Tuesday, October 23, 2007

To Those Who Say It Cannot Be Done...

I'm in a reflective mood this quiet morning, as I watch perhaps the last sunrise over Lunenburg that I will see for a while.

I believe it was just a couple of days after the purchase of Annie Laurie that I was close to tears, wondering what I had gotten myself into. I had just received a phone call from a 'historic' Halifax 'property' that owned the wharf where I was tied alongside. In no pleasant way at all, I was told to have the boat moved by suppertime. A 38ft boat (overall length) and it hadn't occurred to me until that moment that I perhaps would need some assistance if I ever had to move her from A to B.

All the doubts started to flow, remembering everyone who had 'warned' me that I may not be prepared to take on such a challenge. Perhaps they were right, I was not being sensible, living on a boat with no place to keep her, and having no clue how to dock her by myself.

Simon, a co-worker of mine, was completely understanding of my situation, having lived on a wooden ketch of his own in England some years ago. That day, after giving me a hand moving the boat to an alternate wharf, he assured me it would only be a matter of time, and I would get a better handle on things.

And that was true. The day eventually came when I had to leave the dock on my own. I cast off all but 2 lines, considered the wind and tide, and having the engine ready and the helm in place, I ran forward to cast off the bowline. I then proceeded aft to cast off the stern line. Then, turning around, there was the bow, stuck between the pilings of the dock! Oh dear... but, how important is that? Well, my boat is not sinking now, is it? Not even close... so what's the worry? I can learn by trial and error, and a bit of missing paint from the hull or a blob of tar donated from the wharf will not offend her too much, and I've gotten the impression that it's her distinguished choice to be patient with me. She wants to go all the places I want to as well. A few bumps and bruises to show her a world she, or myself, have never knows, are easily looked after with painted band-aids!

Now, one re-fit and a year later, and much sooner than I had originally aimed for, I'm sailing to Cuba. I've learned that you just have to throw yourself into certain situations if you are ever to get the most out of life. It's daunting to say the least, and terrifying at times, and more exhilarating than any life I imagined before discovering a life at sea just over 6 years ago. Inspiration is around every corner, whether through a new friendship, the challenge of a storm, another incredible display of nature, or by a unique moment you never in your life would have encountered if you had not taken the chances you had until now.

And that inspiration, from whatever source, is what gets you through the seemingly hopeless times. Simon had a few other words that day I have not forgotten, and they are dedicated to those discouraging folk who say it cannot be done:

Get out of the way for those who are doing it!