Standing on the side of a country road in the middle of nowhere my thumb held high in the air I wonder if my sailing knife strapped to the sling of my pack is what’s keeping me from being picked up. Moments later an old Subaru far past its expiration date, rattles and moans as it pulls over to the side of the road. The girl behind the wheel can’t reach the door lock, she stretches with all her might as I cheer her on and do a celebratory muppet dance when she finally clicks it open, I hop in and the insanity begins, where ya headed sailor…
It turns out my sea boots are a dead giveaway and we explode into a sailors banter about this and that, here and there. Back on Sookie I pour her a glass of wine as she pokes and prods and gives a thumbs up and a glass down. We drink and laugh and then a serious look comes over her face, are you solo? Why? I don’t know how to answer the question but the words slip out, because lonlieness and desperation make for a terrible match maker. She shrieks and laughs, a good song comes on the iPad, she starts to dance and I join her. Sookie is Rockin out when she cackles, Ak, I’m going to be late, she runs down the dock and disappears into the night. I start to cook dinner, onions, sweet potatoes, garlic, brocholy and two over easy eggs fried to perfection. I finish cleaning the galley, top off my water tanks, grab a beer and head to the spa. It’s too cold to walk around in a wet swim suit so I slip in naked hoping not to get caught. Floating on the rising bubbles I feel free as a bird and ponder life in my private steamy nirvana.
I don’t know why I’m so reluctant to even consider taking on crew but my wall is up for now and staying up. I ponder sailing, freedom, living well and just plain being outside. I recall my first sail on Sookie, solo and my first night at anchor, solo, the memories are so real I can touch them. Nearly five years have passed and these days she is very close to perfection in every way shape and form. Sure she is small but she has never felt too small, not even in the cooped up winter climate of the PNW. Her lack of systems keeps her sailing and not only easy but fun to sail. Somewhere in the early morning hours I drift off completely content with all the world has shared with me. Morning comes late these days as I suck up every ounce of my time pitter pattering around the boat, mainetnece log in hand and my brand spanking new heater purring like a kitten, the last one caught on fire yesterday which is how I found myself on a day long ramble form island to island.
I still don’t know what I want out of this life but for sure I know what I don’t want. The exploration continues, it seems these days that everybody wants to know every single thing before they set off on an adventure, whats the fucking point. For me the adventure is in the unknown, it’s where I find my freedom, the food that nourishes the soul. The exileration that fill my lungs to capacity and on not so rare an occasion the sheer terror that tells me I must be doing something right. You won’t find this kind of adventure in a brochure, magazine, or packaged trip. I’ve always felt the most alive when I’m teatering at the edge of the unknown.
“People don’t get it. He didn’t even have a fuckin’ map; what kind of idiot? THAT was the point. There’s no blank spots on the map anymore, anywhere on earth. If you want a blank spot on the map, you gotta leave the map behind.”
― Jon Krakauer