Sailing is unpredictable. Like snowflakes, no two day sails are the same- day to day (even hour to hour) they change. We do what we can to try and control the experience - chart a course, read the tides, check the weather, but it still changes. So when a guest asks “How far are we going today Cap?” Captain Lance gives a little chuckle and often responds “Well, today we are going about half way.” Life is much like sailing. As much as we plan things out, we just have go where the wind and sea takes us.
It is in that way that I was brought to Maine Day Sail. I often find myself thinking back to a quote my former roommate, Melissa, once said to me “I’m not lost, I’m just not where I want to be right now.” Melissa used to get lost all the time. It was quite comical actually, but she never let it bring her down. I think back to the day she said this and laugh. We both had just moved to Vail, Colorado, for a year of professional training in the medical field. She came from a small town in Missouri and I came from Maine. We didn’t know each other before we became roommates, but quickly formed a tight bond. To me, that quote means so much more than just getting turned around on some back roads.
I am one of those type-A people who likes to have a plan for everything. So naturally I had a plan for my future. A certain ‘path’ I would follow, you know, where I wanted to be and what I wanted to do. There was nothing that was going to deter me. To me it was pretty straight forward. Funny thing is this ‘path’ never included sailing or anything along those lines. So how did I end up here, sailing with Maine Day Sail, on the Schooner Timberwind? By getting ‘lost’ a lot.
My straight forward path ended up not being so straight forward. Against my strongest will to keep moving forward how I wanted, life had a different plan. The path I ended up on, was much like going on a day sail. Sometimes I was ripping across the water, sails full with the wind behind me. Other times it was like I was trying to sail the wrong way around Cape Horn in a full gale, not sure if I would make it out on the other side. It used to stress me out when things didn’t work out how I wanted. But it turns out that, although I wasn’t where I wanted to be, I wasn’t lost.
Instead life's plan had me on a road trip across the western US- visiting all the National Parks I could, taking a wilderness medicine class, and sailing around the world on two different traditional tall ships. I was learning more about myself, and growing in ways I never imagined I could. It wasn’t easy, change and growth never really are, but the relation-SHIPS I developed with those I met along the way made it all worth it. Interesting how SHIP is the root of this word.
They say hindsight is 20/20. I can now look back and see that all those detours, set me on a course that was way better than I could have imagined. Each time I got ‘lost’, life was preparing me for the next great thing.
For me that next great thing is Maine Day Sail! I have always hoped that my path would bring me back to Maine. This place feels like home to me. There is something about the cool, salty air of the ocean and the smell of the trees in the forest that rejuvenates me like no other place has. I feel it may be a little cliche to say, but this is the way life should be.
So I am happy to say that I am not lost anymore and yes I am where I want to be- Sailing on Penobscot Bay, meeting new people and building relation-SHIPS with all of you. Although we can’t control where the wind and sea takes us, the experience is always better with friends.
Thank you for joining me on this next great adventure.