Carrson Pearce Moving Forward With God Leading the Way

By DAVID BIGGY | Jun 28, 2017
Source: Sailing Energy/World Sailing Manahawkin’s Carrson Pearce spent most of 2016 winning regattas and last December reached the pinnacle of such success when he placed third in the Youth World Championships in New Zealand.

Carrson Pearce’s Christian faith has been front and center in his life since childhood, and he’s seen many youngsters across the world who haven’t received nearly the amount of blessings he’s had in his 18 years thus far.

“It’s so easy for me to forget how much God has blessed me, and I have to constantly remind myself never to take it for granted,” said Pearce, who recently wrapped up 13 years of homeschooling and an awesome youth sailing career. “God has been so good to me, and I can’t take credit for any of it.”

Without question the largest among those blessings has been Carrson’s family – Dixon, his dad, Angie, his mom, and Carrter, his younger brother. Living in the Beach Haven West section of Stafford Township and members of the Surf City Yacht Club, the Pearces are a family of water junkies who love spending time together. Dixon, a commercial pilot for Delta Airlines, and Angie, the self-described “domestic engineer/project manager at Pearce Headquarters,” have provided a faithful, loving, adventurous environment in which to raise their sons.

“I’m extremely similar to my dad in terms of personality and character, and I’ve always tried to model myself after him because he’s the most godly man I know,” Carrson said. “And my mom has poured so much love and service into my life. I’ve really developed my servant’s heart because of her. Both of them have had a huge impact on my life.

“As for Carrter, my partner in crime, I can’t even describe the impact he’s had on me. We’ve been through almost everything together, and we’re brothers in the fullest sense of the word. He’s been an amazing blessing in my life. I wouldn’t have been able to get to this point without any of them, and I’m so grateful to God that he’s given me such a great family.”

But now the family is minus one in the house for the time being – the next four years, at least – as Carrson embarks on the next chapter in his life with the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. He reported to Kings Point, N.Y., on Tuesday, June 27.

“I’ll be going through a three-week indoctrination. Basically, it’s the academy’s version of boot camp, and then classes start July 17,” he said. “I’ll be what’s called a plebe, which essentially means I’m lower than dirt. But that’s OK. I think I’m going to enjoy the experience. God has so clearly led me to this, so he’s going to give me everything I need to finish. And, God willing, in four years I’ll get out and start on the next chapter of my life.”

The end goal, Carrson said, is to become a harbor pilot, which he discovered by talking to a friend.

“It sounded like the perfect career for me,” he said. “A harbor pilot rides out to some big ship out in the ocean, jumps onto a ladder to climb the big ship and then brings the ship into port, usually into a harbor of some kind. Those ships can be anything – cruises, oil tankers, supply barges, anything big. You work by and on the water, the hours are great, and it’s just a really cool job. I couldn’t have asked for something cooler and more fitting for me.”

Given the fact he’s raced much smaller sailing vessels for much of his life, steering large ships easily can be seen as “a little bit of a step up” and a place in which Carrson will feel right at home.

“I love the water,” he said. “It’s like that thing where ship captains can’t really explain why they love the sea so much, but every sailor knows the ocean is where his home is. It’s kind of profound, but it’s where I belong. So to live by and work on the water, preferably the ocean, would be ideal for me.”

And what’s been ideal for Carrson during the past 10 years has been the experience he’s gained from being a sailor who’s traveled much of the world. He’s been to several dozen countries, including Argentina, Germany, England, Holland and Guatemala. He’s been to Africa, traveled through much of the Caribbean, and has made stops in places on the other side of the globe – all of which has translated into a worldly knowledge most his age don’t have.

“Being able to travel so much has given me a great perspective on just how blessed I am to live in America,” he said. “The poverty level in some countries is so horrific and sad, with people who wish they could have one meal a day instead of three in a week. But at the same time, it’s been really cool and amazing to see the different cultures, historic aspects and characteristics of so many places.”

Still, even while traveling, Carrson had to maintain his studies. Fortunately, the Abeka homeschooling curriculum in coordination with online classes through Pensacola Christian Academy has served the Pearce family well over the years. And even from as far away as New Zealand, Carrson was able to utilize course materials, view and listen to online class seminars and discussions, and digitally complete assignments.

“I sat through a lot of virtual classrooms while on planes or in other countries,” he said. “There’s no way I could have done it without the technology to do it, but I’m a die-hard advocate for homeschooling. I love it, and it was so incredible for me. And I believe homeschooling is the best way to go because it allows a kid to be closer to his or her parents and become really confident in who they are, before anybody else can influence them. I’ve been able to do so much, experience so much, and still get to be home, or in another country, a lot more with my family.”

Of course, developing friends had to occur somewhere, and that’s where sailing also benefited Carrson.

“One of the common things I’m asked about homeschooling is how I made friends,” he said. “And sailing has been a huge factor in that. When I was young, my mom signed me up for an Opti team that had 50 kids in it. That immediately became a group of friends, and some of them are my greatest friends today. But, then, there are the lessons you learn from sailing. I’m so much better now at overcoming anger, having more self-control, and focusing on small details while seeing the bigger picture because of sailing. I’ve had some great sailing coaches, and every single lesson in sailing was a life lesson as well.”

Hence, the many blessings of Carrson Pearce’s life so far.

“It’s been easy to see how God has led me, and it hasn’t been coincidence because all these things have happened so consistently throughout my life,” he said. “Many things have occurred that were out of my control, especially with sailing. And so many times, everything has worked out perfectly for me. I’m not as skilled a sailor as my accomplishments seem to suggest. I’m not that good as a sailor. I’ve had times when I’ve been in a race and I say, ‘God, please help me here,’ and he has. And that has happened throughout my life in many ways.

“I’ve seen the evidence of God working in my life, and now I’m waiting patiently to see the next amazing thing he’s going to do. All of that is going to be put into perspective during the next few years.”

biggy@thesandpaper.net

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