Archive for September, 2010


Wednesday, September 1st, 2010



After an uneventful run to Terrington Basin, I dropped the anchor near the Otter Creek Sea Plane Port having sail, motored and drifted some 5678 nautical miles from Two Harbors Minnesota.  Now the most dangerous leg of the trip begins the highway home. 


My Labrador friend Jim N. took me to the Goose Bay Airport and I retrieved Thumper and the boat trailer.  Like so many things on the voyage a process must take place to transcend from the water to the land.  I often felt the ground move under my feet as I walked during the first few hours, a reaction to unexpected stability sailors often experience when coming ashore.  I adjust, quickly. 


There are lots of preparations to be made to the trailer and to the CAP’N LEM to bring her back to being a land animal, too.  I take my time.  It’s a long way back to Port Angeles and 500 miles of it on gravel road.


I spend the week-end just resting and thinking about the wonderful things that happened on this voyage of self-discovery, the lessons I’ve learned, and the people I’ve met, the highlights and low points, the moments of truth when the choices are clear

And the moments of doubt when everything is fogged in and trust comes hard.  Like a Hemmingway character who battles and battles only to have the sharks eat his prize in the end, the sea reminded me I am a stranger on the waters whose mistakes will not be forgiven. 


I learned some very useful things.  I learned how to be a lone without being lonely.  I learned to trust the vessel when I could not trust myself.  I learned solo sailing is fun, but sailing with someone is more so.  I learned where to anchor and where not to anchor.  I learned about shortening sail before the storm and about timing the tides to my advantage and about the slow agony of going against tides and wind.  I learned the darkness magnifies fear and how most fear is unfounded.  I learned that sometime you just have to live with the fear and press on.  I learned that some fear is healthy if I allow  it  to spur me into heightened awareness and action.   I learned to never go on deck without being tied to the boat, thus I traveled 5678 miles and did not fall off the boat.  I learned how to think in terms of the moment and the mile ahead and not the overwhelming length of the entire voyage.  One day at a time living became one moment at a time when the seas were huge and the land was far away. 


And about people, I learned first hand over and over their abundant kindness, generosity and helpfulness.  From the first day of launch in Minnesota to the day of recovery in Goose Bay, I’ve encountered the most interesting people.  They wish me well, they wish me luck, and many wished they were going with me, too!  The beautiful old gentleman, Uncle Jim, from the little village of Makkovik will ever be my reminder and symbol of all those dear people who touched my life along the way. 


The adventure is not ending, but changing.  This voyage has given my whole life a renewed sense of adventure by reminding me to never take anything or anyone for granted and to greet each sunrise with gratitude for yet another day of life.  But one does not have to sail to the Northwest Passage to learn that!  One only needs to open their mind and heart to what is around them. 


Check back with me from time to time.  There are still some ideas bubbling to the top of my mind about where to go and what to do next.  Write me about your dreams and give me the chance to be your encourager as you have been mine.  Tell me when you set sail!


Hold Fast, Shipmates, Hold Fast!