Feeling in Limbo
10 September 2008 | Oak Island, Nova Scotia
Beth, 6C in the early mornings, 21C by afternoon
Here we are, back in the land of pirates.
In the Bahamas, we sailed and hiked in areas known to have been frequented by pirates - the south anchorage and nearby "Pirates Lair" at Warderick Wells among them. In Beaufort, NC, we viewed artifacts from what is believed to be Blackbeard's ship, "Queen Anne's Revenge", discovered just off the coast. Here in Nova Scotia, we anchored just a few hundred feet from the island long believed to be a repository of buried treasure. Legend has it that Captain Kidd visited these islands, and indeed, many efforts to unearth the treasure have been thwarted by clever booby traps and unexplained "accidents".
This seems to be one more of the loops we've experienced over this year of cruising: people who turn up in one place and then again in another, stories with both southern and northern components, the thrill of a good sail that has no boundaries at all. I've been trying to identify "feelings" lately, to discern whether our mixed and confused emotions at the end of this trip reflect similar ones at the beginning.
As I think back, it seems that Jim and I were both into full throttle ahead then - having sold our house and cars, stored our belongings, and set off with Mary and Blair (Strathspey) for a year's adventure. We had so many new experiences to concentrate on - the locks of the St Lawrence Seaway, the immersion (not full, thank goodness!) into salt water, the brand new sailing environment, that I can't remember spending much time on the "ending" of one way of life or on anxiety about the coming year. (I'll look back through my journal later because surely we were not too busy to notice the endings!)
It is only now that I realize we not only went sailing for 16 months, we became cruisers. Perhaps that is why all these mixed feelings are present. Cruising wasn't just something we did - it was who we were. Now, we must figure out who we are all over again because we can't spend the next year being land-bound cruisers. It is even more essential because we decided over the course of the year that we'd like to have a Canadian land base on which to spend a few months each year, while we sail in warm waters during the winters. We met many people in each category - long term cruisers who spend most or all their time on board, and those who cruise for 5,6,or 7 months each year, as well as those who were on their "one and only" or those who take a long trip every few years. I'll have to think about the differences in self- identification, ask questions of them, and see what emerges for us in this next year.
In the meantime, we have packing and dismantling to do - and perhaps just one more little anchorage before we motor into Stevens Cove on Thursday, tie up to a mooring ball at South Shore Marine and get Madcap ready for a haulout on Friday morning.