The year that was had its share of challenges for everyone. For some it was just impossible and heartbreaking. New Year’s makes it feel like we get a do-over, that we get to Reboot and start again without causing the system to crash. Life isn’t that easy or simple. Some things you can’t fix but there is always hope if you look for it. Right now, we need to look hard and long at the future and what is ahead with a greater understanding of the fragility of those things we’ve always held dear.
I’m an optimist but I know things can fall apart. I also know that when they do, all you can do is put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward. I’m hoping for a better 2021, though I know it won’t be all better once the ball drops in Times Square. I’m targeting 2021 as the year I have my first book published. I’m not sure how, but I’m going to give it my all to make sure it has every chance at success. Like painting, working at making my book the best it can possibly be is my first goal. When I’m satisfied with it, which will probably be never, the editing ends and the publishing begins.
Creating paintings of our boat trip from Maine has been a fun respite from my writing endeavors. Sometimes you have to step away and take a breather before returning with fresh eyes. Painting has allowed me to do that.
From Chapter 16:
“It was 8:30 a.m. when we left Barefoot Marina, and another pretty day on the water. The weather was finally cooperating, four sunny days in a row and more sunshine to come. Once the ICW fed into the Waccamaw River, the water was deeper and wider and beautiful. We made our way up to the fly bridge to enjoy the sunshine and the mild temperatures. Ahead of us was a row of sailboats. The sunlight pushed past a row of sumptuous clouds, creating a glistening spotlight for the middle sailboat with its sails unfurled. That was a picture that would definitely make a fine painting someday. Up ahead was the Ocean Highway Bridge which connects Pawleys Island to Georgetown, South Carolina’s third oldest city after Beaufort and Charleston. When we reached mile marker 400 where the Waccamaw River meets the Great Pee Dee River, Georgetown Landing Marina, awaited us, a perfect place to stay.”
Happy New Year, and let’s all resolve to be kinder to one another. If we try to understand someone else’s point of view instead of insisting on our own infallibility that which divided us only grows wider. Look for common ground and understanding and you’ll find it.
Once again we saw the Isles of Shoals as we headed out to sea. The rain was steady, but did not affect visibility. We hoped it would clear as the day wore on, and that the sun would work its way through the clouds. There was a mild wind coming from the west. Two hours into our trip the wind continued to increase in intensity. The water was choppy but it was still early so we continued to be hopeful for improved conditions. After another couple of hours the wind had increased again and so had the waves. By now they reached heights of six to eight feet and growing. By noon time a serious change of course was in order. We decided to head closer to shore to try and mitigate the deteriorating conditions. We were now south of Boston Harbor. Our thinking was that closer to shore there would be less “fetch”. I had learned that fetch is the area of open water over which the wind has to gather strength.
It wasn’t long before we realized it was time to find a place to pull in for the day. Fortunately we weren’t far from Plymouth, Massachusetts. I looked through the cruising guideto see our options. There was the Plymouth Yacht Club, a marina and the town’s mooring field, all very promising. We traveled close to shore until we reached Plymouth Harbor. Upon entering the harbor, the waves died down. Duxbury Pier Lighthouse greeted us and I began to see lighthouses in a whole new way. Instead of being a pretty landmark, it was a sign of safety. With the aid of the lighthouse and the channel markers we worked our way to the marina. Tim radioed for a slip. None were available. Next try was the town’s harbor master for a mooring. That yielded a positive result and so we were safe for the night.
It was a brisk 40° out but the sun had finally made an appearance. Next on the agenda was getting Tigger to shore. That meant using Rose, the dinghy. We carefully lowered it into the water, keeping it attached to Little Prince with the davits on the swim platform. Once it was in the water it was time to set up the outboard motor. Tim lifted it off its mount and onto Rose. He adjusted the controls, put it in neutral and gave it a pull, nothing. A few more tries netted the same result. It was time to look at the manual. Being the proper quartermaster, I was able to retri
eve it right away. Tim was in the dinghy (still attached to Little Prince) and I was on the deck, manual in hand, and reading instructions when the Harbor Master came by.
“I see you with the motor and your wife with the manual and I’m thinking this could get ugly. Let us know if you need a ride to shore.”With that, off he went.