My First Test

Teresa Carey Words 3 Comments

            This fall I can recall a day that was another beautiful simple living moment.  The air was freshening up.  The weather report was predicting that a tropical storm was approaching the coast of Massachusetts. Winds gusting to 45kts. I had asked Raymond if I could use a slip for the weekend to ride the storm out.  He was very generous and showed me a slip that faced the south with a dock on both sides.  I would be safer there than any of his other slips. 

            This was my first real test.  I hadn’t truly taken full command of my boat yet.  Last weekend during the schooner race, I did most of the sailing and Benji sat silently while I tried to figure things out and gain confidence.  I freaked out, cried that I would never be able to feel in control on my boat, and then had a great sail at the helm.  But Benji was there, and he did do a few things to help, and answered some questions too.  Today, he wasn’t there, and I had to pull the boat into the narrow marina and the only slip that wasn’t occupied.  It sat right next to a 37ft beautiful Shannon. 

            After I had spent 30min preparing the lines and fenders, I released myself from the mooring.  I took a few turns around the other moored boats, came alongside them as though they were a dock, and then headed toward the marina.  That was the moment.  One brief moment of simple living…wind in my hair, squinting in the sun, I was moving my boat to prepare for the storm.  I wasn’t just going home and shutting my door, I was responding to the weather.  I was simply living, real living, real life. 

Just as quickly as I realized the beauty of the moment it fell into the shadows of the cloud that lay seconds ahead.  I had to dock the boat by myself.  No one was around to lend a hand, catch a line, or fend the boat away from hitting the dock or, worse yet, another boat.  I turned into the marina, missed the slip the first time, backed out and circled around to try again.  That’s when I said I quick prayer.  It seemed to have been working for me a lot lately; maybe someone was listening and especially wanting me to succeed.  So, my quick prayer, “please, bring us home safely.” And as I approached the dock, I slowed the engine, coasted to a stop, and stepped off the boat.  I had done it!  I spent the next 40 minutes adjusting dock lines.

            That night, trying to continue to keep up the peaceful feeling of simple life, I retire to my little boat, to enjoy some time with Dory my cat, a cup of hot cocoa, and some reflection.  I’m lucky enough to have electricity today.  Although, I prefer to imagine that it’s the solar panel I hope to acquire soon that is keeping my computer glowing.  I sit down to write, my legs outstretched in front of me, Dory lying across them. 

Comments 3

  1. Jack

    This post screamed simplicity. It was as if a child was learning to ride a bike for the first time. Each attempt is an effort to assert freedom and independence. It’s not simple at first, but it’s the moments where you feel like you are flying that makes you want to try again. Congrats on this new way of living. I am envious, though I think I understand with every fiber of my being.


  2. John

    Neat post…. nice blog….
    I fantasize about doing the same thing… selling my plac and buying a boat…. you are very courageous….
    do you ever get lonely?

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