The grey of early dawn brings rain and with the clouds I hope warmer temperatures. The worst of the yard work is done, I hope I have enough paint to finish touching up under the stands and blocks. Getting anything done around here is nearly impossible as old friends and aquantences stop by one by one bringing snacks, beers and encouragement to help this wayward sailor find his way home to the sea.
Yesterday was one of frustration in every form and I reveled in every single missguided step. First I missed the ferry, when I got to the marine store they notified me my paint was still in South Carolina, special ordered I only use one paint and it must be red. Given the choices of other colors in stock or an inferior paint In red I chose the later. Im painfully superstitious and it’s bad juju not to coat your bottom prpoerly. Then I sat in a huge puddle of water, I texted my friend April and she said take a picture. Walking up to a strange young girl…um, this is going to sound really strange but will you take a picture of my butt, a vety mischivieous smile crept in as she asked if I was going to pull my pants down. That, I hope will be the first and last time I ask a stranger to take a picture of my butt, but we both had a good laugh over it. Exiting the ferry only three cars got off whizzing by me with my heavy gallon of copper leaden paint the six mile journey looked to be a long one. Minutes later a car appeared out of nowhere and a few rides later I arrived at the boatyard with just enough time to get a coat of paint on and beat the rain.
In my hurry not to miss a second ferry I forgot to have the paint shaken, it was solid as concrete when I opened it but another friend saved the day when he showed me the yards shaker. I bought the wrong rollers in Oregon being a landsman for far too long, I feel out of tune with everything but it’s slowly coming back.
A hippie pirate with the longest beard I have ever seen turned out to be my good friend captain Sterling, last year he sailed 60 days solo from Japan to finish his pacific loop, he set out with $500.00, never in my life have a read a sailing book that matches his stories but you won’t hear them from me. He served me hot soup and home brewed beers as we talked for hours about nothing. I got back from the jacuzzi cold and wet and surveyed the mess I created in my day of confusion from lost glasses and my wallet to my shower kit I ripped the boat apart 3 times before finding everything in its rightful place and missing my ferry. Too tired do deal I put on the heater, lit the candles, poured a glass of blood red wine that matched the paint all over my body and slipped into my warmies. Another perfect day. It’s amazing how far I have been from the life of a sailor but with the simple flick of my vhf to the weather report I was instantly brought back to my salty world. That old familiar monotone voice, the feeling I get inside when I hear the words gale and the knowledge of having sailed to every single place mentioned through the report.
I pull the blanket up to my chin open to the first page of Cruising in Serrafyn and remember the words I first heard spoken by the most awesome sailor I have ever known, she said, if you want to be a sailor, you have to go to sea…