I suppose you are expecting some epic beginning as to how a seven year old child winds up circumnavigating the world. Unfortunately, that’s not what happened.
I was three years old. My mom had met my step dad and they got married. He owned a small sail boat in the marina in Everett, WA. His dreams of sailing around the world are what inspired him to purchase the larger sail boat we traveled in. My dad spent several months fixing it while my mom stayed with my grandma, after all she was pretty upset about the new purchase, considering it needed some serious work. Well, he fixed it up and we moved in. We stayed there for four years before leaving to go sailing.
And there you have it. The not so epic beginning. Fortunately for us both, that’s just the preface to the how it all started. That just explains how I got on the boat in the first place. Now we’re off to how our journey started. Ready? 3… 2…1… Let’s go!
It was a cold and bleak morning. The grey skies seemed foreboding, as if they were telling us what lay ahead. I opened my eyes and stretched. It didn’t take me long to wake up. I was way too excited. Today is the day we leave to go sailing, though I did not know the magnitude of the voyage we were about to embark on. I thought about the “Bon Voyage” party the night before, where friends and family came to the community center to celebrate, and mourn, our departure. It was very pleasant and exciting to say the least.
I got out of my bed, already dressed and ready to go. I scrambled up the ladder and into the cockpit. I could see some friends and family walking down the dock, gifts in hand. I went nuts. It was like my birthday on the wrong date. I got colouring books, cracker jacks (my favourite snack as a child), and a bunch of other stuff. My parents and I stepped off the deck and onto the dock.
It was that time. The air felt still and somber as tearfull goodbyes were said. I was too excited to cry, also not exactly aware that I would be gone for the next eleven years of my life.
My parents and I got back onthe boat as our friends and families untied our lines and cast us off. The engine roared as my dad took the helm and cranked the ignition. He put it in forward and increased the throttle until we were slowly chugging through the harbour. I stood at the bow, waving to my family until I couldn’t see them anymore. I turned my eyes to the horizon and watched as other boats passed us by, everyone waving at us as we left. It had seemed the word of our adventure had speed throughout the harbour.
“Mackerel skies and mares tails, soon will be time to shorten sails.”-Sailor proverb