Well it’s been a busy few weeks, working long days to ready Kuhela, and myself for our first sail, but as of today, we are fueled, have all the food we need for the next six months, water tanks are topped up and the passage south is planned and marked on the chart. Weather is now the determining factor. A front has recently passed and there is another on the way, I will try to make my trip between these. All the forecasts, however, have been modified this afternoon and have given me new things to think about for when best to throw off the lines. Other than that the major jobs have been ticked off the list and now it’s down to the smaller, but just as important, details. The first sail will be from here in St.Pete to Marathon in the Keys. Unfortunately I haven’t had a chance to get out for a sail since the sea trial, but have been working on going through all the systems on board and feel I have a handle on how everything ties together and will figure the finer thins out on the way.
I wont lie, there have been times in the past week or two where its all been a bit overwhelming. Where I wasn’t sure id ever get through with the ever growing list of things to do and if I’d be ready to cast off the lines and begin the next stage of the journey. I know I sometimes get too involved and don’t take the time to step back and clear my head, leaving the gears in my head churning and spinning away giving endless ammunition to doubt and fear and all the rest of those unwelcome guest we live with in our heads. Doing this on my own has been really hard in some ways and also amazing in others, it has given me the opportunity to challenge myself and prove, to myself more than anyone else, what I am capable of. I still surprise myself sometimes. There is a caveat to the solo claim though. I am not really alone. I have had so much help, from Phil and Mary, from the other people here at the marina, from the family that have called and even come to visit. In pursuing this challenge to go out and do things on my own I am learning how much our lives are blessed by others. To do this truly alone would be more than I would want, or could handle (even with my inventive ways a supporting a backing spanner to do up a bolt, while hanging upside down, yoga posed, in the back of a locker somewhere).
As of today we are on weather watch, by we I mean myself and John, from a few boats up, who is joining me for the sail down to the keys, and from the reports and the few things I have to get finalized it looks like Tuesday we will cast off the lines. Unfortunately Phil and Mary will be unable to come throw off my lines as planned, they had to go look at a boat there are looking at buying up in Virginia and wont be back in time. Today we had the ceremonial handing over of the kettle (I have looked but cant seem to find as nice a stainless steel one as theirs) and posed for pictures, shook hands and shared a hug and they wished me well on the journey. To be able to continue on the journey with Kuhela that they started is something I am proud and honored to do and could not have asked for better people to buy a boat off.
Provisioning up for the voyage the other day was quite something. With Mary’s help, I packed the back of their car full of everything I thought I’d need for the next few months and unloaded it all into Kuhela at the end of the day, where it sat until morning when I could begin to process where it was all going to live. A morning coffee, combined with secretly wishing I had a girlfriend to use that amazing female ability of making sense of jobs like that, resulted in no magic appearances however. So I started into it putting the one thing I knew where to put and moving on from there. Even made a list as I went along, to remember where everything was, and believe it or not made my way to the bottom of the pile by lunch. That is one area I do have a lot to learn in, I do enjoy eating good food but have been pretty blessed in life as far as amazing cooks go, so will have to learn to be a bit better in the kitchen. Man cannot live on granola and fish alone (can he?)
I do feel ready, I don’t think the list will ever be fully ticked off, that’s just boats. I have done the work getting her ready and feel I have gotten to know her, she has proved herself in her many previous voyages and I have tried to absorb all I could in my years on the ocean. I still have lots to learn and have no doubt that every day will be another lesson, but I am ready to do what I set out to, to give it a shot and see how, and where we go.
My last thing to say is something that came to me a few times over the last week or so. Many people say that I am living the dream, and yes, I AM most definitely, but I do still catch myself looking over that damn fence. I don’t know what fertilizer they use, I have no idea how they do it, how do they get that amazing shade of green. Not that I’d want to be doing anything else, but I still find myself thinking of different things, different circumstances, still saying that stupid line, if I just get that… then it would be perfect. I just want to share that even if your living you dream, on your yacht, about to cruise the world, your mind can try to trick you with this illusionary wanting. Craving things that do not fill the hole, but rather feed it. Be grateful for what you have, no matter how much or little, it makes no difference. Be content, and see the person looking over at your fence and thinking the same stupid thing your thinking. Maybe then you can laugh at each other together.
Well, I guess the next stop is marathon. Yeeeeeew.
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