Saturday, March 19, 2011

Ready to Float
By Michael

It is kind of an arcane reference, but it keeps occurring to me, so I'm sharing it here: 
Eleanor looking forward to the ride
At Disneyland last month, after waiting in line for the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, we stepped aboard our “boat.” Of course, it didn’t rock or anything as we boarded, it’s on tracks after all, a big roller coaster car in very shallow water. Then, when the operator pushed the right button, there was a bit of a jerk and we rattled forward on the tracks until…that feeling, when that big roller coaster car becomes a boat, driven off the end of the rigid tracks, sinking down a couple inches as it finds its waterline, bobbing just a bit, the unmistakable sensation of floating.
In addition to being an obvious metaphor for our big, pending life change, that Disneyland transition to floating reminds me of a real world transition: of the moment you get offshore in a sailboat and shut off the auxiliary. You know: the sails are up, you are underway with water moving past, heeled a bit, little bubbles left behind in the wake. But your ears and body tuned out the noise and vibration of the diesel 15 minutes ago. It’s only when someone cuts off the fuel, and the oil pressure alarm squawks, and the key is turned off, that it then really feels right, pulled and pushed along by unseen forces, only sailing sounds remaining....ahhhh.
The crews of other boats in Mexico are now writing interesting posts about their final preparations for South Pacific voyages, their fascination with the culture and food that surrounds them, and even the real stresses of family life afloat. In that context, it is pretty pathetic that I am easily stirred by the sensation of floating on a Disneyland ride. But that is an indication of how eager I am to get underway.
Sara of s/v Wondertime just wrote an excellent, manic piece on the stresses of preparing to cast off, to break the ties of land life. She’s got 104 days left on her counter and I’m with her every sentence, feeling the anxiety. In 40 days, our house goes on the market and there is so much to do between now and then...
But I know that when we drive away from it all, enroute to PV, I’ll feel our Ford, with a trailer in tow, jerk a bit as we rattle forward until…that feeling…finding a smooth road, swaying just a bit, the unmistakable sensation of floating…away.

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