Monday, 31 October 2011

a whirlwind of kin


My big sis
We slowed down on our trip south, right into the whirlwind of my sister’s family. After four years apart, this was a joyful reunion. And on three separate occasions, we had eager crew varying in ages between 8 and 42 join us on Nyon, and what fun it was! When we first anchored in Dana Point, we were told by the harbour police that we could not leave the boat for the day. While the small anchorage inside the breakwater was wonderfully calm, it wouldn’t allow for us to spend quality time with family on land. We moved the boat outside the breakwater. There, the swell was somewhat uncomfortable, but the winds were light. Landing the dinghy was also a little unsettling, as there were surfers in the area. Surfers that were actually surfing. Near the breakwater, there was little surf, but it took a bit of a mental leap to head to shore the first time. The evening before we were to move the boat a little further south, my sister and nephew came for a sleep-over aboard Nyon. We moved the boat back inside the breakwater for the night, to give our visitors a more restful sleep. 

My nephew, raising the mainsail
The next day, we leisurely set out for Oceanside with them. It was a grey day. The wind was fickle, but it held on for a brief while. The biggest treat was the very large (or multiple) pods of dolphins heading north – we went off course to hang out with them for a while. My sister and nephew’s delight was contagious. As we neared Oceanside, Rick excitedly yelled: “Whales!” We could see two blue whales, mists of water rising from their spouts as they passed by. It was awe-inspiring.  Once we docked at Oceanside, we gave the rest of the family a tour of Nyon. Even my brother-in-law came down to check out the boat. (This is the brother-in-law who told me he had a healthy respect for the pool after I told him I have a great respect for the ocean…) We left Nyon for two nights, knowing she was safely berthed at the Yacht Club. (Thank you David!)

Tree climbing monkeys
A moment with papa
We were welcomed into my sister’s home with open arms. We had a great time catching up with the gang. Brunches are an art with this family. Music spills out of the house, and not just from the stereo…  Accomplished and budding young musicians play a baby grand, a harp, a guitar… Poetry is playfully recited and spontaneous sing-alongs are common; perusing a world map is cool. We all watched an old silent movie together, cheering for the good guy while booing the bad guy with gusto. I can say with certainty it was the oldest and loudest movie I’ve ever watched. This visit was a lovely interlude on land for two ocean voyagers.

She's a natural
The second time we took relatives sailing, we were accompanied by three teenagers. The girls were up before dawn: At 06:00, they showed up wearing many layers and big grins. We left the Oceanside Yacht Club in the dark.  It was to be a 10-hour journey to San Diego. We sailed the whole way! The swell was rather pronounced though… The oldest of the three felt it most painfully, the others also felt a little off for a time, but they all rallied. (At one point, it looked like we were having a slumber party, with three passed-out teens bundled in sleeping bags in the cockpit. (Only one accidentally rolled off the cockpit bench. Oops.) The early appearance of dolphins was a welcome distraction. As we neared San Diego, the wind freshened. The boat heeled. And heeled some more. Just as I began to tell Rick, “Hey, maybe we should let the wind spill off the sails a bit…” (I was worried the girls might become frightened.) They all cheered loudly and enthusiastically, loving every minute of it. That was that. Kyra stopped worrying. After docking, we made dinner together. Ever cooked a meal with three teenagers in a galley the size of a shoebox? Unbelievably, it was rather painless. We had a tasty dinner, and by the time their ride showed up, they were all more than ready to crawl into bed.

Impromptu slumber party
Getting some alone time on deck
The classic sunglasses shot
A favoured toy aboard Nyon
The third occasion was a sunny Saturday day-sail. At anchor, we awaited my sister’s arrival with her three youngest. Rick and I very much enjoy experiencing sailing through young children’s eyes, and this bunch was no exception. They are full of enthusiasm and curiosity. And let’s face it: You’re plenty cool just for having barbecue flavoured chips aboard. A home that floats on water gets you bonus points too. The weather was perfect. It was sunny, there was a nice breeze, and minimal swell. We got close to sea lions lazing on the channel buoys. One of those times was a little too close for auntie K’s taste. Then, there was the tall ship Californian under sail, now that was a nice surprise! The only disappointment was that no dolphins came to play. A tooth was lost, the head was mastered, a spontaneous art session was begun at anchor, and homemade mac and cheese was devoured. Sleepy heads left the boat in the darkness, with uncle Rick rowing them quietly to shore.

Wait, is that a pirate ship?
Big and small kids loved the Californian
Art attack on Nyon
I believe we would have a constant stream of willing crew if we lived in the area, my sister included. She would definitely have competition however… 


We've now officially checked out of the good ol' U.S. of A. We have our fishing licenses. We are about to provision, and tomorrow, we stow the boat. And then... Then we're off to Mexico!

Friday, 21 October 2011

where the bison roams

Sailing away!
We didn’t stay in Prisoner’s Harbor as long as we had planned. The forecast for Santa Cruz Island could have made it an uncomfortable berth that second night. We left in the late afternoon, one heck of a breeze sending us flying out of there. Our fastest speed (with only the genoa up) was 10.2 knots! (Our hull speed is 7.3 knots.)1 We were having fun! Two hours later, the wind just… died. Wait, that wasn’t in the forecast! As we passed Anacapa Island, we had to motor. We were disappointed; that meant we also had to hand-steer again. Ugh. As we moved further south, freighters seemed to come out of everywhere and nowhere. Yes, they made me jittery when they came within 0.4 nm, even with AIS.

Santa Catalina Island... the walk to the other side
After another overnight sail, we arrived in Catalina Harbor on Catalina Island. If you look at a map, there is a place called Two Harbors, where the land narrows. We are on the south side of the isthmus. It is merely a half hour walk to the other side, once you dock your dinghy. (It was a 0.6 nm row to get to the dinghy dock, however…) The other side had the ice cream, the kayak rentals and tours. Our side was more low-key and with fewer mooring balls, so we anchored. We got to experience both worlds. We also met the crew of Convivia, a lovely family also on their way south.

The touristy side of things

Our anchorage, Catalina Harbor
We acquired a trail map and went on a hike. Cacti abound here, it is pretty arid. I found the scenery as fascinating as it was unfamiliar. On the way back down, we noticed a bison chilling out next to a palm tree. It was an odd sight. He seemed pretty mellow, he made me think of Ferdinand the bull. This was our last stop before we pointed our bow back to mainland California, and my sister!

Cacti are everywhere

Yay! We're going
on a hike!
A bison roams
The isthmus
1Hull speed is a theoretical limit based on the waterline length of a displacement boat where the resistance curve of the boat through the water becomes vertical. The strong wind and large swells meant we accelerated as we were sailing downhill. We were surfing down the wave, in a controlled fashion, mom. Really. Ask Rick.

island magic

Enjoying our morning coffee as we head out

Mending the American
flag
When we left San Miguel for Santa Cruz Island, the sky was overcast. Soon, the sun poked its head, and it became more festive on Nyon. The wind direction was not great, it was on the nose. Again. But we rallied and chose to sail, (if you haven’t guessed yet, we really hate motoring). We had to tack, and tack again, and again. It felt good. All of a sudden, I saw what I first thought were dolphins. But something wasn’t quite right. I got the binoculars out, and realized it was a “group” of sea lions swimming, fast. Not only that, they were leaping out of the water over and over! And there were many of them. (Yes, I am rather fascinated by sea lions. I have been reading up on them. They’re pretty cool!) The wind ultimately backed to a good heading, and our course took a more direct line to Prisoner’s Harbor, our next anchorage.


Sailing! Yes
Highlights on the way to Santa Cruz Island:
  • Watching leaping sea lions swimming in formation while we were under sail
  • Eating sandwiches and grapes, sitting on the cabin top, the sails full and the sun shining brightly
  • Yeah, we're goofy

  • Listening to old favourites, while discussing our top 5 albums, (for their cohesiveness and individually brilliant songs). Yep, we’re nerds
Highlights at Anchor:
  • Preparing Chorizo and mushroom pasta, while drinking red wine and listening to the “Big Night” soundtrack (from a gem of a movie). Just for a while, I can pretend I’m a sassy Italian in the galley.
  • Eating dinner by candlelight in Prisoner’s Harbor, where pelicans dive loudly and sea lions swim by, their heavy breath echoing on the water
  • The land breeze sending the spicy scent of eucalyptus trees wafting over us as we sat in the cockpit after dinner
  • Small fish darting about, sometimes breaking the surface of the water; at first, we just heard them. Plop, plop, plop. In the dark, we could see their bio-luminescent trails: Squiggly tracks of light filled the dark waters. It was like underwater fireworks. We took breaks only to look up at the stars, the Milky Way prominently displayed amidst a thick carpet of stars. That’s what I call a magical night. (Rick says I’m being cheesy, but really, there is no other way to describe it.)
We loved the Channel Islands. We would have liked to explore them for a while longer, but I have to admit, the call of the south was louder.

Prisoner's Harbor

south california: island style

Morro Bay, early morning
Morro Bay did not want us to go. I am not kidding. The day started off well enough: We got a gargantuan pile of laundry washed and dried at the local Laundromat, our cheapest ever: $6.75 for a quadruple load! (Apparently the owner can’t find the manual to change the price on the large washer. We did not mind.) We rowed back and stowed the boat. I warmed up the engine, and Rick went forward to raise the anchor. We were ready to go!

Anchors aweigh! Um…
Anchors aweigh. Uh huh.
Anchors aweigh? Nope. Sorry.

At the 60 foot mark, the anchor chain would not budge. I eventually called the Harbour Patrol, by then we had reached our quota for swearing. Dana came by. He and Rick tied a line to our chain and towed it in an attempt to dislodge the anchor. I could feel that we were caught on something metal. The clunking as Dana tugged with his work boat was a hint. He put us in contact with a diver. Eric said he would come at slack tide. All right. That wasn’t for a while, so I had a nap, while Rick puttered. Two and a half hours later Eric and his cohorts came by. They dove, only to discover our chain was wrapped around an old, abandoned mooring chain. Considering the strong current in the estuary, we had swung around a lot in the three days we were there. Our anchor chain that lay on the bottom had become very intimate with said mooring chain. Finally, they got us untangled, and we were free!

Home sweet home
Evening turned to night. We were able to sail with Wendy for a big part of the trip, but the rest of the time we had to motor and steer by hand. Yep, Beaker (our auto-pilot) bit the dust on that last trip. (We hope to revive him soon). Kyra’s skills at hand-steering by the stars are, um, entertaining to some… We won’t name any names. On night watches it helps us to stay alert by listening to audio books. Podiobooks.com is a site that hosts a variety of free audio books by many authors. We first heard of this site through our friend Darusha. She has three books on that site, all three worth a listen, especially if you like science fiction. Even if you don’t, give it a go. I never used to read (or listen to) sci-fi… and well, now I do.

This leg of the journey is when we rounded Point Conception. Oh the stories we had heard… There are considerations to make when going by there, the seas can indeed get nasty. A close observation of the weather and timing our journey in the evening (less wind), all made this leg rather uneventful. We have no horror stories to report!

When the sun came up, a pod of bottle-nose dolphins leapt into view. We took turns standing at the bow to watch them from above, I counted some 20 dolphins riding the bow wave at once. Like I said earlier, this never gets old. Eventually, we saw the outline of San Miguel Island. The dramatic landscape was worth the trip. There are cool sandstone cliffs, sand dunes, and sea lions, of course… We were not there for long, but we enjoyed the scenery, a simple dinner and listened to a podcast of This American Life. I think we were asleep by 21:00.

Cuyler Harbour, San Miguel Island

Different angle, same anchorage

Thursday, 13 October 2011

the lay of the land


In Morro Bay, it has been hot. And we love it! The forecast announced stinky seas out by Point Conception, so we are waiting until the seas settle. In the meantime,  boat chores abound, and there is provisioning to do, laundry to clean, and Southern California to plan. One of the exciting prospects of heading to SoCal, is seeing my sister and her family. I am patiently waiting it out... Ahem.

The first morning in Morro Bay, I went on a reconnaissance of the town. Part of a voyager's routine is to figure out the lay of the land in each new town: Where is the laundromat, post office, grocery store; where are the best fish tacos, etc. On that first trek, I stopped in a little gallery displaying lovely pottery. Ross, the owner, and I ended up having a long chat.  When he found out I was a sailor, he offered me a stack of Sail magazines he was about to recycle. I couldn't say no, fun reading material, woohoo! We shared stories about stressful sailing  experiences, the joys of voyaging, interesting locales worth visiting. It was another of those moments you just click with a complete stranger. He and his wife Hedy had set up Full Moon, a studio and gallery I would have loved to work in. 

Other than buying saltwater taffy and wandering into that gallery, we felt like "regulars" on the waterfront. It was nice. The never ending chorus of sea lions accompanied us with our morning coffee and evening beer in the cockpit. We rowed to shore daily, or at least I did. Of course, we went to the library. (Surprised? Local libraries are great for research and the internet is fast and free.)

Morro Bay, has been a chill experience. Sea otters, sea lions and pelicans abound. We often hear the "ploof" of a pelican diving in for a catch; there is nothing subtle about it. The cacophony of sea lions, the fishing boats going in and out,  the echo of the fish taco place calling out order numbers, the gusts of wind and strange current in the estuary, all add to the experience. There are a few boats here that we recognize from Neah Bay. Chats ensue, but everybody is keen to move south. 

This afternoon, the wind is supposed to calm down, we are planning to head out later in the day. If the forecast doesn't change, that is. We'll take it as it comes. A hard lesson still, but we're getting there.

Next: The Channel Islands

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

sometimes you're just glad it's over


Big Sur
On our way out of Monterey Bay, we were accompanied by dolphins, sea lions, and birds, many  many birds. Things were looking good. We had 110 nautical miles to cover. We had following seas, and it looked like it would be a nice downwind run. Eventually, Big Sur appeared out of the fog. And wow! The coast was dramatic. (Yet the sun set before we saw most of it...)

Wendy (our windvane) was not very happy though. The wind over the windvane sail is subtracted by the boat speed when you sail downwind. This means when there isn't a whole lot of wind, the windvane can struggle to keep a course. On our passage from San Francisco to Monterey, we used a reefed main that we sheeted out with a preventer, and it worked well. On this trip, we had to take the mainsail down and unfurl the genoa, because twice we rounded up into the wind and were unable to steer back downwind. (We think the swell caused the boat to round, and then the mainsail pushed the stern downwind which made it very hard to get back on course.) So we set the genoa in order to move our center of effort forward. That seemed to work. Yet, the swell was still a challenge. It  forced the boat to veer enough that the foresail got back-winded before Wendy could compensate.  We decided to give Wendy a break and switched to Beaker. (That's our tiller-pilot, which we have connected to the windvane tiller to reduce the load as well as the power draw on it.) 

A couple of hours later, the wind became, let's say, more lively. At first, Beaker did well. And then... Beaker had a temper tantrum. On my midnight to 04:00 watch, of course. I ended up waking Rick up to help and learned a few tricks to deal with the troublemaker. Rick went back to bed. Later, I decided to sneak down and get something to eat. That's when Beaker started beeping insistently. Again. I ran back on deck, attempting all the steps to get it back on track. No luck. Rick got up, again. We decided to put Wendy back to work - I got her on course, while Rick stumbled back to bed. He was exhausted. By then, I knew more. Sometimes I feel frustrated with the many holes in my knowledge. Ah, to be a student of the seas. That's what I am. So is Rick. That learning curve is a hard climb sometimes.

Things settled down, I got off-watch, glad to pass off the responsibility of the boat for the next 4 hours. Then it was my turn again. It was daytime. And there was fog. Thick fog. And very little wind. Yet, I chose to continue sailing. Our engine would have made it hard to hear another boat's engine, My hearing becomes my eyes. We have a "fog horn" on our VHF. I turned it on. A five-second blast, and then  two short blasts, every two minutes. Others now knew we were sailing in the fog.

The fog lifted a little, lifting some of the tension off my shoulders. That's when I noticed a young sea lion following in my wake. At first her head and neck jutted out, she looked at me, breathed heavily and dove  under. This happened numerous times. I tried to take a photo. To no avail. So I set down the camera and began talking to her, leaning over the edge of the boat. (Yes, that's exactly what I did.) She became more playful. I'm not kidding. She began to jump out of the water, waving her flipper, pushing her rear flippers out of the water, she then came up and looked at me. She repeatedly dove under the boat to come up on the other side, until I leaned over to that side. I tried not to be too distracted. She made me smile after a night of mishaps. I totally fell for her. Eventually, she left.

Rick woke up, we could see a faint outline of Morro Rock. We were nearing the entrance of the harbour. After talking to the harbour master on the radio, we found a nice little spot to anchor, across the piers, lined with fishing boats and colourful buidlings. We went ashore for fish tacos. It was Thanksgiving after all.

Morro Bay Pier from our anchorage
At last, we breathed a sigh of relief. Nothing really bad happened. But sometimes, enough challenges occur to make you grumpy, tired, and wanting it to be over. It was over.

Hello Morro Bay!

Saturday, 8 October 2011

critters, surfing dinghies, and clam chowder

On our way to Monterey, we saw tall ships, met a stray bird and sailed into a sunset, and then a sunrise…

Fleet Week was commencing in San Francisco, just as we were leaving. Jets were screaming by, a plethora of police boats were zipping around the bay awaiting the arrival of many ships. We were looking for something a little quieter, and so we waved goodbye. It was good to be on the water again. 

Puffy, chillin' out California-style
We sailed between 5 and 10 nautical miles from shore. You can imagine our surprise when we picked up a hitch-hiker along the way. How did such a little bird make it all the way out here we wondered? He looked like he was about to fall over, he was so tired. Rick tried to feed him crumbs, but Puffy was not interested. I remembered reading on Bella Star's blog about their encounter with one such bird, and told Rick in no uncertain terms – this bird needs flies, and a nap. We found him a couple, but we seemed to have a fly shortage on the boat. (Not that I'm complaining!) Puffy became Puffy the Fly-Slayer. Befitting his new name, he became more and more bold as he regained his energy. He was determined to go into the cabin, it was like playing Red Rover with the little guy. He won. Every time.  He was not shy. He especially liked climbing all over Rick, eventually he warmed up to me too. For three hours, he made us laugh and giggle. This was pure entertainment. Who needs TV I ask? And then, he disappeared. Just like that.

Buddies
We settled into our overnight sail, standing our usual watches, listening to audio books, identifying constellations… I sailed us into a sunrise over Monterey Bay. It was lovely. The boisterous honk of sea lions welcomed us, and we found our way to a mooring field outside the breakwater. Monterey, the town of John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row, is now a cute touristy town, with a renowned Aquarium.

Fisherman's Wharf
We rowed to shore, while I was nervously eyeing the surf… Phew, we managed to land the dinghy without embarrassing ourselves. (This time.) We’re still working on our technique, we figure we need to leave our pride on the boat and learn to tackle the wave just so, we don’t want to get swamped, obviously. It’s an art. I can’t wait to master it. (For now, I bring an extra pair of shorts in a dry bag for those unfortunate times things don't go according to plan. Please, someone tell me you have the same challenge? We hear it gets particularly interesting to beach a dinghy in Mexico. We’ll be going ashore in our bathing suits me thinks.

Sea Nettles
We wandered around the town, and did indeed go to the Aquarium. We nearly choked at the cost, but we’d heard positive things about the place. I struggle with these kinds of enclosed spaces. I much prefer seeing animals in the wild, but this particular aquarium is very conservation positive and into rehabilitation; that made me feel a little better. It was very educational as well. We did see some pretty amazing creatures while we visited the centre.

Our bellies full of clam chowder, we made our way back to the boat. By then, things were pretty rolly aboard Nyon. I’m not a fan, it’s hard to sleep when the boat rolls back and forth, pitching? No problem. So we set out a stern anchor to point the boat into the swell. Much better. Now we're ready for bed. Tomorrow, it's off to Morro Bay.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

on the kindness of strangers

We have been in the San Francisco Bay area for nearly three weeks. A lot has happened in those three weeks. We wore out our sandals walking all over this fabulous city. As you already know, the San Francisco vibe has charmed us. 

At a dock for the first time in
a month
We anchored while in the Bay area. We like anchoring. Then the opportunity to stay at a dock in Alameda came up. And boy, were we excited! REAL showers, a constant supply of electricity,  water, easy access to provisioning... This all sounded pretty good to us after being on the hook for a month. With that mindset, we headed to the Oakland Yacht Club. 

Can I make a confession? That was my first Yacht Club experience. I never thought of myself as a yachtie. We're more like the hillbillies of yachting. Okay, I'm exagerating, but there's more gypsy than yachtie when it comes to our identity as boaters. It turns out the Oakland Yacht Club is a very laid back club. To quote one of its members, it's even a little redneck. (Please forgive the generalization.) One had to wonder, how would Kyra fit in there?

Let me tell you about our experience at OYC. First, Steve and Carmel, who were both on the same dock welcomed us warmly. We then met Jim who gave Rick a hard time for sorting our laundry in preparation for a trip to the laundromat. Well, if you know me, you'll know I razzed him right back. THIS mister, is an equal opportunity boat! The next day, Jim asked if we'd crew on his boat for the Oktober Fest Regatta, he needed crew. We said yes.  That was my first dip into racing sailboats. After many laughs and a couple mishaps, this very patient skipper took us out for dinner at the club. The razzing didn't stop.

And then there was Kyra's eye. My eye had been giving me trouble for the entire time we'd been in San Francisco. I'd already been forced to navigate the American Medical System once, (and that my friends, is an adventure when you're Canadian). By the time I got to the OYC and the race was done, I was in agony. When Steve found out, he personally called his eye doctor. I was in that doctor's waiting room a half an hour later. Steve drove me there. I found out I had Acute Iritis, a condition linked to my Ankylosing Spondylitis. Steve drove me to the drug store and back to the club. Carmel, kept dropping off fruit and treats, while checking in on us. And Jim offered us rides if we needed them. All I can say is, we were overwhelmed by the kindness of  these people, who only recently were strangers to us.

After 5 days, we said goodbye and left to explore Angel Island, to celebrate my birthday. We had fun hiking in the rain, although the deer seemed annoyed by our presence. We came back to the boat, muddy, scratched and wet, but happy. Rick made me a wacky cake, and I blew out the candles. Wow, I'm officially 39 now.  

We are now back in Aquatic Park readying ourselves, at long last, for our departure from the Bay. Monterey, here we come!

when you sail in san francisco bay

Another boat, sailing down the estuary, as we were headed toward
the Oakland Yacht Club. A whole different reality than we're used to

On the water in Jim's boat, Oktober Fest Regatta,
San Francisco Bay. 

Sailing toward the San Francisco Bay Bridge

Sailing by Treasure Island, they sure are feeling
festive for Fleet Week

Crossing paths with the schooner Alma, (both of us under sail in the Bay)

A view from the bow

Sunday, 2 October 2011

shifting gears

Voyaging is a way of life. It changes everything from your interactions with other people to how you think about time to the value you place on convenience and comfort.1

Choosing the voyaging life is not just one choice. It is many choices. And the more choices you make in a certain direction, therein lies your philosophy of living. But first, you have to buy into it. Or better yet, live into it.

I am only one month into the voyaging life. I am aware I’m just beginning to experience the uncertainties, occasional isolation, and out-of-my-comfort zone moments that involve being a sea gypsy. I was expecting that. Ironically, slowing down, is the most challenging. Before we left, all I could think about was when we’ll be gone, when we finally leave, then, it really begins. But first I had to go, go, go. Get everything ready. While on passage, it was, when we get to San Francisco, well then we will get into the groove, you know that flexible, go-with-the-flow sailor groove. Yet one recent morning, I was thinking, we have to “catch up”. (Whatever that means.) I’ll chill out, but just let’s get there first okay?

We were discussing the weather forecast. Our plan was to head south to Monterey the following Monday at the latest. Once we checked the forecast, all we saw were southerly winds, fluky and strong… Not the forecast we had hoped for. But, here I was, pushing to go forth. I was “done” with San Francisco, we needed to catch up to other voyagers, we were dragging behind! We could do it, why couldn’t Rick see it my way. Rick just looked at me, disbelieving. "I can’t believe you want to go with this kind of forecast, there’s lots more to see here, and we can wait for more favourable weather."

And that’s when it hit me. I got off the “hamster wheel” but I’m still spinning.

Honestly, choosing this life is an easy choice for me. I want it. I love so much what it represents, what it heralds. I cherish a life of simplicity. I want to feel more connected to my environment. I want to learn about other cultures in a deeper way. Yet, the choice to be a voyager challenges me daily. Don’t get me wrong, so far on this journey I have appreciated and celebrated many special moments, moments when I was present and grateful. Yet, I often seem to get caught up on "what will be" instead of "what is".

In The Voyager’s Handbook, Beth Leonard writes that it can sometimes take a year or more, to learn to slow down. I realize that wanting to fast-forward to that place where it comes naturally, simply defeats the purpose of the lesson. It hasn’t stopped me from trying though.

Leonard, is one of my inspirations for the journey we're on. In the preface of The Voyager’s Handbook, she writes about returning to homeport, after a 3-year absence. She and her partner had circumnavigated the world on their sailboat. She was reflecting on the changes within her, after that life-altering experience. You know when you read something and your heart hums with recognition? That happened when I read this:

The person who left had viewed time as something to be constantly filled or lost forever; the person who returned understood that time is the only space within which the soul can expand.2

I am willing myself to slow down. Take the time to breathe. Take things as they come. To realize that no matter how I think things must happen, I only have control over how I react to the events. It will take time, but time, I have.
                
1 Beth A. Leonard, The Voyager’s Handbook: The Essential Guide to Bluewater Cruising.(New York:    International Marine – McGraw-Hill Companies, 2007), xv
2 Ibid, xiv

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