmly believe that with God, all things are possible. I think that my adventures have only just begun. Indeed, it all started with a book.