I met John Norseman in July 2012, introduced via a marina manager to provide yacht maintenance and crew services aboard John’s fifty- five-foot motor yacht, Izafel.
While working on Izafel, I began to get to know John. He would cook lunch onboard and we’d sit down and talk. He soon told me that he was a shaman and asked if I knew what that was. I did, as at the time I was reading Way of a Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman, so I felt I was quite well informed. The conversation progressed, and before I knew it, hours had passed with little maintenance work done on the yacht. The impact John left on me after that meeting was extraordinary. I had never met anyone like that before; it made me almost see life—and especially my own life—from a different perspective. I went home and told my wife all I had learned. To my friends and colleagues, I was soon referring to John as my “life coach.”
The weeks passed, and the maintenance jobs on Izafel were ticked off. John suggested we should take the boat out and check all systems, to give the engines a good run and take in the beauty that is the Cornish coastline. On leaving the dock, John took the helm from the fly bridge, spun Izafel on a dime in the very restricted channel, and we made our way out to the open sea. Amazing things seemed to happen when I was in the company of John, which I still find hard to explain. Not only did the clouds part as we bathed in autumnal sunshine, but a huge, blue shark cruised right alongside the boat. This was a rare occurrence in Cornish waters, and in my thirty-odd years enjoying these waters, it was something I had never seen before. Our trips out to sea soon became a regular fixture.
It was not long before John invited me, my wife, our son, and our newborn daughter to have lunch at the apartment he was renting near where his boat was docked. I had talked much about John to my wife, Louise, but only after meeting him did she really understand fully why my meeting John had impacted my life so much.