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Prevailing Winds

Where will you go when the prevailing winds blow?

Back in the early nineties when Prevail was founded, our corporate logo was a stylized butterfly.  That logo has morphed over the years into something that now looks more like a wind-filled spinnaker sail.  This is no accident.  Prevail founder Carl Dirkes is a lifelong sailor for whom the image of a wind-filled sail has always carried a special meaning.  Carl believes that every human on the planet must decide on a daily basis how to best make use of life’s prevailing winds.  Almost everybody who has ever known him has heard him utter the phrase “Success in life has almost everything to do with your own personal choices — and almost nothing to do with anybody else’s.” That sentiment is beautifully illustrated in “One Ship Sails East” by 19th-Century American poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox:

One ship sails East,
And another West,
By the self-same winds that blow,
‘Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales,
That tells the way we go.

The name “Prevail” is a bit of double entendre.  The more obvious meaning is borrowed from legal terminology.  To prevail in a legal proceeding simply means to win, and that’s certainly a good thing.  At a deeper level, however, it’s a nod to the prevailing winds of fate and, more importantly, how we choose to react to them.

For a couple of months each year, Carl chooses to let the prevailing winds push him around the Caribbean aboard his sailboat, S/V Gully Rooster.  The Gully Rooster is a vintage 41’ Coronado Sloop which Carl has lovingly restored over the past two decades.  It belonged to Carl’s father before him, and someday he plans to pass it on to his daughter, Caitlin.  Since it was launched in 1974, the Gully Rooster has logged upwards of 30,000 nautical miles, visiting more than a dozen countries and transiting the Panama Canal twice.  The name “Gully Rooster” is Bahamian slang for a type of wild chicken native to the crew’s favorite tropical island, Green Turtle Cay in Abaco, Bahamas.  If the Gully Rooster isn’t out cruising the islands, you’ll generally find it tied up at the Port Canaveral Yacht Club, where Carl serves on the board of directors and generally holds court at the tiki bar.   

When Prevail was still a young company and Carl was doing most of the user training himself, clients who came to town for training were often taken out for a day-sail before their training was deemed complete.  If you plan on coming to Florida for user training in our office, make sure to ask your trainer if the Gully Rooster is in town.  Carl doesn’t do user-training anymore, but he still loves taking people sailing.

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