Monday, September 14, 2015

The Bridge

We left Oak Harbor in 2013 and headed for the Bay Bridge to the south. There was some feeling, its reason undefined, that our life of cruising would begin when we passed under that bridge. It was some line we had to cross like the start line of a club race. We didn't make it there that first day since the winds were directly out of the south, ending up instead at a wonderfully picturesque anchorage on the Magothy River.

When we passed under the bridge yesterday on our way from Kent Island to Annapolis, it was the same feeling, that of entering a new year of cruising with some official start call, only this being the third year rather than the first. It was a time of reflection for me, much in the way that New Year's day is for land-lubbers, a sort of tallying up and evaluating. So without any order or preference, mostly just the way my brain popped them up, here are some miscellaneous reflections on the first two years of cruising.

  • For me, cruising is all about the people. I know some cruisers feel differently, saying that being out in nature is their big deal and that's certainly a huge part of it for me, but it would be lessened tremendously without the influence of the people we've met. The graciousness, generosity, kindness, humor, work ethic, and acceptance in the cruising community is simply not to be conveyed adequately. I'm abundantly grateful for the friendships we've formed since passing under this bridge 2 years ago.
  • I've learned (and we've mentioned it on this blog countless times) that when you're cruising, Nature rules. Every time. Always. No exceptions
  • A cup of coffee in the cockpit is one of life's greatest privileges.
  • I'm realizing I may never drive this boat as well as I rode my motorcycle.
  • I'd rather be in the Bahamas than just about anywhere else I've been. I miss the color sensory overload. There aren't even any colors like that here in the US to help to describe them to someone. I find myself just sitting in the cockpit staring, dumbfounded at the beauty.
  • I'm really thankful for our investment guru.
  • I still don't like the ICW
  • Kintala is definitely our home. She fits. I'd rather be here than in any house I can even dream of. She's comfortable. Old: yes, broken: sometimes (OK most of the time), but she's comfortable like that well-worn robe you can't bring yourself to replace.
  • I love to pick up a book in the morning and read it cover to cover in one sitting. I could never do that until we went cruising.
  • I'm grateful for my daughter being willing to deal with our piles of mail.
  • Cruiser plans almost never work out. (See above about Nature).
  • A simple life makes you appreciate the simple pleasures: the smell of warm cookies out of the oven, the smell of a campfire on shore, the smell of wet pine along the river, the myriad of colors in the sunset, the knowledge that you felt the almost imperceptable tug of the anchor's first grab in the soft mud through the soles of your bare feet in the cockpit. 
  • I love love love our Mantus anchor.
  • There's something comforting about hearing distant conversations and laughter from neighboring anchored boats as the sun sets. It emphasizes that, at the immediate moment, all is well with the world.
  • I'm deeply grateful to have my best friend of 43 years to be sharing this dream with.

Leaving year two behind



Unknown said...

Interesting coincidence that your new year coincides exactly with the Jewish New Year.
And about the bridge....One of the songs sung on todayƛ holiday goes something like this (abridged):

The whole world is a very narrow bridge, and the main thing to recall is to not be afraid at all... :)

Deb said...

@ Phil - Thanks for that tidbit. Going to have to do some research on that.