A beggar had been sitting by the side of a road for over thirty years. One day a stranger walked by. “Spare some change?” mumbled the beggar, mechanically holding out his old baseball cap. “I have nothing to give you,” said the stranger. Then he asked: “What’s that you are sitting on?” “Nothing,” replied the beggar. “Just an old box. I have been sitting on it for as long as I can remember.” “Ever looked inside?” asked the stranger. “No,” said the beggar. “What’s the point? There’s nothing in there.” “Have a look inside,” insisted the stranger. The beggar managed to pry open the lid. With astonishment, disbelief, and elation, he saw that the box was filled with gold.
Several years ago I was fortunate enough to meet the builder of my Allegra 24. When he asked if I had found the safe I was dumbfounded, I thought I knew every nook and cranny of that boat but when I returned home there it was with all the construction notes from day one to finish of that beautiful boat, it was a goldmine.
For the last three and a half years I have been trying to figure out why there is a dead space in my bilge with no access. I have been getting ready to add a new water tank and started drilling exploratory holes and there it was under my nose this whole time. I don’t know exactly what it is but there is something secretly tucked and sealed patiently waiting to be discovered. Its a sealed box but I have no idea what could possibly be in it. Whatever it is, its surely a special treasure that the original builder went to great lengths to seal away in a hidden tomb. All these years its just been sitting there, my imagination is running wild.
There have been so many times since I started this project that I have run into brick walls, financially, emotionally and intellectually. Too many cold lonely winters, too many days all by myself in a windy wet boat yard, and far too many days as a solo sailor. Now that the worst is behind I’m in no hurry to unearth this special hidden gold mine, whatever Sookie holds for us it can wait. We have our annual refit budget refined and 6 months to finnish as much as we can before setting off to drift about the Salish Sea. I needed a break from the insanity of beating winter and pulled out Ocean Passages for the world. Were too busy living in the now to plan our future but it doesn’t hurt to take a secret peek at tomorrow.
Neah Bay to Westport, WA 100
Westport, WA to Columbia River, WA 40
Columbia River to Newport, OR 100
Newport, OR to Coos Bay, OR 75
Coos Bay, OR to Crescent City, CA 100
Crescent City, CA to Eureka, CA 65
Eureka, CA to Bodega Bay, CA 175
Bodega Bay, CA to San Francisco, CA 65
San Francisco, CA to Monterey, CA 90
Monterey, CA to Morrow Bay, CA 100
Morro Bay, CA to Santa Barbara, CA 100
Santa Barbara, CA to Newport Beach, CA 100
Each day we cross off yet another project, reduce our personal possessions to the bare minimum to make way for the new and come up with new ideas to make the boat more comfortable. We got the new batteries in and I did it without electrocuting myself which was a big one off the list. All new cushions are next followed by lifelines and then finally I’m going to put in real reefing gear and a topping lift. I still can’t sail to windward in 25 knots of wind but thats all going to change. I don’t know how we ended up with so much nice crap on this boat but eventually we will simplify to the bare minimum of everything we need and want, yard sail.
“Edit your life frequently and ruthlessly. It’s your masterpiece after all.”
― Nathan W. Morris