I'm That Sailing Guy
My name is Capt. Christopher German. I've been sailing for more than 20 years professionally, and worked in media for a decade. Now, I am a 100 ton captain with sail, radar and towing endorsement, have two published novels with a third on the way and two movies I'm working to make.
Let's start with sailing...
I learned to sail over the years, but got my first experiences with a sailboat in the Sea Scouts of America as part of Ship 101 out of Stratford, CT. That lead me to attend the US Coast Guard Academy.
In the Academy, I sailed in a Luder 40 and raced with the Academy Big Boat team. I was little more than rail meat in those days having just enough knowledge to talk my way onto a boat, but having little knowlege of what to do when I got there. I might have learned more but alas I never made it out of the Academy, for good or for bad, and transferred to the University of Connecticut.
At UCONN at sailed with the sailing club and managed to get third in my best race ever in a fleet of three boats. If it was readily apparent at that point, racing and I didn't quite jive.
Fast forward past Long Shore Sailing School, Buzzards Sailing School, Battleship Cove Community Boating and Pequot Yacht Club where I taught hundreds to sail and developed a healthy dislike of all things Yachting, and that leads us to my first opus.
Connecticut Community Boating was, by far and away, the high watermark of my life before 40, and it was there that I realized (a) sailing is a pain in the ass and (b) people suck. I never got a single thank you from anyone that ever sailed at CCB and ultimately, almost killed myself in the process. The positive thing that came out of it all was that I realized that I didn't know how broken I really was.
After CCB, I had no idea what I would do so I went sailing
I captained a 74' schooner in North Carolina for a summer and followed that up as an instructor aboard the SV Roseway. Both boats ended in hurt feelings and I found myself sitting on shore in St. Mary's Georgia wondering where I would go next.
I wandered back to North Carolina, where I met my wife-to-be and started Crystal Coast Marine Consulting. I wish I could say it was a brilliant business concept.
Ultimately, however, the business was lost due to Hurricane Florence, and that's when I lost the nicest boat I ever owned, The SV Lost Boys, a month after I bought her.
Beyond The Sea...
Once again, I started spinning. But I saw the wrecked boat and heard the Lord above say to me, "Get off the water and get a new career." And so The Charted Life was born when I launched a streaming channel called The Charted Life Television Network.
Unfortunately, the TV channel proved ill-fated as well, and caused me to break out in shingles from the stress. What's more, the first years of marriage proved equally challenging and became clear to me that something was wrong with me, but even shingles offered a lesson to me.
"I want to get better"
It was shortly after, The Charted Life TV Network died, that Jennifer read an article about a radio DJ who was undiagnosed Aspergers. It clicked in her head that while I enjoyed being on camera and not necessarily behind a mic, that we shared a lot of the same challenges that the couple in the article described. The inability to communicate, the frustration at not being heard and the lack of attention to the little things.
She had me read it, and it got me thinking. I decided that "I want to get better."
I made an appointment to get tested for Aspergers and sure enough, it came back that something was wrong. The results showed evidence of ADHD and Executive Functioning Disorder. That's when the pieces all seemed to start to fall in place.
Go West, Young Man, Go West!
We piled two dogs, four cats, and all our most necessary provisions into a 31' travel trailer and headed from Beaufort, NC to Bullfrog, UT.
Looking back, I always knew I didn't fit in. Whether it was social situations, relationships, work life, or school. I never quite measured up.
In grade school, I was the kid who couldn't finish his work, had a mess in my locker and always got crap about my bad handwriting. In social situations, I was the guy who would randomly walkout in the middle of a conversation. In relationships, I mastered the art of not listening and being awkward.
It never quite occurred to me that all these things were connected. But when I found out that the reason I quit media to go sailing was because I was profoundly ADHD and undiagnosed, I got really mad.
How was it possible that after nearly 20 years of education not one teacher ever noticed my issues?
I was angry. I was resentful. How did I miss out on the life that I was supposed to have as an author, a director or a journalist?
How would I get that back? Who would help me?
I was pissed.
For a while I even resented the fact that I became a sailor and captain.
My wife agreed to help me. I got a doctor to properly prescribe me medication and a therapist to talk me through it. I soon found I had a team to help me navigate life with adult ADHD.
It took a year living in the desert in poverty and therapy that I finally got the gumption to try reentering society as a fully functioning adult and I tested it by taking a job as a first mate on a boat in Alaska.
The therapy and meds proved fruitful and I worked the whole job and even have been invited back, a first for me in any professional setting of my life. And when I got back, ....