Sooner or later in life everybody will accomplish something great. My aspirations might be less than the next guys but somehow I have managed Forrest Gump my way through the world.
What is it that I seek in this world? Friendship is what makes me tick. Not paper friends or the kind you have at the office or down on the docks, or your weekend riding buddies. I seek out truly great people who love me as much as I love them and Port Townsend was affirmation that I am truly blessed in this department.
From the second I set foot on Terra Firma in PT I was pushed pulled and dragged in every direction north, south, east, and west. I don’t go to the show to see pretty boats and fancy gadgets although those are always fun. I go for the people. It doesn’t matter who you say hi to, everybody there has their own story and this years boat show lived up to its rumors and was without a doubt the greatest show on earth.
The number one reason I went was to see Karen and Jim’s presentation on lessons learned from sailing a 24′ sailboat from PT to NZ. Not only did they offer their beautiful yacht to us for the weekend but they insisted that we accept their unbelievably generous offer. Their presentation was hands down the most fun and enjoyable show I had ever been to and I’ve been to all of them. Karen tried to introduce me to her good friend Cathy which was awesome because I sold the most beautiful Crealock 37 in the world to Cathy and her husband Bill years before. The boat is now in South Africa having gone two thirds of the way around the world and they have no intentions of ever stopping. An hour later Bill showed up hugged me so hard my brains nearly squished through my ears, kidnapped us and poured ice cold beers down our throats. Bill started talking about how before setting off he needed his emotional sponsors, now a seasoned world cruiser the tables have turned. I was the blue water guru walking him through every step of his new boat, now Bill is my emotional sponsor. We talked and laughed and listened and again I was reminded through the evening and the weekend how much there is to be relearned in this constantly evolving art. I’m not talking electric gismos but good old canvas and all the different ways we use it to propel us driven by the wind from here to there.
I got to introduce Emily to Lin and Larry Pardey and true to form she told us secrets that somehow have never made it into print. I wanted to kidnap Larry for the whole afternoon and talk about little Sookie but there is never enough time. I ran into so many friends, new and old and while our conversations were always cut short as I was yanked from place to place it was truly special to see so many smiling faces, to receive so many giant bear hugs and to know that I was exactly where I was supposed to be, we all were.
Overwhelmed and tired we chatted on the way home as we rushed to make the ferry and pick up Chloe and for the first time Emily and I had a conversation about our future together, but thats another story.
“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”
― Albert Camus