Tuesday, October 26, 2010

If in doubt... sleep with your boots on

Twas a dark and stormy night, the wind howling through the shrouds. All around the distant sound of clanking, not quite in time with the swell or the wind... but with a rhythm all its own. The screaming creak of mooring lines straining to maintain their hold, and a full body boat shudder as though every muscle is tensed and shaking... trying to stay in position.

Gradually I awake to the full body vibration of the diesel engine. Somethings not right, the pitching and rolling has changed, and I can hear the Captain scurrying around on deck... the clank followed by the thud of the mooring shackle. With my body in the waking world, and my mind still deeply in the dream realm I stagger out of bed.

I find the Captain at the tiller, peering intently into the night wind and rain... in his skivvy's and a t-shirt. I know better than to ask any questions at this point. Waiting to be told what to do, I put on a jacket and stand there... half ready to do anything. Switching on the depth sounder, and gathering a headlamp and a jacket, my presence is welcomed and I take over steering while the Captain lays the anchor down.

Anchoring in the middle of the night, me in my jammies and Dad in his... is but a fuzzy dream like memory. Almost as if it never happened. But our relocation, along with the leftover wind and chop from the storm, and the Coast Guard warnings on the radio say otherwise. Even the seagulls are not impressed.

I trust this boat, if not yet fully our skill as sailors. Its cozy and safe inside, despite the relentless wind and incessant rain. She rides the waves with an easy gait, as if walking an old well worn path with comforting familiarity... She after all, has been here before and brings with her a quiet confidence that this storm too shall pass.