Carole D. Fontaine and her husband Eric lived aboard the sailboat Windsong for 20 years. After overcoming a lengthy illness, she changed her life, and says others can too. Courtesy Photo

ARUNDEL – She’s an author, a graphic artist, a sailor, life coach and has taught yoga and meditative writing in various locales.

Carole D. Fontaine has lived and sailed with her husband Eric aboard Windsong for 20 years, moving to Maine to escape the heat and be closer to family four years ago, and to Arundel 1 1/2 years ago.

She overcame a serious illness and changed her life and says others can, too.

Fontaine, 52, published “Sail Above the Clouds, How to Simplify Your Life,” on Black Friday last fall, the first volume in a series of four in which she outlines how folks can take charge and make their lives better.

“I think a lot of people are on autopilot,” said Fontaine. “When I fell ill and was sick, I realized I’d been living my life, but not really stopping to ask if I was happy. You get into a routine and don’t smell the roses. A lot of people have a busy life, but not a fulfilling life. ”

She said her illness, which she learned after five years of seeing countless doctors, was due to a mixture of allergies, celiac disease, leaky gut and other maladies that forced her to take a closer look. She healed and says others can, too.

The couple, originally from Quebec, moved to Florida with their motorcycles more than 20 years ago, sold one of the bikes for a 25-foot sailboat, and then the other, for a down payment on Windsong.

“We were fairly young and our families said, “they’re the two crazies,” said Fontaine.

“We wanted to do something and we did it.”

They moved aboard in 1998 and sailed to Maine in 2018 to be closer to family in Quebec, moving on land for the first time in years.

She said the couple, who became U.S. citizens, lived aboard for 20 years, cruising to the Bahamas, for example, but always close to Florida. As a graphic artist, she worked remotely aboard the boat, and after her illness, began the path toward a better life. She began teaching yoga, meditative writing, conducting speaking engagements, and more. She decided to write about her journey, sharing life lessons, exercises, and stories.

“You can read the stories, or read the stories and do the exercises,” she said.

Fontaine said she wants people to get in touch with their emotions and find their purpose – what fills their heart.

“Do more of that and less of the clutter,” she said. Do less scrolling on your phone and clear your mind, she advised.

“My goal is to get people unstuck, inspired, energized and proactive into finding their passion and creating a purposeful life,” said Fontaine. “Live like it is your last day.”

She said after overcoming her illness, she feels like she has a second chance, and she wants people to know their life matters and what they have to say matters.

“It saddens me to see people waste their day and become sick and not have that second chance,” said Fontaine, adding she was shy at first, but she gained confidence and her own second chance pushed her to step outside her comfort zone.

“I just want to inspire people,” she said.

“Sail Above the Clouds, How to Simplify Your life,” is available on Amazon, at Barnes and Noble, Goodreads and in other online venues. Fontaine has joined Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance, and said she is working on local venues for her books.

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