Boat-life Conclusions

The boat came out of the water this weekend. We sailed it on Friday from its mooring to the harbour ’round the peninsula to be removed from the sea. The last sail of the season.

The broad expanse of sky above held the occasional fluffy cloud as we took off from the dock around one. Peapod, prideful in the way she can be when lugging the weight of the three of us with such ease, didn’t even seem tired after a season of daily trips and twice having a rebellious oarlock repaired. The conditions were perfect, or “favourable” as we decided to recount them as, pretending we were living in ages past where that sort of thing would be said with a pipe in one’s mouth while staring off into the distance. (We did, in fact, one day this summer, run into a boat-building friend on a bench on the street as he was smoking out of corncob pipe. Weeks later he trundled by for a visit just as we were headed inland for the day. He towed us along with the assistance his gasoline-powered motor gave him. A summer full of unique memories thats for sure.)

Aboard for the first time in weeks we were ready to go sailing. Pulling the mooring line, I eventually hauled it enough to give me some slack to inch it out of the chocks, the metal bracket simultaneously protecting the edge of the boat from rope burn and holding it in place and attempted to weasel the large rope free. The mizzen and jib sails having been liberated from their shackles by the captain and first mate, we were off, with the mizzen as perpendicular to the boat as possible, running with the wind.

We got far enough out of the harbour to pick up some real speed and finished unfurling the mainsail. With each of the sails out we managed to make it all the way around the peninsula with only one tack, or turn into more helpful wind. By the time we’d made it there the wind had switched directions and we eased into the harbour in under two hours. There were no sightings of sea life and no people lost overboard. All in all, a successful sail.

Sailing down Penobscot Bay
Sailing down Penobscot Bay

The next stage came days later when, in congruence with the schedule of the boat hauler, we were able to organize the crane to take off the mainmast, with “Crazy Ed” who sometimes forgets that he works for his clients and not the other way around. Though a boat transporting monopoly in an area named one of the top three in the world for sailing kind of means he can behave just about however he wants. It came just in time, too. After a quick jog to the ladies room, post-sail, I noticed the note on the harbour bathroom door telling of the imminent removal of the docks from the water.

Everything went smoothly with her complete removal – finished off with seeing her all tucked in and ready to head to her winter home. It felt rather full-circle for me: seeing her mast-less and naked with upturned mattresses and odds and ends dotting the cockpit. Just as I’d seen her first in the darkened shop upon my arrival in Maine.

All tucked in for her ride to her winter home
All tucked in for her ride to her winter home

What else has come full-circle in my life? I’m floating around housesitting gigs, attempting to piece together a recognizable quality of life. I do a lot more yoga, even beginning to teach, which is one of those things that is only actually possible when it’s happening in my own life. I write and reflect and spend time in nature. I’m even getting to the point in my tai chi practice where I’m able to think about the movement coming from my dan t’ien rather than wondering what the heck the person in front of me is doing with their left arm so that I can emulate it. Last night had me in a room with 30 other devotees, chanting variations of the name of the Divine in blissful union at my first Kirtan in months. Some things never change.

With the boat out of the water we plunge into winter time – time to see what this part of the cycle has for us this time around.

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