Friday, March 4, 2011

Return from Earth: Southern Cross

Leaving home felt like going to a knife fight.  With a feeling like a big lump of lead in the stomach. Like saddling up to go out on a little walk in the night.  Why? I don't know. Does home seem a little more precious as we get older? Janet is so sweet, if she doesn't make it to the boat any sooner than we plan it will be the longest we've ever been apart. I didn't get to see some friends I wanted to see or spend enough time with some I did. Not enough time with family. My golf game sucks. Depressing. Whatever.

It was 6AM and chilly and rainy and the Horizon Q400 I was on from Arcata to LAX was mildly uncomfortable, too cold, no pillows, no blankets, running a little late. The day before I had finally got around to putting some music on my iPod. Last season I made a disastrous botch of syncing it with the laptop. That  spastic technical spasm cost me about 55 gigs of stored music, gone forever.  I was looking at heading out for months with the only tune I had aboard being Bob Dylan's "Tangled Up In Blue". So Janet had a bunch of music on her computer that she got from an Aussie friend in Bundaberg. I didn't even know what was there but I synced up and downloaded about 15 gigs and finally got around to looking at it on the way to LAX. Looked at 'artists', quite a nice list actually, and there was Crosby, Stills, and Nash.  Looked at 'songs' and there was "Southern Cross", every cruisers anthem and high on my list of greatest songs ever.

Ah yes...."Got outa town on a boat for the southern Islands"....yep, we've all done that.."sailing a reach, before a following sea" ..a good start..."she was making for the trades on the outside".....but it's not the tropics yet...."and the downhill run to Papeete"....forget the reality, is there a name which congers up more romance than "Papeete"? ......."off the wind on this heading lie the Marquesas"....Fatu Hiva, one of the greatest landfalls ever..." we got eighty feet of waterline, nicely making way"....yeah, probably a big ol' wooden schooner......"in a noisy bar in Avalon I tried to call you"....wonder which one that was?....."but on a midnight watch I realized why twice you ran away"....a heartbreak....most of us have been there a time or two.

And the song goes on, if you aren't familiar with it you probably aren't reading this blog. But what a song! Adventure, escape, romance, desire, mystery, heartbreak, renewal and rebirth, with an edge, what more needs to be said?

So now I'm in 'World Business Class'  (read First Class)  on a Delta (old Northwest) 747, a little perk from years of slaving in their service.  At 35000' intense sun is coming in through the windows. I'm warm and cozy  looking down on scattered cumulus and a big sea. There's plenty of wind on the surface and a well organized swell, both from the northwest. It would be a good day to make time towards Papeete. With a little luck I'll be in Malaysia and back on the boat tomorrow and beginning to begin the long planned projects. There are many trade offs in the cruising life style. There is loneliness. There are hassles and frustrations and the usual crap from life. But there is, in abundance, adventure, escape, romance, desire, mystery, rebirth and renewal. Plenty of reason to keep coming back for more and, once in awhile, singing along to "Southern Cross".

Love to all,
Bill & Janet


Anonymous said...

Your golf game isn't any worse than the rest of ours.

Diffidently send some pictures.

Have fun on your journeys, and stay clear of pirates.

Scott said...

Oops, I forgot to put my name in the box.

I left it as anonymous, I think I got it fixed now.


Jacob said...

Be careful out there. Sorry about the bad Delta flights. United is not much better, and probably worse.

Amazing that you could see the swell from 35,000 ft! Crazy.

Enjoy your travels and keep us posted more often. We're following your travels from Yacht Blogs.