Sunday, June 28, 2015

perfect, the camino

She asks if the boat is made of teak.  I tell her it is not.  She asks if the boat is very, very old.  I tell her it is not.  As I back Spartina down to the tea colored water flowing from the Dismal Swamp, the woman at the ramp says the boat is too pretty to put into the water.  I tell her I think the boat is too pretty to not be put in the water.  I cast off with a steady breeze out of the west southwest.

It was a perfect day to be sailing with a reefed and double reefed main.  A high pressure system was pushing out the warm, moist air that had brought us 100 degree days, explosive thunderstorms and tornado warnings.  On the Pasquotank River the air was at times cool and dry, and at other times warm and muggy.  Looking out over the river at the ramp I could see the gusts come and go, and tied in the double reef.  The reefed main, I soon saw, had a perfect set, something I don't always achieve.  It was perfect for the day.  Morning overcast gave way to blue skies and there was no place I would rather have been.  I ghosted along shore, enjoyed the wooded shoreline to the north and old homes to the south, crossed the river, jibed and tacked and loved every minute on the water.  Late morning I shook out the second reef and sailed with the first still in place, soon tucking in the second reef again and dancing in the wind.  It was a day I will remember for a long time to come.


The pilgrim is home, safe and sound.  Just short of 120 miles of walking across north central Spain, she lived a life unexpected.  Wake, walk, early afternoon meal, wash clothes and put them out to dry, a light meal in the evening with some excellent wine, sleep, wake, repeat.  All that she knew, all she could see, was on the trail.  Muddy boots, rain, sunshine and heat.  One foot in front of the other, everything she needed was carried on her back.  New friends, new experiences, taking each day as it came.

As she talked about her adventure, it reminded me of cruises on Spartina: wake, sail, dinner, sleep, dealing with whatever comes our way, everything I need is just a few feet away.  My friend Webb talks about the monastery of the sea.  That, I suspect, can be found only after days, weeks, with nothing in sight but the ocean and the sky.  I will not make claim to the monastery.  But now, after listening to tales from the pilgrim, I realize now that I too am a pilgrim.  The camino ahead of me is not sand or clay or dirt, it is water.


Rik said...

Very nice post Steve. We built the Vessel of life.

MaryLou said...

Just catching up on posts. We've been (and are) travelling. I really like this one. I'm not much of a church-goer but the feeling I get out on the water is much the same. And I like Rik's comment too though I would change the tense - We build a life - every day - and if we are lucky, we have the grace to be thankful.

And congrats to Liz. What an amazing journey.

Steve said...

You and Fred are travelers too. Enjoy! steve