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Sassea Sails

SAILING, METAPHORS, ADVENTURE,

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I QUIT

In poker they say you have to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em. In my life quitting has been absent. During one particular 45 mile race the wind died and before reaching the ten mile mark most of the sailors got towed to the finish line. My crew was not happy as I continually waved on the power boats offering to tow us. At 11 pm we crossed the finish line. The committee boat was long gone. When we reached the beach where the food had been served and the band had the crowd dancing to their favorite tunes, only two people were on the beach. It is nice to have these two friends greet us after twelve hours of listening to my crew whine about how ridiculous my decision was. For me, it was a win despite losing her as a crew for future races.

With my own aging and the death of my husband there has been a progression toward quitting. Why stress? To learn to set up a website as part of my choice to provide a service to my community I leaped at the chance to create their monthly newsletter. Then, they added the job of distribution. I have not enjoyed that part. Typing e-mails with a system that my internet service provides a constant challenge, then having to drive 40 miles to the Staples for copies, with a final task of sticking address labels and stamps on envelopes gets in my way. I wanted a job that could be done at home at my leisure, as producing the newsletter is.

Stupidly, I also offered to learn how to update their website. Talk about stress. Again I blame my poor internet service. ENOUGH! By the end of this month I will detach myself from that job. This will come after last night’s decision to no longer distribute the newsletter. I will continue to write and produce the newsletter until December 2017. Call me a quitter.

Compounding my stress is my choice to quit cruising. As I write this blog entry  SPRAY’s new owner sits about 3 feet to my left. While he surfs the FCC regulations to transfer the Ham Radio and Single Side Band license from my clutches, I wonder how I ever came to this decision. The decision to to quit cruising? To become the mate of a tall, handsome gentleman who, like me, is not perfect? To become an unwed housewife?

Wow, what am I doing? Why am I doing this? Oh, never mind, I know why I quit cruising. Although until this moment I didn’t realize it was the same reason to quit spending so much time on the museum newsletter tasks. I quit because of the self imposed stress these situations caused.

Kenny Rogers would be proud that I learned the lesson he so eloquently sings. Yipe, I have finally learned when to fold ’em.

Tri Again . . .

From my Corsair F28, with my Marples 35 in between, to Ron’s homebuilt F31-9A to our newly purchased Windrider 17, we are tri ing again. Why not? Although for me it has been an intuitive, beauty in the eyes of the beholder, a trimaran is the way to sail. For those technies that need/want to understand their seafaring attributes from an expert, listen to Jim Brown’s podcasts. You can access them on ‘outrig.com’  Or simply google them.

Pictured above on the left is “Chiquita” Ron’s F-31, 9A that he built, sailed extensively around the mid Bahamas and round trip from Everglades City to Orr’s Island, Maine.

Pictured above on the right is Pete Kissel’s original Windrider 17 that he purchased in 2002. Now, the proud owner is me, the sassea sailor…. Actually, ownership is shared with me mate, Ron. We named her LC, ‘lil’ Chiquita.’ After all, compared to his former F9A she looks like a baby banana.

 

Passing the Helm

 

To pass the helm to an excited prospect brings joy in watching their anticipation of a lifestyle yet to be had. To give up the helm brings sadness, regret, and admonition as I wrestle with accepting who I am. To rationalize my luck in being healthy with no signs of cancer, kidney failure, or heart disease with the demise of loneliness is a tough pill to swallow.

The pain resulting from a sense of being unloved and unwanted by a romantic partner became unbearable. When the prospect of an attractive and kind  partner offered to spend the rest of his life with me, I couldn’t resist. Certainly, I didn’t. Maybe under different circumstances I would have resisted. Why I didn’t is a bit hazy.

Was it the fear of moving to the next leg of the voyage? I think that was it. Sailing toward the Caribbean after getting comfortable finding my way around the Bahamas conjured up fears. The water depth in the Virgin Islands and parts beyond was said to be upwards of 100 feet at anchorages. Up until this time I rarely dropped the hook in more than 10 feet.

Many questions plagued my waking hours. Did I have enough chain? Would I have to dive on the anchor? Who would help me? Rather than do more research and focus on what I could do to alleviate the fear, I looked for an escape. My past behavior shows a pattern of finding a mate. Since the 3rd grade, it seems I was always eyeing some good looking guy.

To want to sail alone while inclined to need/want a boyfriend befuddles me. In the end, though, having a mate won the battle. It has now been 2 1/2 years since giving up the helm. It has been 30 months since I sought an adventure worthy of writing about.

In line with the cliche ‘the check is in the mail’ I wonder, what will happen to me. Will I return to small boat racing? Will I wish SPRAY and I were still the team we were for 3 wonderful years? Will I find a new passion?

Que Sera, Sera, is such a simple way to negate all the negative feelings, regrets and unresolved understanding of why I am not amongst the solo sailors who made the circumnavigation I continue to dream about. The desire awakens me at least 3 or 4 nights a week. My subconscious seeks a way to make it happen only to be dismissed at first light.

And, so it is. Rather than this website being a journal of well documented researched articles about my life as a solo sailor, it has become a place to ramble, to vent, to document my thoughts. Sorry to bore folks, but soon, I may again give up my volunteer job and concentrate on my passion for sailing. For now, I think I will go for an intriguing walk along Panther Creek, in the darkness of our first week of daylight savings time in the year 2016.

I LOVE MY BOAT

There I said it. Actually I have said it many times during our courtship. What started as the fulfillment of a nearly lifelong dream and ended with the thrill of a romantic encounter haunts me each and every day. It is all good stuff. With the acceptance of life as a bitter suite adventure, how can anything we encounter be but an experience of wonderment.

Let me start with a definition of bitter suite as opposed to bittersweet. To be bittersweet I believe we encounter the same event at the same time. For example, morning the death of my beloved Danny while reveling in my purchase of SPRAY was bittersweet.  Sailing without having Danny to call on was the most bitter of tastes ever to pierce my lips. The suite was my new home, the home that is still mine; that home is SPRAY. And, Danny, is still my beloved.

It seems philosophical thinking that has crept into my being as it never has before. Why hasn’t SPRAY sold yet? Many say it is a matter of fate. Sooner or later that rightful owner will show up. In the meantime I meet dynamic people. Take Lew for instance. Lew and I both have the gift for gab. He lives in Oklahoma or Kansas. It is one of those states not known for sailing. Yet he has raced on a friend’s F27 and is fascinated by the thought of owning a tri bigger and more accommodating than his Dick Newick designed Tremolina. If the truth were known, I would consider a swap. There just isn’t room for a sailboat on coupleship.

More importantly, is that talking with Lew ignites the fire I once had. Living each day with the passion of watching a dream come alive presents a spectacular display of enthusiasm. Lew is getting ready to sell his house, is contemplating whether or not to sell its contents or pay for storage, and is a babble of verbage. Like the hyperactive dog that chases every squirrel he sees, Lew can hardly keep his thoughts focused on the list of questions he has about SPRAY. Again it is such a sweet memory of sparks that once flew within me.

Then, there is Herb, a seemingly more calm kind of guy than Lew. Herb knows he wants a Marples. He fears he should have bought one a few months ago. Since that boat sold all he can do is hope SPRAY lives up to his dream. He is leaving his house at 3 am for the six hour drive to see us. Us, of course, is me and SPRAY.

Months ago there was an American who is living in Sweden. He flew to the states to give SPRAY a look. A sailboard friend, Tinho made the 5 hour drive to swampland. Although I was betting his wife still is not a sailor, I thought it might be nice if we could make the deal. Another guy and lady came for an inspection. This couple found no fault with the price or the boat. With bitter regret, though, an injury to the guy’s neck prevented even the slightest downturn of his head. It was painful to watch him get frustrated each time his eyes lit up like a kid on Christmas. Then, instantly he grabbed his head reacting to the pain.

Each of these people adds to the legacy of my John Marples designed, Steve Neal built, boyfriend maintained boat. Yea, I love my mobile home. Yea, I am living in my boyfriend’s house. And, yea, I am happy onboard coupleship. BUT, SPRAY, wow, she’s my love,,,

A Clean Boat is a Happy Boat

There she sits. At the end of the dock. From the house I can see her. With but a ripple on the water as the tide abates, her stoutly physique beckons me to sail. In the early morning and late afternoon, I admire her potential and her past. Aye, but for the emotional scar that has yet to heal I do what I can to keep her clean. Bleaching the mildew, cleansing the bowl, pumping fresh water, and even cooking on her stove. She may be settled at the dock waiting for a buyer, but she is still mine, a very  proud find.DSCN3262.jpg

No man, no woman,  can take what she has given me away. Even when she leaves my side, my heart will crave the brave soul who once sailed away. Just give me the strength to keep her looking fresh. To tend to her needs as best I can. N’er was a love greater than the joy SPRAY has given to me. So, I will keep her clean, as clean I can while continuing to risk going to sea alone. For a beggar I am not, nor ever will be. If you want to sail or just help me out then hither come yonder.  Or congeal your fear, dig your heels in,  push me away whatever you need. It really doesn’t matter. Our lives will go on,,,,with a clean boat at the dock.

 

 

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