Know thyself

It’s times like this I wish I was a plant and could photosynthesize. I’m nervous. I have to force myself to eat. Three days of roaring southerlies has me rattled. A storm that clocked in at over 50 knots has me rattled. I’m launching tomorrow.

emily greenberg, dinghy dreams, lake champlain sailing, live aboard sailor girl, sailing blog

I had an offer for crew for launch and the journey home, but after careful reflection I declined. Not quite ready to share my berth with anything more than my headsails. Not quite ready to let anyone into my cluttered little cabin. Not quite ready to explain just why my engine doesn’t fit. I’m not sure if you believe in astrology but I do. I’m a gemini on the cusp of cancer. Always searching for my other half, my lost twin—but hiding in my shell, sequestering myself from society as I close my hatch.

If you asked me a month ago if I was going to live on my boat this year it was a resounding ‘hell no’. For some reason I wanted to balance sailing with a life on land. I wanted to continue working on the farm in exchange for food and accommodation, make as much money as possible, and just sail for fun when not doing all that. A month ago I said to a friend with a similar boat, a similar dream and a plan this year to just go, “I feel like you did something right and I didn’t.”

Those feelings subsided the more time I spent with my boat. I started to feel well positioned to repair her while living on the float at the marina. I started to feel less ties holding me to that bed on the farm. That ‘hell no’ turned into an ‘of course!’

Turns out that same friend from before was having engine problems and decided to scrap his plans for voyaging to spend another season working on the boat, on the hard. Working towards the dream.

What is the dream, anyway? So far for me it’s been soggy sleeping bags, mechanical failures, epoxy stains, and saying goodbye far too often. Goodbye to friends, family, lovers—all so I can crawl into my little shell at night. So I can fear those storms and celebrate those calms. All so I can feel just a little more of what this life afloat has to throw at me.

4 thoughts on “Know thyself

  1. Trepidation insures that we prepare properly. Carry on grandaughter O mine. Looking forward to float downstate.

  2. I’ve followed you since your days in the San Juans where I live. You are a gifted writer. No matter what adventures you choose to take please keep chronicling them !

  3. What people crave is the ‘sense’ of being alive. Being engaged. Achieving short term pleasure, long term goals, a sense of meaning, and a sense of flow, all at the same time. That is one definition of happiness. Whatever you do this summer, I hope you achieve it.

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