In naming this post, I’ve thrown down the gauntlet; drawn the proverbial line in the sand between us and the Universe. It began when I realized two things: we haven’t had a really long sailing vacation since 2010, and we never get to use our boat since we moved it down to Olympia. We’ve had such lovely warm days here of late, and there has even been a bit of wind. We eat dinner on the patio, overlooking the pond and garden and watching the koi spawn. This is lovely. The garden is amazing this year and watching koi spawn is a lot more interesting than some things I can think of. But sometimes we’d both rather be on the boat, eating dinner in the cockpit.
Just as I was about to get lulled into a nice, deep complacent lack of giving a c**p about boats and plans; just as I was about to throw caution to the wind and stop caring about any of this stuff because it’s just too much out of my control anyhow, these two simple facts converged in such a way that I began to panic. I feared another summer would go by without a really good sailing vacation. I thought about the coming winter. (We Pacific Northwesterners always start thinking about winter just about the time the Summer Solstice comes around. It’s our way of pre-grieving the loss of the sun.) I thought about things like ‘carpe diem’, and other ubiquitous sayings that mean you should stop what you are doing now and go sailing. And I was seriously not amused at the idea of owning a boat without being able to use it, even if that boat is for sale. I felt my temper rising, just a little bit.
So I made a suggestion. It was really more in the form of a pronouncement, as my dander was up with frustration, but still, it was well thought out: If Moonrise does not sell by the end of June, we are retrieving our boat from Olympia, getting her ready to go, and heading back out to the west coast of Vancouver Island. I want to remember what the big ocean looks like and feels like, and that’s about as far as we can reasonably go in the amount of time Mike has. I need to remember why we are doing this because it’s been such a frustrating experience so far. We’re not even to square one and already we are behind schedule. I know that if I get out there and see even one whale, I’ll remember.
We also need to practice doing things like charting, setting way points, paying more acute attention to weather, and keeping watch. We don’t need these skills very often around here as we’ve been sailing here for 10 years and we pretty much go to all the same places most of the time due to time pressures. If you don’t have much time, you don’t go very far in a sailboat. So this kind of trip would allow us to get offshore, even if not for long. There will only be the two of us on the boat for this trip, unlike our previous trip to the west coast when our son, Andrew, was with us. He is good crew.
Now that I’ve begun planning for our trip, the gauntlet is thrown, the die is cast. Now that the decision has been made, it wouldn’t surprise me if we get a last minute buyer for Moonrise. If that happens, we’ll have to cancel the trip. But then we can spend our time looking at boats for real. And that will be just as much fun.