Sorrow Comes With the Joy
26 May 2018 | Gold River Marina, Gold River, NS
Beth / chilly nights and sunny days
I wanted to make this post all about the joy we feel around meeting folks in boatyards and anchorages and marinas. It has been that way from the time we started sailing, especially as we ventured into new waters and discovered new places to say hello - to fellow boaters and to the "locals".
I have a book full of boatcards we have received over the last 10 years and dozens more names written in my journals. I have written about many folks in these blog posts - cruisers on their first long passages, the old salts, the circumnavigators - who have really truly sailed around the world, those who don't venture far but know their home waters intimately, first time owners, dreamers, and lots like us - couples who are enjoying both their boats and the exploration.
We are encountering all those folks right here in Gold River. Mike from Texas on s/v Shearwater, with whom we have shared Bahamas stories, Jay who used to own a marina in Roatan and we know exactly where that marina is; Jeff, Tracy, Ben and Sam who just bought their first boat and named it Lyons Pride and the boys are all set to put their sailing classes to good use; Charles, who used to sail on s/v Wind Swept and now plies the waters on m/v Wind Free; and Graham who has been working in the barn on his schooner Mary David. He came by one sunny day to say hello and we reminisced over the time in 2008 when we both holed up in Deep Cove to ride out Hurricane Hannah. Jim and I sat aboard Mary David then with Graham and Paulette, drinking tea and telling stories.
And that's where the sorrow cast a shadow on all the joy. On a Tuesday, Graham and I assured each other that we would share an anchorage again this summer, 10 years after the last time. On the Friday of the same week, Jim was working on Madcap when the emergency vehicles came roaring into the yard and people went running toward the barn. Graham was on the ground at the bottom of his ladder and all efforts to revive him failed. We don't yet know exactly what happened, but in an instant, all the future plans were gone and those who knew and cared for him are left with memories. Our hearts have been heavy these last few days as we continue the work of readying Madcap for launch.
Carl painted the boot stripe and cove stripe a glossy dark green. Jim and I have continued sanding and varnishing the brightwork - rubrails, eyebrows, hand rails, butterfly hatch. He will start work this week cleaning and waxing the hull and I will tackle the cockpit teak. Jim installed the new Seagull water filter and replaced a rusted out connection to the water heater. Our navigation lights work and he repaired or replaced the galley and aft cabin ones that didn't. The VHF works but the SSB antenna still needs to be hooked up. The Chartplotter won't hold a fix so Keith, the local electronics man spent an hour with Jim trying to track down that problem and he will be back this week to fix it - we hope!
The work goes on, and there is still joy in the boatyard, tempered with the knowledge that we never know what the next day will bring. And so we take time to talk to people, to remember them; we celebrate tasks completed, and we still make plans for the next day and the ones after that, looking forward to being on the water again.