The Call to Adventure

In less than two weeks I am going to embark on a grand sailing adventure with my family. We are leaving our very New York life and moving on to this Catamaran. For a year! Sailing in the Caribbean for six months. Then crossing the Atlantic and sailing in the Mediterranean for six months. Amazing right?

Ondine in Sag harbor

Here is my dirty secret, my confession.  I’m not much of sailor, and I don’t love it.

When I tell people what we are about to do, after asking lots of questions about home schooling (why is home schooling always the first thing people ask about? I will deal with that obsession another time.). They say something along the lines of  “you must be a extremely experienced sailor type.” I answer, “My best sailing skill is making cocktails.” Which would be a vaguely amusing throw away line if it were not so accurate. I’m dyslexic and have trouble with my right and left never mind port and starboard. Keeping the boat in the right relationship to the wind makes my head want to explode. I find driving a small car nerve racking. Being at the wheel of a 55 foot vessel, that has the people I love on board and represents the sum total of everything we own, makes me want to throw–up with fear.  While we are on the subject, I get seasick. So why on earth am I going this?

I’m a sucker for adventure.  Brought up in Australia by a single mother and American popular culture, the call to adventure is strong in me.  I want to do interesting, extraordinary things.  This counts big time.

More importantly it’s my husbands life long dream. For my generation, brought up on movies made by those that worshiped at the altar of Joseph Campbell, there is little more sacred than followings ones dreams. Yes, Spielberg and Lucas I’m blaming you.  Maybe second only to our obsession with needing to be cool.  When my kids are doing something really hideous the first thing out of my mouth is “that is really uncool” like that is the worst thing you could every do. Ugh, Curt Cobain you have a lot to answer for.  But I digress.  Where was I?  Dreams. As far as dreams go this one is a pretty good one, as apposed to going to the North Pole on dog sleds or walking across the Sahara.  It’s a year of summer. We’re are going to go to some fabulous places. It is an unprecedented chance to do something exceptionally cool (oh dear there I go) with the whole family.

I have also already discovered while sailing that along with my lack of natural ability and unstable stomach that I am rather brave. I can cut a line (rope for the uninitiated) with a knife remarkably quickly when required. I will stand on the bow of boat in 50-knot winds and horizontal rain and try to wrestle a mooring on to a cleat. When I break a finger wrestling said mooring I will not totally freak out and bail. (Note sailing metaphor.)

Screws in my finger

I like leaning theses things about myself. Things you only learn through challenge and adventure.  So I’m excited by the challenge that will be Sailing Ondine. Teaching our kids, living in a completely new way, sailing and the biggest challenge, crossing the Atlantic. Even if I will be riding the porcelain bus most of the way.  Bring it on!

Ronan answering the call.

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