A December Sunset Shadowing Santa Cruz Island
I’ve been back in the States for about 3 weeks, and boy, it’s a hectic place. Whether it’s the maddened drivers, over zealous snake oil salesmen on late night TV (Buy this holy water, 4 oz, for $140, and you WILL receive $27,000 in 3 weeks, IF you apply it properly to your body…???), crazy TV, period(!), or what I perceive to be outlandish rudeness, I’m a wreck. I try to hang on to the slowed pace of sailing through incredible places, and the feelings it left me with. I try to hang on to the feeling of gratefulness for all I have and all I have seen. The absolute glut of invasive advertising makes that difficult. I can’t possibly be happy unless I have one of these, or twenty two of those, unless I look like her or drive one of these. I strive to hang on to my peace, and the peace of mind I finally attained.
One of the best ways I have found to get back into that feeling is to get back aboard Willow. I am so lucky to have this boat, to have maintained her in the way I have, and sailed her to the too few places I’ve visited. She is in fine shape, and this allows me to walk away from her for the next few months and leave her essentially untouched. Within 18 hours of arriving in San Diego, after a thousand mile bash up the Pacific coast of Baja, she was surveyed in order to have the required insurance in the States. She passed with flying colors, aside from a hose clamp here and there, and the need to put in GFI outlets for AC power (she was built before they were invented…). Of this I am immensely proud. She has taught me over and over, you get what you give, and when she’s maintained and sailed well, she will protect you and let you travel safely. I have owned her for 17 years now, and with the upgrades she’s received over the past 3 years, the insurance company doubled her payout value in the event of a total loss. How often does that happen with a 31 year old boat?
Aside from the monetary value, Willow’s been my home for all of these years. When I get within 5 miles of the harbor, I feel a huge weight begin to lift off my shoulders, and my face lightens with the beginnings of a grin. This was true as I drove the 65 miles home from work for the fire department 12 years ago, 30 miles home from the harbor patrol 2 years ago, and 72 miles now from San Juan Capistrano. I anticipate stepping aboard and being enveloped in her beauty (in my eyes), her quiet, her solitude.
Willow is my place of peace, and I am so very fortunate to have her…