Black River Morning

0449, April 23, 2009, CAP’N LEM is moored to the wall at Black River, waiting dawn.  Well, no, not waiting…more like anticipating dawn.  Waiting implies I have nothing to do and there is much to do in the dark before dawn on a boat.  The baser things of life must be attended, like get the coffee water hot.  (Now that’s waiting!  Dang microwaves have killed what little patience I ever possessed. )  The ever present pick-up, straighten up, and put away in a space the size of a walk-in closet, an unexpected bump against the boat that demands I look or no peace of mind, out I go with shoes this time.  All is well and in the northeast just a kiss of morning light. 

Below again, I have my first cup and read.  I’ve started again Chris Duff’s wonderfully written adventure book, On Celtic Tides, about his sea kayaking paddle around Ireland and then feel a bit ashamed of the creature comforts surrounding me.  I move closer to the fireplace, sip my hot coffee and the feeling passes.

Adventure is like Einstein’s theory of Relativity, basically what you see depends on where you stand or sit in my case.  (My own condensed version, sorry Albert) and though deeply personal it can be shared.  So for a few moments I’m there with each stroke of the paddle as he pulls for a distant headland in a turbulent sea and the heart break of turning around only to repeat the task over again.   It is the great gift of my teachers to me, and I am reminded to say to them “Thank you, thank you so very much for your hard work force feeding me such a wonderful gift.  I can read, now.  And I love it.  It doesn’t matter that my dyslexia kicks in sometime and I read backward or the same words over and over like a tire spinning in mud, I still love it.  Thank you from the very depths of my heart, dear Teachers!”   And because I can read all adventure is at hand.  And that reading inspired me to action, to seek my own little harbors of self-discovery.   Oh thank you for Robin Graham’s Dove, Tristan Jones’ Ice, Joshua Slocum’s Sailing Alone Around the World, Moby Dick, Riddle of the Sands and Joseph Conrad.  Dear teacher, you gave me Joseph Conrad!  And I went with him into The Heart of Darkness and the Typhoon.  I jumped ship with Lord Jim and never forgave myself.

There it is, day break,  then the earthturning we call sunrise.  And thank you Chris for sharing what you did in such a way to encourage me to do this here and now.  Encouragement is so important.  To those discouraging spirits, those whiners so ready to tell us “you can’t get there from here” I say this “Pox on you and may your potatoes rot in the ground.  I can or I’ll die trying.”  I will yet be cold and wet, tired and lonely, discouraged and defeated, and scared to death, but not today.  Today I sail to the Keneewah.


The bridge over Black River

6 Responses to “Black River Morning”

  1. Bill Williston says:

    Thank you for another excellent read!

  2. Chip and Frank says:

    While celebrating smaller triumphs in PA we are appreciating this mental journey (adventure) you’re taking us on!

    Thank you for sharing!

  3. nacra 244 says:

    watch for the abandond lite house at 14 mile pt just east of ontanogan

  4. Hobosic says:

    Not sure that this is true:), but thanks for a post.
    Have a nice day

  5. Chuckster says:

    I finally found your blog! I still remember you talking about this trip during the days on the mighty Shearwater – it does the heart good to see you finally living your dreams!

    I’ll be reading your blog and dreaming about the day I can take off on my own sailing adventures (outside of the oil patch). I look forward to talking to you when you return to PA.

    I hope everything is going smoothly for you – remember to keep the shiny side in the air and the slimy side in the water. Play safe up there!

  6. tommy says:

    Captain Chuck! So good to hear form you. Thanks for the sound advice. t.