It is time to bid farewell to the star filled night sky, to the meteor showers, to the dolphins that scared the crap out of me on night watch. I am just settling in to my last chocolate watch (the salty watch is 8-12, 3-6 is for chocolate); in a few hours the sun will come up and we will line up for the first of several channels that will bring us to our new home.
Brisbane, by all accounts will be a wonderful place for our family. Victoria imagines it to be Portland, Maine with a San Diego climate. I anticipate bike trails and baristas, live music and Aikido. The kids foresee toy stores, bike rides, and art classes. Maybe we are right, and soon we will know. No matter what though, it will represent the closing of one of the most amazing chapters of my life so far.
In the past year I have had the chance to experience my life exactly as it was meant to be. Father, husband, sailor, and friend. Responsibilities so clear and easy to identify that the question is never “is this the right thing to be doing,” but rather “how do I do this thing right.” The sails needed trimming, the children needed love, my relationship with Vick took center stage. Beautiful beaches, pristine turquoise water, and nature trails, we knew just what to do with those.
As I write these very words the first light of dawn is glowing faintly in the East. That light represents new adventure, new challenge and the beginning of the next chapter. By the time the sun sets tonight we will be tied to a pile mooring in front of the botanical gardens on Brisbane’s doorstep. With a little luck and presence of mind I will preserve the beauty, simplicity and lessons of our season on the Pacific Ocean through this transition. I hope to take that attitude and rediscovered sense of self into a new job, dojo, and community. I hope to spread the love.
Until the next time then; goodnight stars, goodnight gently following sea, goodnight dolphins playing in our bow wake. Goodnight to distant beaches and lazy reaches, goodnight cruiser potlucks and bonfires. Goodnight to children cracking up as they find the millionth new way to create joy on a deserted island, and Vick’s proud smile as she discovers a new way to make an exotic treat out of ingredients we forgot we had. Goodnight to the chocolate watch, and the chip watch, and the perfect bliss when the engine turns off and it’s just the wind through the rigging, the surge of the hull and lift of the sails. Good morning to a new day.