The CAP’N LEM is tied to the wharf at the Cartwright Cannery. The workers take their break looking down and chatting with me. I tell my story, where I came from, where I’m going, how far, how long and the why of it. I try to tell it each time as though it were the first, with all the joy and enthusiasm I can put into it. No matter what I’m doing I stop and I talk to them. I answer the same questions over and over always remembering they are new to them. This is their home and I am the guest. I owe them my enthusiasm. It is the way I have of taking them with me.

Oh, but the waiting! Waiting when every cell in my body longs to be moving is so hard! No mail for the CAPN LEM today, July 30, 2009. I could hear the plane come in yesterday, then the wait. It takes time to get the mail from the airstrip to the post office, time to sort the mail, time to check the mail. Maybe tomorrow. But tomorrow became today and still no package so I do it all over again and wait.

It is now my own words must come back to me. I must deal with what is, not what I wished, not what I want, not what I like but what is. I must have the part and I must wait to get it. It’s as simple as that. To go on without it now that I have broken my autopilot a second time would be to trust in luck and I have no tolerance for luck. Luck would let me down and the third time it breaks I would not be able to fix it no matter how much epoxy I slather on it.
No, I’ll just wait. My only defenses against the agony of waiting… get busy. I clean down below. I check my food stocks. I fill up with water. I read. I write letters and I talk to anyone who looks over the edge of the dock.


Dick asks: Is there any more anchorages or little towns as I go north? There are. I have to find my anchorages based on where I am and the topography of the land and islands. If I have to hove to overnight and drift it’s ok. The settlements are getting fewer and fewer. When I leave Cartwright I need to have everything to see me through. I do hope to pull into Resolute. Should the ice not let me through I must think about leaving the CAP’N LEM and try completing the voyage next year, but that is all future challenges. Right now, it’s get my part and get going north again.

[Update: Tommy just called and the tiller arrived on the afternoon mail drop! ┬áHe’ll be on his way tomorrow. -Ken]

Comments are closed.