You’ve heard this before, but I’m trying to get a handle on it, so here I go again.
Soul-searching is not something I do often. I’m more of a roll-with-whatever–life- brings-you person who adapts. Because old fears are still alive and well in my psyche, I’ve lately tried to voice them and analyze them—hoping they’ll go away.
It isn’t working. I still have fears. And as sorry as I am to admit it, I’m still afraid of the boat.
Intellectually, I know the boat is safe, Mark knows how to handle it, I’m never asked to do anything dangerous, and even if a serious situation arose, assistance is a radio call away.
So why does my gut wrench when we’re slapping around in a heavy chop? Why do my palms sweat when we leave a dock? Why does my back tighten when I hear the wind pick up? After three months on the boat in the Pacific Northwest last summer and three months going from Alabama to Florida to Central New York this spring, I should be used to living and traveling on water.
But I’m not and I hate it that I don’t know why.
Maybe I drowned in another life. Maybe I was aboard the Titanic. But if that’s the case, I should cringe when I see an ice cube.
Maybe it goes back to a place called the San Clemente Plunge where I had swimming lessons at the age of six and was pushed into the water by overzealous instructors.
Maybe I fell asleep in the bathtub with an empty glass of wine in my hand. Now that’s a likely scenario, but not when I was a kid.
I’m leaning toward the idea that I’m afraid because I have no natural instincts about how to manage the boat in a crisis. I was rarely afraid sailing in Southern California, but there were usually two or three competent crewmembers on board. If something happened to Mark on this cruise, I’m the only one left.
Just thinking about that puts a knot in my stomach.
The answer, of course, is to do more, learn, and become confident. As terrifying a thought as that is, I must force myself. It’s no fun being a fair weather sailor because the weather doesn’t always cooperate.
So I’ll remind myself: Nordic Tugs are built like tanks; Capt. Mark has a 100-ton Coast Guard captain’s license; Pamela is not going to be a coward.
And maybe I’ll enjoy the rest of the trip…even when Mother Nature isn’t cooperative.