Yes, it sure has been… and I’m feeling so very behind on all of it, blogging-wise. Several great tales to tell, some with bittersweet endings, and some, well, made inconsequential by subsequent events.
I ought to try and flesh these stories out a bit and get them written down, but seriously… The best parts deserve telling in person; if you’re the sort of person who I need to tell, you’ll hear it all eventually anyways. For now, the Cliff Notes:
Launched the boat. After 3 years of relentless complete refit work, living in the boatyard, on the hard, Centaurea hits the water. Then comes The Caper; never having sailed the boat at all, ever, I quit my job, round up a friend, and sail off soundings to the island of St. Croix. All the usual last-minute stocking/storing/staging/staggering about happens there, and with Slacks in the pocket, we head offshore for the Chesapeake. As many of you know by now: We Never Make It.
Heinously storm-damaged, jury-rigged, dis-masted, transmission seized, another nasty front on the way… picked up by container ship, landed on Bermuda… still haven’t found the grief that is supposed to come; maybe just too stunned, maybe in denial, or maybe just finally relieved to have all ties to James and that fucking boatyard finally finally all cut away.
So. Bermuda. A few days spent in recovery, Slacks sent home, then jetting off to Troll Farm in PA to check out the new digs: some good, some better than good, some mostly overwhelming, but more on that later.
Back to St. Croix to pick up the next boat… and an 8-day float-plan turns into an 18-day trip north, stopping in every scabby Bahamian port along the way to beg entry and fuel. The whole trip graced by either no wind at all, or rippin’ T-storms; I feel like a lightning magnet once again, and sustained 40-knot winds offshore now feel “normal” (amazing what you can get used to, eh?).
Bermuda dollars in the billfold. Wavy-edged Bahamian coins in the pocket. Back here on the farm, but not for too long; heading down south sooner than later to Charleston to grab the boss’s boat and keep hopping north.
And today? Today I keep phoning on the phone, arranging HVAC contractors to get AC in my new house. Oh yeah, I have a new place to live… a ways from the sea. Not giving up on sailing, oh no, but seeing that I have an opportunity to allow something other than boatsboats24/7boats in my life.
The new job, the new digs? Almost too much to express; I still wrinkle my brow at every possible explanation, at every query of, “What do you do?” or, “Where do you live?”. I’ll try to tackle these again, anon, another post.