Recently I watched a luxury yacht named "True North" pass by Mystique here in the Miami area of Florida. Interesting boat name for a vessel, I thought. As I cogitated on its brand name, I envisioned multiple meanings and connotations. And then my thoughts wondered how a yacht name reflects an owner and his boat.
Reindeer had a front row box seat for viewing the competition. The rowing races were a test of pride.
Very early on a sultry morning I awoke from a deep peaceful sleep with a piercing hum in my right ear. This ear humming drummed it into me I was being attacked on all fronts. Still half-asleep, I imagined a swarming school of mosquitos surrounding me.
Our week-long close-hauled sail to Newfoundland was blessed by cooperative cold front: 20-25 knot northerly, gusty dry breezes. From Breton Reef, Rhode Island, Reindeer made its way along the New England coast through the Cape Cod Canal, 150 miles offshore from Maine, then passed Nova Scotia and Sable Island to St. John, the most easterly point of North America. With the late May air hovering in the 50-60 degree range with clear skies, our crew felt energized and optimistic, especially when we learned the forecast was favorable the whole 5-6 day leg to Newfoundland.
The grandparent role was once the cornerstone in this Native American society. Sadly, this practice does not exist in 21st “modern” century western society.
In January 2015 my sailing plans suddenly changed and when they did, they instead became greatly needed an opportunity and a few unexpected reminders.
Today is January 3, 2017 and I wrote this blog post almost a year ago. At the time I celebrated my birthday with my childhood friend Clint onboard Mystique while anchored in Nassau. We dinghied ashore for some fine dining at the nearby Poop Deck. Interesting to reflect how life passages as one ages.
Celebrating my birthday, I became younger today. Born in 1950? Younger? Yes, younger! While that may sound like I'm comparing present life with how it used to be but, that's not the case. Now is always one's present. So I celebrate the miracle of life every day! Every breath!
While I assumed many roles during my self-imposed solitary refinement sail such as skipper, 1st mate, 2nd mate, navigator assistant, cook, galley slave, boatswain's mate, chief petty officer, chaplain, bottlewasher, deckhand, entertainment director, tender driver, I should confess I stowed away some stowaways.
I once read a short allegory entitled What is Humanities’ agenda? It was a conversation between unborn twins engaged in a debate about life before birth. I know not who the author was, but let’s just say it was the human awareness or mankind’s consciousness speaking.
Amazing how time and tide are forever tied together. Both move like clockwork. Both are timely. Both tell us it is about time. In fact, they are all about time. They're oh so predictable. Never standing or sitting still, neither can be rushed. One rises and falls, ebbs and flows while the other one marches onward and forward. Both are powerful as they force changes upon our shores. Both are set to the gravity and cycles of our moon. Both alter our days and our doings on and off the water. Neither can be stopped. Neither can be ruled. Both are generous yet unforgiving. Both test human patience. Both test every sailor's abilities.
The drug I transported was time. I had used time and work to fight the demons. I was too focused on the outcome of my job and not enough about the the family. It is a tough lesson to learn. But I am glad I learned it.
The sea is perpetual motion. And we humans are similar to the sea's emotions. As long as we are breathing, our bodies are always moving outside and in. Our thoughts come and go, our bodies feel sensations, our eyes dilate, our hearts beat, our blood flows, our lungs breath and our emotions rise and fall. We, like the sea, are constantly in motion, even when we rest. We are always and ALL WAYS a sea of motions and emotions.
A Homeric legend about Odysseus voyage home, a movie about three escaped convicts and how their story parallels, a Jesuit priest’s journey into northern Canada and a tale about my parents’ perception of me and my brothers as well as an en experience with my adult son about telling the truth all demonstrate a commonality with the various facets of temptation.
Years ago, I read What is Humanities’ agenda? about two twins discussing life before birth and thought it worth sharing. How we understand our faith?
A couple years ago I was sitting by myself at an outdoor cafe near the George Town market when a fellow sailor offered to help me. He asked me what I was doing; I told him and the next thing I knew he said he would fix my windlass for nothing. After chugging his last swig of beer, he proudly offered: "If am unable to fix it, you don’t have to pay me anything", he boasted.
I replied “What happens if you make it worse?”
Without the customary fireworks, little did we know that our July 4th departure would still end with a bang.