sunset from Guildive

Sunset, from the deck of the Guildive

“The wonderful things in life are the things you do, not the things you have.”

–Reinhold Messner

By Susan Caba
Resale Evangelista

I can’t say I wasn’t warned.

When I decided to sign on as crew–no experience necessary, therefore I qualified–on a 56-foot vintage American ketch making its winter trip from the Penobscot Bay to Baltimore Harbor, I asked a friend who is a seasoned sailor what the trip might entail. She was not entirely enthusiastic.

“Ocean sailing for five days will be tedious and exhausting, if the weather’s good,” she said. Never one to miss the obvious, I had to ask, “And if the weather is bad?”

“Oh. Then it will be terrifying and dangerous,” she replied.

She offered me the loan of her foul weather gear—boots, overalls and a hooded jacket, all made of thick yellow neoprene.  Putting it on, I thought that all I needed to pass for a giant rubber Duckie was an orange rubber beak. It occurred to me that, if the weather was bad enough to necessitate this outfit, I could be in big trouble.

I flew into Bangor on a Friday night in mid-October, in an unremitting rainstorm that delayed flights up and down the East Coast. Three of us–strangers to one another–arrived on the same flight and made the 90-minute drive to Castine, a harbor village, on roads dark and wet. It was nearly midnight before we boarded the Guildive, tethered to the short dock that is her summer home. Two of the “crew” were already aboard; we three made five, with the sixth and final passenger still delayed by weather in Baltimore. We were scheduled to set sail in the morning on our five-day, 900-mile journey. …

Just a reminder: Don’t let “stuff” limit your existence. Adventure is around the corner when you simplify and focus your life.

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