Eating cold beans straight from the can tasted especially delicious today, it tasted like freedom. The choice in front of me is simple fill the local bank or fill the memory bank. Packing and repacking my backpack I just can’t seem to fit it all in the way I want to, my life is complicated now. The more I look at Bristol Channel Cutters the less appealing they become to me when compared to Sookie.
I got notice today, I’m heading out in a week and since I doubt I will find a new home for Sookie in such a short period of time I am mothballing her for long term storage. Everywhere I look on this fine little ship I find pieces of me. A dead mosquito smashed on the ceiling board reminds me of our nightly battle with those little bastards. Coffee grounds in the corner of the bilge remind me of our first heavy weather of the trip and how the boat looked like a salt water bomb had exploded inside of her. Emily passed out in the cozy v-berth from exhaustion, wet water gear everywhere. The boat took a hit from a big gust and went so far over that contents from one galley locker that Emily forgot to latch actually found their way across the boat safely lodging in our boot locker. Pebbles stuck in the tread of my Xtratufs from every beach we visited. Sandy remnants of Emily’s shell collection, foreign coins, immigration codes, well used and battered charts each telling their own story, my story, our story,
We had a great adventure, one of hundreds the sea has given me. While all adventure someday come to an end, new ones are always beginning. I’m going to Portland to bang nails while I contemplate sitting in and air-condition office in a big cushy chair adding and subtracting zero’s. The more I think about it the emptier my soul feels. I’ve been rebuilding sailing and living aboard boats for almost 10 straight years, I need a break, I need the stillness that you will never find at sea. Reading through my log book I don’t want it to end but honestly I just want to sit on the shore for once looking out at the sea and know that their will be no weather to contend with, no bad anchorages, no boatyards or condensation or… The live-aboard fight is getting to me. Most marinas welcome derelict vessels that never get used but bringing my little cutter in to live-aboard starts world war three. I have yet to stay in a marina with a single boat that is better maintained than Sookie. I’m a hermit, I keep the dock clean and don’t bother anybody but I constantly am harrased for wanting to live a reasonable life.
Distance makes the heart grow fonder so that is the direction I Have chosen be-it a day, week, month or two years I need to recharge. When I leave I will have Sookie ready enough that I can launch her and sail away in an easy weekend. If she sells I will convert the proceeds and bury them in the jungle as I always do and continue the search. I’m looking for a boat but its not the boat I’m searching for, the right boat will always find us. I’m searching for the life I was destined to live, a sustainable way to continue what has basically been a 13 year adventure and more than anything the peace that comes to the soul when you know you are living true to yourself and the slave of no man, corporation or entity. Freedom is the easist thing to obtain in this world if its actually what you seek.
Somewhere at 48 N – I tuck the logbook in behind my binoculars, tide book and tattered old copy of instant weather forecasting. No I don’t think we have had our last adventure together I reassure Sookie. Go to sleep now, winter is coming, We will both wake up soon enough.