Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Long Awaited Journey

This month marks the four year mark since we bought Wild Swan.  I was full of yearning and excitement for the images that filled my head of sailing upon crystal clear blue waters, anchoring among the sugar white beaches of paradise and the rustling of palms trees in the tropical breeze.  I was full of vigor and nothing was going to slow me down, I had waited eight long years to fulfill this dream and there I stood with my new boat and Ashley by my side trusting me to make it all work. She, a newcomer to the world of sailing whose childhood was spent in the great Western Plains was putting her faith in where I was taking us. I had a purpose and a plan and she had become part of it.  I expected a bumpy road ahead, but the dead ends and sudden turns were daunting,  I remained resolute to see this plan through;  knowing that one day it would pay off, one day I would see Wild Swan float upon that invisible sea.

Less than two weeks from this moment, we should be sailing across the Gulf Stream for the first time.  The first real voyage ever to be taken by us on our beloved home. I have planned and prepared to the most minute detail. We have rebuilt the boat from inside to out. We know the hull is sound and our equipment ready, but I have to admit, my nerves are a bit frayed.  If you know me, you know I plan everything in every detail I can. I have backup plans on hand and have memorized every detail.  I also strive to do the best work possible on every project on the boat so that when the dark clouds of a storm roll in, I know that the boat is ready and will weather the storm. Still, I get a little nervous.  This whole situation becomes even more ironic given the fact that I am a professional Mariner. I spent four years learning about the sea and the stars and have spent twelve years of my life living it and working it.  I think this is what makes me nervous.  I know the ravages of the sea, the helplessness that can be felt and how quickly things can turn. I have met so many people, many of them smart and well meaning that just buy a boat and go sail off onto distant lands, and they succeed.  Many of these people never even having sailed a boat before in their life and yet they still succeed.  I have come to realize that ignorance truly must be bliss and that through the cloud of naivete, anything can be done and no harm will ever come upon you.  I sometimes wish I could see the world through such distorted eyes, but when it comes to the sea, it is long lost.  Though, I do admit that I continue to tell myself  "so and so did it, I sure as hell can do it then!"  But even with this thought in my mind, I continue to plan until I go crazy.  I know that Ashley is counting on me and she has put all of her faith in me that we will be kept safe and I refuse to let her down.

Two short weeks and we will be drifting through the crystal waters of the Bahamas.  I am excited beyond belief and cannot wait to see my dream come to fruition.  There were so many times I was worried the boat would never be ready. Of course the project list is still never ending, but the one I made out of all we needed to do to set sail have been done and it is freaking amazing.  With my work schedule being a month on and month off, we plan to spend the next three months off sailing the Abacos and Berry Islands. On our third trip, we will call Freeport home and will welcome our family and friends for what I expect will be the best day of this amazing life of mine thus far, our wedding.  Somehow, through all of this craziness, Ashley has stuck by me and still wants to marry me! So I plan to seal this deal before she changes her mind!!  We have a small ceremony planned but we anticipate that many of our cruising friends might just show up and I"m certainly not going to tell them no!  I certainly hope that the next few Blog posts will be filled with photos of our trip and stories of fun and adventure. Fingers crossed for good weather and no break downs!  If you see us out there, please come and say hello!!   Morgan our ferocious (only in show) guard dog will certainly greet you and watch out for the cat out sunning himself on deck.

Wild Swan Ready to go!

Boat Cat is ready too! Isn't that a cute cat??

Morgan, the official dog of Wild Swan.