Monday, August 4, 2014

One year in ... sort of

Yesterday was one of those days where being far away from the family still living in St. Louis made my heart hurt. I sat in the chaos that is The Floating Bear and remembered Michael Jr's head butts, reading Kali to sleep for naps (though Grampy T often faded first) little Gussie's final good-by cuddle, Catherine and Mary's missing tooth smiles and questions about us leaving and the teary final hugs from Amber and Melanie ...

... then, sight still a little blurry, I went back to work. My Ft. Lauderdale / Miami family remains in a bit of a bind. It is good to be here helping them over a bump in the road, giving them a chance to get their own journey back under control and part of my heart is here as well.  Waking up to little JJ peaking under the covers of my current sleeping spot on the starboard side settee and calling out "I see you!" isn't a bad way to start any day.

Getting Kintala's journey back under control should probably be higher on the list of things I worry about. But it isn't. When the smoke clears from this current brush fire Deb and I will assess the damage, inventory the available resources, make some decisions, and do what we have always done; keep going.

It occurred to me that it was just over a year ago that our old Tartan put Boulder behind her and headed for the haul-out pit across the lake. Though I didn't start the count of our cruising days until we set sail from Oak Harbor (274 as of today), the day we left the sailing family at Boulder is the day we set out to go cruising.

The boat and her crew have come a ways since then. We are still a long way from being master craftsmen in the sailing / cruising world, but we have certainly reached journeymen status. (Though I am still surprised when someone asks my advice on anything cruising related.) It should be fun, being back underway without everyday being full of "firsts". New things are exciting, but there is a lot to be said for having a clue.

There is also a curiosity as to the shape our cruising life will take now that the first steps are in the log. This past year has been lurching from crisis to crisis: the hull repair at Tradewinds; rudder, rig, and near sinking at Oak Harbor; the endless beating at the hand of cold fronts coming down the ICW; storms and tornadoes in Oriental and Charleston; the engine break-down in Oriental.

Then there was the triumph of our time in the Islands. We got there and back all of a piece and all on our own. Kintala crossed the fearsome Gulfstream twice. We made some good decisions and fell in love with a good place in the world. Then Deb and I sailed back to the States and headlong into the storms of The Thing in PA and then The Bear. Perhaps the longest continuous stretch of bad weather we have experienced in the four decades plus we have traveled together.

When they say cruiser's plans are written in sand at low tide, they are not kidding.

What this next year will bring is anyone's guess. Which is true for all of us, everywhere, cruiser or land's man. The only sure thing is that Kintala, even burdened with the occasional day of a hurting heart, has started her second year by holding her bow to the waves to see what comes next.


Rharriscpa said...

Well,I have enjoyed you both taking us along on your journey it was nice to meet you and spend some time. I look forward to continue traveling along with you on the journey and seeing your horizons expand. You have the boat and the wind is free. Think of how much more you know than a year ago.

Jennifer M. said...

You have a great and humble outlook on life. I relate to your hurting heart as we travel ever farther east away from family to our first floating home. Chin up and keep writing! It's good for the soul.