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Somewhere between San Francisco Bay and Seal beach I asked myself what the fuck am I doing here.  I couldn’t leave the tiller for more than a few seconds unless I had the boat fore reaching.  Let’s face it, not all boats are created equally.  I loved my little Montgomery 15 but neither of us were up to the task.  I did complete my Round trip voyage and in doing so I learned a very valuable lesson, I’m scared shitless of the ocean.

I’ve never looked at boats or thier reputations in the same way again. It’s funny how what was designed and built as a day sailor or extremely limited coastal cruiser in the sixties and seventies is now looked at by many as blue water capable for the one and only reason.  The parrots on the sailing forums repeating vague knowlegde of the fact that one person may or may not have gotten lucky and lived through a fool hardy passage such as the one I did but boats  don’t cross oceans, skippers do.  Next time a person tells you how capable a boat is ask them where they have gone in it, you might learn an entirely diffent story.

Back aboard Sookie I put on my foulies and reacquaint  myself with her reconstruction looking for any weakness I may have missed.  My list is short and truthfully I could probably leave today for anywhere and live through it but I’m looking for a bit more than survival situations.  Having April aboard and listening intently to her small comments about this and that I make mental notes.  The cockpit, or lack there of seemed to be the most outstanding and the same concern I have always had.  The cockpit is exposed with very little lifeline coverage and that’s where my attention will be focused once I have her up to yacht standards.  I’ve been studying the north end of Vancouver island intently as that’s where I would like to go most, crew willing.  I haven’t circumnavigated the island and it feels like a good challenge for the rig I have set up, or more importantly the bits and pieces I may have overlooked.

Shane Actons book Super Shrimp is by far and away the greatest voyaging account on the planet.  With no knowledge of sailing he circumnavigated in his tiny plywood sloop, a dinghy compared to Sookie.  I’m seeing Sookie with new eyes having  sea trailed and surveyed so many boats over the last half year.  Years ago when I coined the term KISS keep it simple sailor I was far younger and more abusable  than I am now.  The question is how simple is too simple.  Im surrounded by crews outfitting thier boats with the same long term goal as me, the Great Barrier Reef.  I hear their lists and discuss this and that and wonder if I’m not already done with my refit minus a few easy installations.

Running around naked in the tropics playing Peter Pan I realized how little I need to be happy, not how much. So with these new eyes I will carefully consider adding a second pair of Xtratufs to Sookies crew list, if I can find a fit.  It’s time start shopping for charts that follow the equator into the sunset.  

It’s the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.” 

― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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