Truly, there isn't anything in my life that isn't cured by salt water. Tears, sweat or the sea... salt water has it all run on a common theme. No matter what the challenge, one of those three forms of salt water will cure it. It's a guarantee.
Today, it was the sea.
Whenever I have a challenge in life... you know, one of those challenges like a change of direction down a long hallway. You can't see around the bend. It's impossible to see what's coming next. If there's anything I've learned about myself over the years, it's that I hate not being able to see around corners. When I do feel that way, when I have a challenge in life and I feel I just can't see around the corner of it all, I turn to the sea.
I've been thinking a lot about my life out there when I'm on the water. No matter what I'm doing, or where I am in life, in my mind, I'm on the sea. It's the driving force behind most all of my motivation. It's what I'm always yearning to return to, from the moment I leave it.
Pictured Above: Tara & Ian Immell
I created this blog because of my first boat, my sweet little Fane. She is such a darling boat that people would often stop whatever they were doing at the boat launch to make time to come over, say hi and ask me all about her. But, as many people know, boat launches can be very busy places and time to chat can be a tough commodity to come by.
Before the Willawaw sailed herself into my life, the Fane was my first soulmate. Being far smaller than her big 'sis, I would have the to launch my Fane from Cate's Park boat launches and chug up Indian Arm on my single piston Wisconsin for hours and hours. All I wanted to do, was get out there. Five lanes wide, a gaggle of crushing rocks hide just under the surface on the north side of the runs. Massive lumber posts hold up the public walkway to the dock are a looming presence on the south, standing there so stoic. Like a lifeguard reminding you to walk, not run, on the pool deck when you were a kid. So while I love chatting about boats with absolutely anyone who will listen to me, whenever I was backed up and ready to take my turn to launch her, stopping the entire performance to chat was often really hard to do single-handedly.
The blog became a really easy way for me to share information about my Fane. But through the blog, I've been able to realize that it's not about her so much, rather, it's about my relationship with the sea. The sea has, without a doubt been my greatest teacher in life. The waves come up against us when we are in the Willawaw and given what Indian Arm can throw at her even on her worst days, we are always safe and sound in her trusty Catalina beamy comfort and LED glow. But the Fane? She's just eighteen feet stem to stern. She feels every wave and offers us no where to hide from torrential rains, screaming squalls or a blistering hot sun. Every approach to every wave is a consideration with consequences.
A wave will always come. Once passed, another will certainly follow it. This is a surety in life. The sea teaches me and my children that we cannot go underneath a wave. We cannot scoot around the side of it. We cannot hover above it while it passes beneath us undisturbed. We need to always be thinking about how to handle the wave, and the one behind it. To be aware enough to have your bow pointed at the wave, cutting it's power and ability to throw you sideways and make you feel sick.
Handling the waves of life, rather than avoiding them. Being aware of the next one and adjust to maintain my course. That's what the sea has taught me.
But sometimes, when things are calm, it can be hard to see the waves. They are just currents, not yet coaxed by wind into even teenager sized angsty waves. It might seem like smooth sailing, and while it is relaxing, smooth sailing doesn't really keep you sharp.
Deciding what to do with A Girl and Her Boat has been on my mind a lot lately. I find myself day dreaming more and more about it, actually. The smooth sailing Kate spending all of her time just chugging about, maintaining her boats, crabbing, cooking and otherwise just toodling about my beloved Indian Arm and coming home to my cozy bed to tell the tales each night. Somehow money would just rain from the sky on me and I'd wake up with a fresh rainbow in my kitchen every morning and a unicorn in my backyard!
Looking to de-stress, it was 6pm after a full Saturday work day for me, and like a kid playing hooky, I grabbed a couple accomplices and headed to the boat. My dear girlfriend Tara and her ten year old son Ian came with me tonight, just to cruise and soak in some cool evening air. They wanted to see the new cabin we just bought in Coldwell Beach. About thirty minutes with the tide at about five knots, we were there in no time. With sunsets in fjords hard to come by, the early evening shade cast over the water was a welcome break from such a bright sun. We chugged back as wind was scarce, dodging and weaving between crab traps and kayakers also eager to enjoy the setting sun. It was deep into twilight when we pulled back into the marina's entrance. With a pretty inexperienced crew, I set each in their positions and clarified their jobs. Ian, on the bow with his line ready to toss and his mother Tara, at the stern with that line in hand, leaving me only to maneuver the Willawaw and hop off at the right moment to tie her off. I could see two people sitting at the dock as we motored in. Friendly faces, happy to catch lines and say hello. Ocean people are just the very best people.
Pictured Above: Tara & Ian Immell
I came home cured by the salt water tonight. All of the insecurity, the fear of not being able to see around the next corner, right then and there, another little breadcrumb showed up on my trail. The waves helped me sort out the problem I vaguely even knew I had! The water, and being in it, around it, floating above it, watching it, even cooking with it. My time is spent doing all the things I need to do to get back to it in the quickest possible time and I'm perfectly okay with that.
In fact, it's not that this blog is just about my relationship with the sea. It's about that, and my relationship with everything to do with it! Especially her ocean people and the charts... Oh! The charts! The bays I dream of, the coves that call me. Adventure is waiting for me in those charts and I plan to see it all.
HI, I'M KATE
A Captain's daughter, who became a Captain's wife. I remain always, a mermaid out of water looking to get straight back to the sea, whenever possible.