Leslie’s Thoughts About Leaving…
Now we’re ready to leave. It’s a little like having a baby; the mother is uncomfortable enough that she forgets to be afraid to go through with the birth, she just wants the baby out. In a similar fashion, I am no longer worried about missing my family and friends, not being quite enough prepared, or feeling trepidation for the unknowable future at sea. I’m psychologically ready to leave behind life as I’ve known it and face what is ahead just to get going on this long-awaited adventure.
Lately, in the dark early evenings walking down the dock to our boat, I’ve been looking up at the sky to see the constellation Orion clear as a bell shining down on me. Growing up, I remember only searching for the Big Dipper and Little Dipper, constellations of Earth’s northern hemisphere. But now I only have eyes for Orion, the warrior hunter constellation located on the celestial equator – thus visible throughout both hemispheres. Somehow he feels like a familiar friend that, during our travels, will become much more close. I wonder which other constellations I will stare at during night watches, what friends await me in the southern hemisphere. I have a fantastic app on my mobile phone that shows the constellations from every angle. I’m looking forward to studying them on calm nights. Maybe I should download information about them now while I still have access to the Internet.
I’m also looking forward to researching about the countries and sights we will soon be exploring…learning opportunities for the boys, as well as for Eric and me. I’m looking forward to learning and practicing more Spanish. I’m looking forward to sharing my love for language with Bryce and Trent, especially French. I’m looking forward to practicing my sailing skills, building upon the skills that I learned through last racing season’s Wet Wednesdays. I’m looking forward to living the dream that we have talked about and planned for during these last 25 years. It was 25 years ago this February 10th when Eric departed Ventura for the Marquesas Islands with brothers Nick, Curtis and Uncle Bill – 6 months after that when I joined the crew in Hawaii. Somehow this last year’s ups and downs led us here to this momentous turning point – departing again 25 years later – a year after we moved on the boat.
I’m looking forward to reading great literature, to treasure hunts, to meeting new people, to hiking, to fishing, and actually sailing too. I’m looking forward to living with even less, as crazy as that sounds.
So in a few days, after the rain passes, instead of severing the umbilical chord, we’re casting off our Ventura dock-lines…like true Vagabonds, carrying everything we could imaginably need…including 2 kitchen sinks!
Leslie Dennis Rigney