797.1 Fac (c2018)

 

Sarah P’s comments: I’m back from the deep and yes, it’s because of a book. I fell away from writing this blog not because of time or disinterest but because I stopped believing in myself. I saw no way forward to the place where I want to be: sailing and cruising and a life on the water. Feeling this way, it was too upsetting to read my normal sailing books and instead I wandered around the fiction section of the library feeling lost. I was definitely washed up on a ledge and feeling pounded to pieces.

I drifted into summer. The boat swung on the mooring, every day sunny with a perfect breeze. I would row out, clean, polish, and lie on the settee, feeling sad. Why didn’t I go sailing? Because I can’t take the boat out myself. What if something happened? It would not be ‘prudent’ to take this risk. I needed to wait for the return of my always-away merchant marine husband who was also making noises about buying a tractor and becoming a dirt dweller.

Then, in that mysteriously serendipitous internet way, a magazine called SisterShip appeared in one of my searches. Intrigued by the name, I bought an online copy and began reading about women sailors of all types. I flipped a page and there appeared the cover of the book: Facing Fear Head On. And I knew, exactly in that moment, the answer to my problem. I was afraid to take the boat out alone.

Well, duh. But it had been hidden from me because I wasn’t a new sailor who would expect to be afraid. Get this…I grew up sailing, worked on a windjammer (as a cook), have sailed to Canada, down to Florida and back. We have owned our catamaran for seven years and I am the Captain (my husband is the Chief Engineer). I know, I know…how could I possibly be afraid? But I was.

I ordered the book. I rowed out to the boat, lay on the settee, and read every story in it. And thought of the quote from Chicken Run, one of my all-time favorite movies, “Fowler, you have to fly it. You’re always talking about back in your day, well, TODAY is your day!”

I decided I could do it. Then I decided I would do it; take the boat out alone…

Now if that isn’t a good review for a book, I don’t know what is. I’m not saying it’s deep literature but the stories are real, written by real women sailors, and I’m sharing this title because it helped get me off my mooring and I hope it will get you off yours too.