Far-Away Yarns

21 January 2015 | Home in South Africa

The Birth of a Dream

21 January 2015 | Home in South Africa
Nadine on a Hot and Sunny mid-December day
How does a dream begin?
Out of subconscious desires? Out-of-reach quests and goals? A desire to do something so utterly different that you wake sweating and need to deal with panic attacks during the course of the following day?
I don't really know. I have put myself to sleep dreaming I had won the EuroLottery - Eur 325 million! How about that? Only trouble is I woke myself several times changing the figure slightly (didn't want to be too ridiculous). Drifting off again I scheme about what to do first?
Book First Class airtickets from South Africa across to my brother in England, take him out to the most expensive dinner and then casually ask him what type of business he would like to go into if he had sufficient funds....then, equally casually, hand over an obscene amount of shekels (British Pounds)!
Next on the list.....Who and what surprise awaited the next family member? What a glorious way to drift off to dreamland, and I never ever got to the end of my winnings!
Then I grew up and changed my night games and started dreaming of foreign lands, I am sure, prompted by our younger daughter and her husband's proposed move to New Zealand with my two grandchildren. I already had our elder son, our firstborn, leave the sunny shores of South Africa earlier on, with his wife, succumbing to the allure of their "Green Cards" in faraway California. In pursuance of "The American Dream" they produced two more grandchildren for me to cry for. Now there were four little people who would not have their Papa and their Nana living close enough to come over for the night, attend school plays, smother with love and hugs, cookies and milkshakes....
See how quickly a dream changes?
Intrigued by the "romance of travel" fuelled no doubt by watching many eisodes of the Shards' sailing adventures on Distant Shores, their TV programme aired on an infrequent weekly basis, my husband and I, found ourselves visiting the local Boatshow in Durban. Walking the marina, amongst these beautiful boats, both mono and multi-hulled, we were drawn, like a moth to flame (or a least I was) to the luxuriousness, the captivating ease of living once we stepped aboard a 50' luxury cat.
The pricetag was a little off-putting but, as they say, "hey, it's only money!" However, we didn't, couldn't, wouldn't have that kind of money, so the dream was put on the back-burner for a while. Life marched on, New Zealand plans were laid on the table and the time of daughter and family's departure to the bottom end of the earth drew frighteningly near. The back burner flamed up again and the sailing dream began to boil and burn (in me at least).
We schemed again and decided to plan toward hubby's retirement, not knowing how we would eventually attain this (seemingly) impossible dream. How and where to begin? How to get to where we are (two mid-life landlubbers weighed down with a large home and all the acquisitions of 42 years of marriage), to where we wanted to be - competent sailors, confident and cruising across the Atlantic toward Panama, exiting the Canal and heading either North towards San Francisco or South toward the land of the "long white cloud". Depending on the whim of the dashing skipper and his brave wife, and a suitable weather window. You see, I knew this already. New me, new dream and believe me I could think of nothing else. I read every scary book I could lay my hands on. Books about mountainous seas, sudden and vicious squalls, knockdowns, breaches, lying a-hull, heaving to, running, dragging drogues and other such paraphenalia. The Pardeys, Kretchmer, Slocum and Bernard Moitessier became my bedtime companions and their exploits invaded my dreams, taking over completely.
Then I awake in a cold sweat and the panic starts: "what if I get violently seasick and never ever take to this?"
"What if I am so afraid in the first storm which might unexpectedly take us?"
"What if I reach the first landdfall and swear never ever to set foot on the boat again?"
"What if the sea hates me, or I IT in return?"
Then the sweet smiling faces of my children float by and the cloud over my heart lifts, the sun comes out and in my dream the sea is flat and turquoise and we are barbecuing freshly caught tuna on the back of the boat. Everything is TV perfect, just like Paul and Sheryl Shard's adventures!
Vessel Name: Still looking
Hailing Port: Durban
Crew: Cap'n Papa (aka Zarco) and Skip' Nana
About: At the moment on "the hard" and marking time doing land preparations (reading/dreaming/gathering information/trying to face the frightening reality of downsizing)
Extra: Do we sell? Keep? Store? Or do we throw caution to the wind and "just do it?" (Go Nike!)
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