Finding the Anchor

We just got back from the 4th of July holiday weekend, where we sailed away with the crew to Montauk and then back to Mystic on Sunday. And now I am riding the train in, my head filled with random thoughts and issues, and questions about how to fix them. Why is it that I look back in my memory and think about fixing the rough patches instead of multiplying the good fibers? Maybe that is the key, increasing the good experiences, since the quilt can only be 24 hours long, so having more good squares will certainly decrease the ugly ones! Or maybe you need to have ugly ones to know when the good ones are…

Still I think about the ugly ones and let’s quickly get those out of the way. I feel so bad about yelling at the crew as we were crashing the boat back into the dock. After a handful of good dockings, the bad ones stick in my head. I resolve to ask the crew how things are going instead of yelling like a lunatic! This is my big mea culpa for the weekend.

Sailing trips often have a repeatable pattern that goes like this. The first 24 hours there is a bunch of fighting, as we are all in a tight enclosed space, and you can’t just go take a walk. The next 24 hours things start to settle down and mellow out, and then everything is really nice from there. When we get to the lazy point of sitting and reading, eating simple meals on the boat, and syncing with the rhythms of going to bed at sundown and getting up at sunrise, then life takes on an amazingly pleasurable flow. We play cards and board games. We have conversations that have time to last. We breathe deeply and exhale fully. We smile because these moments are really nice.

We needed a little more time to hit that stride on this trip. Even though we didn’t get to the 100% bored and slowed pace, we did have some amazing flashes. We watched the fireworks from the boat. With my brother and his family in Montauk we got off the boat and took real showers and had real good food, and almost got to the tennis courts! Many of the kids jumped off the bow pulpit and then took rags and cleaned the sides of the boat as the current brought them to the stern. Peter and Sarah paddled miles and miles to meet us at anchor. We had 19 people playing and having fun aboard Sweet Caroline at one point. Sarah and Kecia got time to read magazines while the kids were out playing in the water. And Marlo took a night swim to gather the Zodiac at anchor and row it back so the rest of us could get on without getting wet.

Sure there was fighting and yelling and other patches that I’d like to minimize. But it was a small price to pay for the glory of swinging on the anchor, having fun in the water all day, and filling our quilt with so many good memories.

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