Sitting in the morning drizzle enjoying a hot cup of coffee I watched a beautiful 40′ Schooner back out in the calm of the morning. The captain and crew couldn’t have been a day under 80 yet they did it in complete silence as they disappeared into the morning fog.
I crawled into the boat to fry and egg and there was a rap on the hull, I poked my head out and there was tom, when are you leaving for the horn he said with his salty crooked smile. I met tom in Panama after sailing down the west coast of America. I was a line handler on his canal transit. Still recovering from food poisoning I fell asleep on the fore deck of his Tiny 28′ ketch, it seemed like a toy compared to the Islander 36 I had been sailing for the last year. Tom had picked up my journal and was reading through it when I woke up. You should publish this stuff Alan he insisted. We sailed locally for a few weeks, it was on that trip that I truly fell in love with small simple boats. I also wrote a 5,000 word essay for Tom to put in a book he was writing. I guess that trip was where I found my calling in this world. Catching up was fun today but watching him walk away down the dock left an empty spot in my heart, winter is coming and with it the long, dark, cold and rainy nights.
Living a simple life leaves us with endless options, The call to sail warm waters is so strong yet there is something so magical about sailing the Salish Sea that I just can’t bring myself to leave. When I arrived in Washington 6 years ago it was with the express intent of purchasing a small world cruiser and immediately leaving, these days it gets harder and harder to see the forrest through the trees and we both wonder if the grass is really greener.
Emily accidentally left the hatch partly open last night and we woke to a wet boat that stinks like an old dog. I didn’t do the dishes last night so the galley is a wreck and I’m still wearing the filthy cloths I spent the last two days in laboring to clean a children’s fun house. Our bilges are now cold enough to keep our beers ice cold, the transition to fall has started. Its all part of living aboard in the PNW, winter is coming. One of the best things we both find about sailing a small simple boat is that there are so many options open to us. Emily wants to sail to Alaska, I want to go around Vancouver Island, we both want to get back to the South Pacific where we each have special memories of perfect passages, fresh fruit and crystal clear water. Our new best friend is ocean passages for the world, we have made an offer on a wind vane and a new used main sail is on the way. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter which direction we go, we have each other and share the same dream. Today is my five year anniversary with canceling my private web page and starting this blog. I have shared every up and down, openly and honestly, a new story is unfolding. It isn’t anything fancy, its just a story about how a little boat, a ragamuffin globe trotter and a hyper enthusiastic sailor who all came to be in the same place at the same time.
If you build it they will come. ~Field Of Dreams