i think i [still] want to sail a boat around the world
Monday, July 6, 2015 at 14:12
Eric in post rescue, rambling, rebel heart ii

One year and some change has gone by since our big drama on the high seas. I've had a few people ask me, probably just trying to be nice, if I was going to write a book about it. For me, I didn't want the loss of our boat to be the end of a story. Maybe there would be an additional chapter padded on at the end with some obligatory nods to the future, but essentially it would be a story about loss and disaster.

A larger and more significant crisis averted, but a substantial loss none the less. I just can't square that narrative as being my story, even if anyone would want to read it.

Rebel Heart as seen from the HC-130, smoke grenades deployed to the right in the water.I went backpacking with a friend a few weeks ago for Father's Day. It was terrific, although I'm afraid I didn't shut up the entire three days. While rambling, I heard myself say out loud a truth that I've been formulating in my head for a while: my children will have a better life growing up as sailing kids. And I'm not being the father I should be by keeping them from that.

There are some realities that I'm sure you know better than I do. Realities that no matter what I argue, you know in your bones to be a certain way and you've arrived there through a lot of experience and reflection. The kids on the boat are one of those for me. 

My daughter picked up a penny yesterday from the ground and put it in my pocket, saying "Here dad, this will help buy our next boat." She already gets it: a goal that is so much more massive than nearly any other. A goal that not only consumes you but also one that's worth being consumed by.

And that version of life is frankly better than the alternative. Charlotte and I talk about it a lot: it's just so damn easy to live on shore. In a year's time sailing we would have made dozens of new and interesting friends. We would have had close calls, seen amazing things, turned our backs on not-so-amazing-things, and done it all as a family.

Some days being in boat world is quite terrible, even when you stop and smile for the cameras. Puerto Escondido, mid summer. The years we spent on Rebel Heart, especially our last two spent really sailing and putting miles on, were some of the best and hardest of my life. In not-that-many years from now, our youngest daughter will be-not-that-little anymore. There are some realistic reasons for waiting until kids are a little older: sailing life is hard with 0-4 year olds. But after a certain age, those reasons devolve into excuses. 

If you've never seen that the grass truly is greener in the sea, I can understand why it doesn't call to you. But for those of us stung with sailing heroin, we just can't shake it.

Article originally appeared on Rebel Heart (http://www.therebelheart.com/).
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