Thursday, October 4, 2012

On Returning to the Real World

This is the sunrise that greeted us as we left Friday Harbor, departing the San Juan Islands at the end of our trip.  As I looked into the sunrise, with the still waters before us, I contemplated what the last few days have brought to us; what they have been about.

Our trip outward bound was filled with a sense of adventure, one that foretold of accomplishment, one of extending ourselves and our experience.  We were going to make the big crossing of the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Canada.  We were going to visit the first of the Gulf Islands.  We were going to another country on Brigadoon.  Our home, our shelter, our haven was taking us somewhere else; somewhere wonderful.  Somewhere we have never taken her, nor her, us.

We had worked our way from the wonder of Pender Island, the beauty of Poet's Cove and Otter Bay, to Stuart Island, Deer Harbor, then Friday Harbor.  Our Nexus cards, and all the preparation that they required paid off.  We literally cleared into the good old USofA by phone, in the middle of the Sound, on our way to Deer Harbor.

It was here, as we left Deer Harbor and Orcas Island, one of my most favorite places in the world, that it hit us.

We didn't want to come back.  Not ever.  We didn't want to come 'home'.  We were home.  We didn't want to return to Lake Union, to Seattle, to our J.O.B.s (hammer nails, collect paycheck), to all the mundane, work-a-day world that we have lived for forty-three and fifty-three years.

We got a taste of that going out, that seeking new places on Brigadoon and, to be honest, we didn't want to return.  There was a point, somewhere out there, somewhere on the trip, maybe between Pender and Stuart Island, where we turned to each other and said, "what if we just kept going?"

A good question.

What if we just kept going?

I've worked all my life at jobs that I didn't like, had to work, had to endure, for the pay, for my family, for to pay the bills, for...what?

Responsibility?  Yes, then, it was responsibility for my wife and two daughters.  Keeping up with the Jones's, who I don't even feel any sense of kinship?  For obtaining stuff?  Maybe yes, misguided though it may be.

No, this is about the Freedom Project.  It's about being Out There with Her, my lovely Kerry, on Bridadoon.

We have some time, to pay down debt (it's good Karma to keep your word, even to the robber barons of the banks and the credit card companies that prey on society), to settle our affairs, to clean up loose ends, to get ready.

To get ready.  I like how that sounds.  To get ready, for the rest of my life, whatever that may hold.

Today, I held a dear friend and said, "I'll have to say goodbye to you one day, you know."

She said, "I know."

But that is OK.

So, as we sailed into the sunrise, the early morning fire scorching the waters of the Puget Sound, we returned here, now.  We returned to continue our goal, our determined quest for freedom.

On that quest, there will be a day when Brigadoon passes the mouth of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, we turn left and can realize the answer to the question as we turn left, "what if we just keep going?"


  1. Sounds like you had a great trip! Your post reminded me of were me an my wife were fifteen years ago (boat in Seattle, trying to go north and 'out'). We have met lots of people who "bum around" between Puget Sound and southeast Alaska, full time. We haven't made it out the strait (yet), but there is oh so much more north and inside. It could keep you busy cruising for a lifetime.

  2. Indeed, Robert. It's said there is so much to see in the Puget Sound, Gulf Islands and on to Alaska that one can spend a lifetime cruising here. I'm not surprised that many do just that.

  3. Our first venture when we do cut lines and go - will be be northward towards Alaska. A shakedown cruise, if you will... but also a wonderful opportunity to see some of that beautiful landscape and those waterways.