Admiral’s Corner

A brief history of how it all started, the true version of events from the Admiral.

The truth is, I suspect the captain has attempted to “do me in” on several occasions. It all began with out first boat, a small runabout purchased in Windsor Ontario and run on the Detroit River.  The captain’s first project was restored with loving care, painted a jaunty red and laid with brand new light coloured indoor-outdoor carpeting which I immediately spilled an orange pop all over.  This is where it all began.

We took this boat out on a hot and sunny Saturday afternoon on the Detroit River.  The wind picked up and the waves began to grow, they became very, very large waves.  Our little boat would climb one of those monster waves and you could look down the nose of our tiny boat and see the bottom of the world. The boat would chase down the wave with the feeling of being on a roller coaster, I knew in this moment that spilling that orange pop had cemented my destiny, that from now on I would have to sleep with one eye open.

We moved to sailing after spending a night in the middle of Georgian Bay in a slightly larger version of the past boat.  Our engine caught fire and we found ourselves stranded in a large amount of water.  The night was stormy, the wind had picked up and the waves were relentless.  I came close to falling over board while needing to relieve my bladder, I hung precariously over the edge of that boat and was saved from going into the dark waters by the captain grabbing my life jacket as I was thrown backward into the bay. The OPP rescued us early the next morning. I sat on the police boat very quietly and fairly far away from the captain.  I needed time to figure out his angle.

Our 23 foot sailboat took the four of us many places and we met many people over those years and had many happy meals and drinks with loved ones and strangers alike.  We were knocked down once and I recall sliding across the decks with a child under one arm and grabbing our dog by the scruff of the neck before we lost her to the great lakes.  Sheer luck and some dexterity kept me from plunging all of us into the cool water of Georgian Bay. We were traveling with others that day, they were on a separate boat, they would have been witnesses.

Once we started sailing on the Pacific Ocean on our Alberg 30 sailing began to appeal to me, and I began to realize that the captain may not have a plan to “do me in” The ocean life is marvelous and the scenery is mind blowing.  We did sell our Alberg 30 ( a great boat) after a huge family disgruntlement over a very rainy long weekend.  Two growing children, two grown adults and a German Shepherd cooped up on 30 feet of boat for 72 hours did not make a terrific combination.

We took a break, about a three week break and purchased our Vindo 50 (36 feet long) a gorgeous boat. We spent three years sailing her and realized she needed a family that could tend to her teak decks and varnished wood, people who had more time than a full time working couple raising a family and two dogs. I will admit that there was one night on board Kismet  that I am fairly certain the captain may have poisoned my red wine while we were socializing with friends.  I pulled through though.

We took another break from boats approximately 12 weeks this time.

We are now in the process of getting to know Akupara a daunting task ahead of us but one that has an end goal in sight (hopefully not my demise) which  will be documented for those that have an interest and  a love for old boats.  We decided to be as candid as we could around costs and man hours which has always been a mystery to me when reading other’s blogs. They all seem to have endless pots of money and tons of time.

After all the attempts on my life by the captain I often find myself asking: Why do I keep participating in this? My answer is: I have two children who can go without TV, I pods, computers etc. for long stretches of time, I have two children that can hold a conversation with anyone, anywhere, I have two children that know what a vast starry night looks like and are not afraid of that endless night sky.

It’s not all about the kids. Personally, when we’re underway I am so utterly convinced that we’re all going to die (even when the seas are as calm as glass) that all of my outside stressors disappear. I am able to live each and every moment purely in the present  at hand. There is always a glimmer of hope that we will dock or anchor, that we will all be alive and that I will be able to relish that celebratory rum and coke that has become a safe arrival tradition.