I met a woman once in a public bathroom in a marina in Georgia. She’d been crying and I asked her if she was okay. She said yes, she was just scared. Her tears were an emotional release because she and her boyfriend were sailing up the East Coast, and they had finally arrived in the marina safely.
I asked her why she did it, if it frightened her so much.
She said, “I do it out of love.”
I, too, am a worrier at sea, frightened of the slightest change in the water, the bounciest chop, the threat of bad weather. I, too, go out of love.
A Kiss of Cabernet, my debut novel for Entangled, was due for release when I had no website, no twitter account, no author Facebook page. It’s hard to put those tools in place when you’re cruising from island to island, inlet to inlet, on the west coast of mainland Canada.
My edits came in August and, having no printer, I had to download them on my iPad and edit my manuscript on my laptop. When I finished, I sent them off using my hotspot, as we did not have any marina stops scheduled and thankfully, we had cell phone service.
It’s not an ideal lifestyle, but there are benefits. You test yourself constantly, and stretch to do things you’ve never done before. You learn to make do with very little, to make full meals out of cans, to take instant showers so you don’t use up the fresh water you carry too quickly. There are no buffets, no entertainments, no one to hand you a cocktail when the sun goes down.
But the sense of peace is worth it, even when swinging in a half circle at anchor, or rocking back and forth on a mooring buoy.
Sometimes, like the girl in the public bathroom in Georgia, I cry because we’ve made it safely into a port after a few hours of slugging through a confused sea, or making our way quietly through fog.
Like her, I’m sometimes afraid.
But I wouldn’t think of staying behind.