A very Happy New Year to you all! What a year it has been. A good year - yes. A great year - yes. But not a year without its pit falls and down falls. It is dealing with these that develops and molds us into who we are. Not meaning to get psychological on you, but I think looking back at the year in a life of most people there is always a mixed bag; some years harder than others and I know some years some of us would like to forget altogether.
In brief, my year started with picking up the pieces of my yacht management business, Sunderlands Yacht Management & Shipwrights. Dealing with luxury goods and having recently been vilified by the mainstream media following Abby's rescue out of the Indian Ocean, getting back to business as usual was very challenging. Not to mention, the extra stress of being the sole bread-winner of a large family - you could say I was off to a disastrous start to the year.
With much uncertainty, and for one of the first times in a very long time, not having the answers to turn things around, I can only say that my faith in God grew stronger. Some will say that faith in God is just a crutch but I would disagree - it would be more like a stretcher. Through much prayer things started to change.
The first of the year also found us having a very frustrating time trying to get Abby & Zac's documentaries made with several different production companies. After much prayer, we decided to start our own production company, WorldWind Productions. I was thrown in at the deep end not ever having produced anything in the documentary film arena to producing and directing two at the same time, which I enjoyed immensely.
Producing and directing Wild Eyes: The Abby Sunderland Story and Intrepid: The Zac Sunderland Story was one thing. You do your very best and you may think its the greatest ever, but that really doesn't matter. It's the accuracy coupled with making it entertaining for those watching.
Both documentaries have been well received, winning various awards at the film festivals entered. We've also enjoyed the many great emails of people letting us know how much they have enjoyed the documentaries. This has encouraged us and we always enjoy receiving the positive feed back. If you don't have a copy yet, buy ten and give them to your friends!
What started off as a year that was difficult, quickly started to turn around. Now as we close out 2011 we are running two companies both with bright prospects for the future.
The latest festival news:
We have just arrived back from the San Diego Christian Film Festival where Wild Eyes: The Abby Sunderland Story won the Director's Choice Award. We spent a boisterous few days with friends and family in San Diego. Between screenings, workshops and a few interesting meetings at the festival, we visited friends in Coronado and Del Mar. I'm sure Marianne will write on her parenting blog, Abundant Life, about the challenging times we had. I will say that if we hadn't planned to arrive with a sense of humor, things would have gone a lot differently.
We lost a few friends this year due to tragic accidents. Romario Zeri, somewhat of a fixture in Marina Del Rey, died suddenly after his motor bike collided with an eighteen wheeler whilst he was on the Love Ride, a charity event. Steve Jobs also died after a battle with Pancreatic Cancer, a tragic disease that took my father-in-law a few years back. WorldWind Productions helps support the Hirshburg Foundation which is the leading fundraiser for research for a cure for this deadly disease.
Some of the less known sporting events that caught my attention, Roz Savage set the record of First Woman to Row Three Oceans after rowing across the Indian Ocean. She is a courageous women who must have arms of steal. More recently, Jordan Romero, the youngest man to summit mount Everest at age 13 finished his quest to climb the highest peeks on all seven continents by summiting Mt Vinson in Antarctica. A big congratulations to them both.
The LA Galaxies also did an a incredible job winning the MLS Cup Final which I was able to attend with Toby, my 14 year old son, who is proving to be an up and coming soccer player himself.
This year has been a great year for me, not because of what I've achieved, more so because I realize how important it is to have a relationship with the Maker of this world and universe and to understand that without this, there really is very little or no hope. I've also learned to understand the value of having a loving and caring wife and the privilege to be called Dad, not a long title by any means, but undoubtedly the most important title a man could ever have.
God bless all who read.
Happy New Year for all in 2012!