Saturday, June 25, 2016

Last Things

In the midst of what is practical, all the things that need to be done, I realize the magnitude of this journey. I don't know what waits for us, and thinking about that is like trying to remember a word or a name, my mind tries and slips. I know that things will calm down, way down, and soon we will find ourselves alone in a great and endless landscape. I think of the sunset, the night watch, and the stars that will follow. I trust I will begin to remember their shapes and stories. I think of the storms and trust that at some point I will feel comfortable with them, undaunted by the dropping barometer. What a feeling that would be. I think of Max and realize that I trust him completely. That is my favorite feeling.

These days are filled with last things. New York City is gone, our roommates, the cat (he decided not to join us), the subway commute, riding over the Brooklyn Bridge in the morning. All my rooms have emptied of objects and filled with echo, my classroom at the Harbor School, our bedroom in Bedstuy, chapters closing in rapid succession. Upstate we are making lists and checking them off, day after day. We have finally confessed to each other that we are sick of working on the boat and want to leave.

The boat is ready, packed to the gills with endless provisions. Sam's Club, Aldi, Best Buy. I have never been so sick of shopping. When I finish writing this I will drive back to Target. A few last things-extra battery for camera, 2 gallons of distilled water, drinks for kids at the BBQ later. The truth is though, and we remind ourselves often, there isn't anything we don't have that will really matter.

Our first leg is from Locust Point Marina, in the Bronx, to Bermuda, 654 nm to the southeast. Conservatively, it should take a week. I feel like I don't know the boat that well, how she will move or how many miles we will log, what sail configuration we will use, and so forth. I am most excited about learning these things. This first trip will reveal a lot, and I am sure change a few things.

In any free time we have, we soak up the local Hudson Valley life.  As we drove away from Brooklyn, pushing slowly through the BQE traffic for the last time, the dappled shade of the Hudson Valley welcomed us. This was my favorite moment in the last week. We have found time for a cold swim in the Catskills, a camp fire by the river, and many beers at the China Rose in Rhinecliff. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love this place and this community. Keenly aware of how it will be missed in the following year, I am off to Target.