In Tension

Charley in Flight

It’s here, that I am.

Over my shoulder is the safe path I strode for six months to collect sand dollars. And just to the other side of that is a point of view that pulls me back. It’s a boat. Compelling, awakening, and mysterious, the lure of the sea captivates me, but it’s living on a boat that whispers to my soul. So, it’s here that I am. “Here” is a point of view where intention, versus planning, is how I will connect to the Sea of Cortez this year.

This will be our third season in the Sea. It’s already shaking up to be unlike the other two times. It’s nothing major, just life in general, plus a heap of details and exceptions that fondly tag along, keeping sailors from going out to sea. “Life in general” would like us to believe that having a plan, a back-up plan, and an excel spreadsheet formulating a plan, is the reputable thing to do. A big downside to that approach is that when things don’t go as planned, my mentality goes to, “if it ain’t part of the plan then it ain’t supposed to be like this.” Once there is a plan, what is supposed to happen according to plan, is like a stray eyelash in my eye. Saline drops offer little relief to the stinging sensation and it’s impossible to ignore….imagine that for 6 months.  Or, imagine something else. Like the smell and feel of salt spray hitting you in the face when the waves come across the beam; the stretch and coordination it takes to hold onto the stanchion and lifelines with both hands, reach for the dinghy with your dominant foot, and then step down in sync with the rise and fall of the waves; or the unceasing sound of water slapping against the fiberglass hull and knocking halyards against the carbon fiber mast.

Salt water, wind, movement, lines, fiberglass, diesel, cooking in my galley, reading a book in the forward berth, watching Francis and Ruby make sense of their nautical world, sand, birds, fish, whales, dolphin, rays, sunsets, northerlies, warm sunshine, dew on the deck, VHF sailor’s net radio, keeping an eye on the depth sounder, crossing my fingers the autopilot will work, pointing into the wind while Captain Chameleon hoists the sails, hot but short showers, shopping at tiny Mercado’s, meeting old and new sailing friends…surprises, irritations, inconveniences, elation, contentment, and connection. These are my unplanned intentions for the next few months of living aboard Seamore Pacific.

As the Captain and I transition from land life to boat life in the Sea of Cortez, we will be balancing what other sailor’s balance, especially those our age; family at home. I’m comfortable with that, because it’s really no different than 25 years ago when I decided to move from Missouri to the coast. In hindsight, it was a time of balancing the overall big picture of being by the ocean with a large amount of pull and uncertainty outside my control. In the end, it not only all worked out but it cemented a new perspective that was made possible due to reliance on intention rather than planning; being open and ok with some outlier possibilities; and trusting that I will  know how to follow the road of least intensity to the place where I most want to be.

With eager intentions,

Seamore Nautical Spirits


P.S.  This last week, Captain Chameleon and I returned to San Diego (by car) to have new life lines made for Seamore Pacific.  It was great to be back.  The last time we were there was over 2 years ago, when we sailed out of San Diego Harbor and down to Mexico with the Baja Ha Ha fleet.







10 thoughts on “In Tension

  1. Reminds me of what John Lennon said once….”life is what’s happens when you’re busy making plans”. Sail on, my friend.

  2. Your life choices and writing are always inspirational to me. Looking forward to reading more of what and how you are inspired on this voyage.

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