Offshore once more: SV Calyspo is heading north!
13 June 2016 | 30 00'N:79 35'W, in the Gulf Stream off Jacksonville Fl
It seems endless, the need to keep pressing, keep moving, from one point to another, the whole world of details needing to be dealt with upon returning after so long offshore, after having completely detached from the world system. Yet, there is a dream state that wants to believe I would not reattach¬... somehow I would find a new way to function. Even to become more detached.
My head is buzzing through the days as Bob and I work to get ourselves situated for the summer season. Bob, my brother, Jeff, and I, drove to Florida, taking some of the stuff from IS; the nine months worth of clothing that needed to be cleaned; the instruments, and anything I would need for the next few weeks. Bob would remain in Florida to prepare to sail SV_Calypso north to her summer mooring grounds where Bob and I will base our lives from¬... the Mighty Calypso, our summer home in Bristol, RI.
Then my brother graciously helped me drive back to RI with my car, another 1400mi, enabling Bob and I to have a vehicle to use for the summer season, as well as to allow me to make a first round of speaking engagements and follow-up visits to my children and grandchildren, Kristy and family whom I still hadn¬'t seen since arriving home. It was an incredible week, trying to decompress from the emotions and excitement of sharing my experiences and expressing the depth of my gratitude to all who had empowered this monumental feat of sailing around the world, my only stop via the Panama Canal.
Piecing together my powerpoint, adding the photos and thoughts encompassing this second circumnavigation, was a challenge; time such a premium, and even moreso ¬... my capacity to think it all through was limited. It seemed too soon to be able to culminate all that had transpired over those 10months at sea ¬... how could I answer the profound questions? What was the most important, the most difficult, the most ... valuable lessons¬... that you learned? I needed more time to process it all. And that time would come. But for now, I shared as best I could from the new energy source from within and it seemed to flow from me well enough.
The first engagement was for the Women¬'s Sailing Foundation. For me, the day was enchanted as I was able to be in the presence of the most incredible women, so many breaking through new barriers of unknown territory, allowing the ocean and the paradigm of sailing to become the catalyst to finding a deeper strength and courage within themselves, trusting in their ability to creatively find their way as they opened themselves to the opportunity to change and grow. I was so blessed to share time with Dottie and Bart before the conference, Dottie joining me, giving my introduction. It was incredible to embrace Nancy Erley and thank her for being my resource of help when IS and I had to try new options for managing the huge ocean conditions with the hindrance when the self-steering vane was not functioning optimally. The exchanges between all of us represented such a high quality of camaraderie as we all encouraged each other, no one¬'s experiences and gifts more or less valuable than any other¬'s¬... we had all come together to go sailing, intrinsically bringing us all so close together.
The second program I shared was at my Mother¬'s home in an assisted living facility. She had ingratiated me to all of her friends and the staff there. The staff even went so far as to print out my daily blogs and gather them into a binder for my mom and others to read¬... it was such a blessing for me to know that my mom was able to keep abreast of my journey. It was my mother and father who had first sailed on traditional tall ships when I was a young mother¬... it was my mother who encouraged me on when I began to talk about wanting to sail¬... she was the one who sent me off with her deepest blessings to sail across the ocean to Ireland¬... from the very beginning of my experience sailing, she was the one who saw the ocean as the perfect place, sailing as an amazing healing experience for me¬... and she was right. My son, Keel, and I sang my mom¬'s favorite songs as I shared the photos and stories of sailing around the world; her favorite stories were those about the birds and wildlife tha t became my dearest companions along the way. My brothers, my step-brother and his amazing wife¬... all who had invested and cared for me along my way were there as they had always been.
As I would share, folks would ask me what it was like to be back on ¬'terra-firma¬'. I would share that it almost felt as if the trip was a dream, landing back to the very same place I began, getting that first cup of coffee at the Bristol Bagel works, Bob and I hand-in-hand walking down Hope Street from the Herreshoff Museum dock, Bob sharing his first night ever to sleep aboard IS ¬... the floor passing for a second bunk. The life in Bristol seemed to have been on pause while I was away, nothing had changed really, folks walking through their lives as they had been, but I was so so very changed. I felt as though I was seeing through new eyes, a fresh breeze blowing, a new vision emerging¬... I was a whole person for the first time in my life, truly at peace within. My mind was quieted, listening. Astounding!
Synchronicity alone could have planned the week of travel as I was able to spend quality time with each of my grandchildren¬...the itinerary was perfect!! In between each engagement, I was able to spend a day able to focus my attention on each of my children and my precious grandchildren, each in their own environments, playing games, and being Noni¬... a grandmother that loves to get down on the floor and play games, imagine tea parties, go on imaginary journeys both at sea and land¬... we fished, played games, watched favorite movies, cuddled to singing songs as they fell asleep at the end of full days¬... midst the happiest days of my life. We couldn¬'t stop grinning as we played¬... though Noni would be reminded that she needs to ¬'stay in shape¬' to be able to keep up.
I enjoyed the long chats with my children that would go into the wee morning hours¬... catching up on the events of the year, many that were life changing, deeply moving¬... I felt the twangs of remorse at having not been there at times, yet was awed at the incredible depth of maturity each of my children have to navigate these growth stages, the unexpected challenges midst life. Though I wasn¬'t there, my voice was there in their hearts, encouraging them to love themselves with the depth they adore their children or dearest companion¬... I am so very proud of them all. They all have been the foundation of caring, whether financially or in their deepest expressions of love and respect they have openly shared with me. I am so blessed that I was able to have this added time in the early days after returning.
Bob and I, too, have grown close inwardly during seeming never ending months when we could not touch each other, hear our voices in person, embrace each other through the hardships; when he couldn¬'t help me when I had hard challenges at sea; when I could not be there to help Bob when the details of life were overwhelming as he carried, not only his own, but my, dauntingly vast number to manage. We both faced our eternal longings alone and found deep resources from within, tapping new wells of understanding. But it was hard.
Coming back together, we both knew we were different and that our relationship had grown more intuitive, based in the life energy we had been sharing from a far for all those months. When Bob took over doing my blogs after the satellite system was damaged, he did it from a conscious connection to me¬... of what I was feeling and would want to express¬... it was me speaking through him. He was so aware that the blogs weren¬'t a platform from which he would speak¬... He was sharing from a deep connection to me. When I read them upon returning, I welled up with emotion as I began to understand how strongly we were connected along the journey, truly ¬'our¬' journey, as we both allowed the situations that occurred to change us, move us, teach us, and bring in a totally new way of relating and interacting.
I returned to Florida, Bob having been working away to get us ready to leave. My world was sprawled everywhere, laundry and trying to pack. Our lovely home would need to be set up for its life during the summer ¬... Bonnie Blue visited to take possession of her new vehicle¬... a 1972 VW Camper/Bus! The new Bonnie mobile, a magical platform for her amazing dolphin energy artwork and healing program. All the last minute details came together¬... we will be back and forth as needed for work. We took Calypso to a dock to pack and get her ready for her trek up the US east coast along the same route I had just come with Inspired Sanity. We have a good weather window, a little light on wind¬...but Calypso has a fabulous engine¬... the winds in our favor for the most part.
The Delorme tracker will be showing our journey on Calypso. The Satellite Aurora system will be running allowing me to start to catch up on the ¬'Missing Blogs¬' as well as update our trip. We are now nearly 20 hours out, passing St Augustine, actually sailing nearly the same speed as IS!! We are both appreciating the mild conditions and the ability to catch up on true R&R. Last night was a splendid night watch, the stars so familiar once again charting my way, Karina and Scorpius in their places, the Dippers lighting the way north. The morning air was cool, yet gave way quickly to a steamy hazy sky, a sundog visible¬... yes there is a front on its way, but it will be north of us allowing us the SW winds that will make for great sailing around Hatteras¬... we trust!
Bob has settled into reading ¬'Path Between the Seas¬' about the construction of the Panama Canal, by David McCullough, having been fully intrigued as I referred to the book throughout my passage through the Canal. And I am typing away¬... new stories to tell, stories to yet bring alive as I take them from paper to digital form.
During the welcome home weekend, it was wonderful to be with Will Barbeau, Bonnie Blue, Mike Wall, the land based Sail Twice Around team that has laid down their lives for these months to facilitate my dream. My first meeting with Dr Jeff Eisen and Dr Jeanne DeRousseau was amazing. Those initial embraces and eye to eye ¬"Thank yous¬" lingered trying to express the depth of thanks that could not be shared in a moment¬... yet was known in eternity, had been known each moment of the way. Joan Conover could not be at the welcome home, but we enjoy chats and look forward to our first non-ethereal hugs. At more upcoming SSCA Gams, I so look forward to seeing new faces belonging to those I have talked to on the radio, Chris Parker from Carib Wx, Glenn, Dick¬... to see those whose comments encouraged us all along my way. I so look forward to meeting you at other engagements with yachting and cruising clubs throughout the US and wherever in the world it might take me¬... good friends in Austria, Germany, England, New Zealand, Australia, Patagonia¬... and all through the world.
Upcoming Events we will be at or *speaking engagement June 18-20 - SSCA Gam, Essex Ct *June 23rd ¬- Herreshoff Museum Lecture 6:30pm *Music Venues - TBA July 30th ¬- SSCA Gam Rockland ME Oct ¬- Annapolis Gam Nov ¬- Sawlty Dawg Rally Nov 16 ¬- SSCA Gam Melbourne
Keepin On Sailin On Caring¬... Embracing the new reality, allowing the mind to take a back seat to life energy¬'s flow of quiet initiation of vision on a day to day basis¬...it is a mystery that is unfolding.
Fairest of winds and the love of the oceans Only Gratitude Donna