Sunday, August 26, 2012

State of Balance...

Readers know that our boat's name, Kintala, means state of balance. Usually I think of it as a kind of fuzzy headed goal, some ethereal state of mind that will evidence my fully enlightened self, or maybe it just means having enough sense not to fall of the boat when she heels over in a good breeze. In any case I do like the way the name rolls off my tongue...Kintala.

While Deb played music on her sewing machine, orchestrating the assembly of the dodger, my more basic skill set was deployed putting varnish on teak ... the Zen of boat maintenance. It was a perfect morning, enough breeze to keep the air from getting stale with an overcast shading the marina from this summer's relentless sun. It was one of those moments of flowing time that just picks you up and carries you along for a while with nothing needed, demanded, asked or expected. I got to thinking that not all off the time I spend working on the boat is an unrelenting grind, but at the same time thinking I have spent hundreds of more hours working on this thing than I have spent sailing it. And sailing it was the purpose for buying the boat in the first place.

Or was it?

We bought the boat to live on, to indulge in our life long, shared wanderlust, and to explore a new way of experiencing living on this little planet of ours. We are not there yet but (assuming we make it) when we do time spent on the boat and under sail will become our primary abode. A good guess might be that in the first six months of living on the boat we will put more miles under our keel than we have in all the years since Saturday, September 15, 2007. It will balance out.

We did get in a pretty good romp in on Grey Hound Saturday night. The winds laid down a little from what we had hoped, and the rain that was supposed to fall on our heads never showed. Still, we hissed around the lake at better than 6 knots on a fantastic night sail with Thor, Joel and Emily. (Officially we were part of a race, but who cares so long as it is an excuse to mount up and go?)

Sadly, during the race we noticed the flashing blue lights of Officialdom clearly tracking a search pattern grid across the dark waters. That they continued deep into the night was all the clue our crew needed to guess that they were looking for a body. As it turned out they were looking for two. The usual suspects were at hand, lots of alcohol, poor decision making and, in this case, very inexperienced people in the boat. All that really matters though is that two people are gone, two families of hearts are broken, and years full of dreams will go unfulfilled.

And that is the way life works as well. Not only do we need to balance out the long term and short, we do well to balance out each day, each weekend. And to that end Kintala whispered a gentle lesson to me as I brushed her teak. "This is a good day. This is good work getting done. This moment is exactly what it should be. Notice it as is passes."

I just may learn to like this boat again ...

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