I’d left a tired marriage in a foreign country after many long years and had headed back home to British Columbia’s lush and gorgeous forests laden with massive ferns and wild flowers, cedars, firs, pines, birch, you name it. The woods I grew up in on Vancouver Island had claimed my heart and soul and I had to return.
One of the exciting aspects of my move to a new chapter in life was the potential for a relationship with someone who was interesting, conversational, kind, and sexy. I was in excellent shape and looked great, so as the small passenger plane carried me from Seattle Airport to Victoria harbor, I looked out the window at a huge moon hanging in the sky above us and down at the city of my youth appearing below. My emotions as it came into view were tumbled and powerful.
Home. I was home at last.
Before long, it was Christmas and New Year, and although I’d made a couple of nice girlfriends to coffee with, I’d not yet met Mr. Wonderful. So, wanting a date for New Year, of course, I placed a personal ad in the local paper, and soon met an exciting man.
He was handsome, confident, ex-military and interested in everything. He was proficient in his favorite sports, bursting with energy, and seemed to be the exact kind of guy I was looking and hoping for.
Chad and I became fast friends very quickly and saw a lot of each other. He was into everything to do with the sea and had a dream of sailing to the Tuomotos and the South Sea Islands. He’d gone to the Virgin Islands and learned Celestial Navigation, he explained to me, and he’d bought a boat he was in love with. He took me to the docks where he’d moored her and I had my first experience of Mystic, a 36 foot sloop.
So, you can predict what happened next, of course. I signed on for a Basic Sailing Course and learned a bit about managing boats and sails and standing with my legs planted firmly to keep from falling over when the boat hit a swell, and how to make coffee and meals on the ship’s little stove and how to sleep in the small beds lined up on both sides down below.
Before long I’d learned the lingo and could talk Boat with anyone. But sitting in the harbor and drinking coffee is not the same thing as battling high winds and storms way out on blue water, and I hungered to taste what the sea could throw at me.
What a greenhorn.
So to make a long story short, I became Chad’s first mate and we eventually left our safe harbor with a crew of five, and headed out two hundred miles off-shore to see what we were made of.
First mistake was starting our adventure in September, when no sensible person tries to sail down the Pacific Coast. Another mistake was packing seasickness pills and water supplies beneath canned goods under the planking.
We soon discovered who among our small crew were brave and indestructible, and who were…well, not.
As it turned out, both Chad and myself turned out to be, Not.
This is the story of how having a couple of people with the Right Stuff on board in an autumn Pacific Storm, one of the worst in the twentieth century, saved our bacon and caused a massive leap in our personal evolution.
God saw that we were all willing to evolve and learn, approved of our spirit, and sent us the learning we needed. Because of two precious, courageous, unstoppable people on board, we did not have to sink to the bottom of the black sea in order to learn what we needed.
Now that’s a way to die that I personally prefer to avoid. That water is deep and yes, black. Very scary.
So obviously I lived to tell the tale, and in Buster Goes to Sea I tell you the story of that adventure with honesty and plenty of humility. Actually, lots of humility.
and read the whole story today!