Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sailing Through the Fear

So this month’s Raft Up topic (which I'm totally behind on posting - sorry!) is fear – which I think is a pretty interesting topic right now as I’ve experienced more of it lately than I think I was expecting….

So of course my biggest fear is exactly what you would expect – fear of big seas.  I have been amazed at how different it is to sail in Puget Sound versus sailing out on the ocean.  Over the years in Seattle we had been out in 25-35 knots more times than I can count.  Often enough that we even got a bit cavalier about it – at least until we got caught in 45-50 knots off of Rosario Straights – that made us a little less cocky for sure!  But now that I’ve spent the last month doing a LOT of sailing – all out on the ocean, my perspective has changed dramatically.  Now 25-30 knots is a BIG DEAL.  And 30-35 knots is just out of the question if I can help it.  If you’ve been reading our blog, you know we experienced about 30 hours of 30-40 knots with some pretty big waves coming down the coast and I have definitely become very friendly with fear in that situation.  More recently we did an overnight and while it only got into the 25-30 knot range, it’s amazing how scary that can be in the dark.  It also takes a lot out of you physically as you are tenser; worrying about the effect the winds will have on your home – what damage may occur that will have to be fixed.  There is a whole new set of noises that come into play when you are in that kind of wind – and they are not good noises!  And so we get better and better at reading the weather and try to be as prepared as possible whenever we leave the anchorage for our next destination.

Another fear we both feel, but Brett more so than me, is the fear of leaving our careers behind and being able to still make a living when we are done with this adventure.  Brett left at the height of his career, where he had developed a completely new way to help doctors track tumor growth in cancer patients.  He doesn’t talk much about it, but it was a pretty big deal and he helped multitudes of patients.  Not only is it very hard to walk away from something like that, but the medical field changes so fast that the chance of him being able to go back years later is fairly slim.  That’s a scary thing to face when you’ve just arrived at your 50’s and are wondering how you will support yourself if you live to be 90!  And so we wonder how we will support ourselves as we get older – telling most people that after taking this trip we’ll just have to “work until we die!” – which we say in jest, but may very well be true!

My last big fear is a little harder to define, but it basically comes down to being forgotten by the people you’ve left behind.  When you are getting ready to leave, it’s a very intense time and we made a point to spend as much time as possible with the people we care about as we didn’t know when we would see many of them again.  We have made so many dear, dear friends over the years and I already miss some of them terribly.  I know that as we travel farther away, they will continue on with their lives and we will be a smaller and smaller part of their life.  We’ll miss the many things that happen to them, just as they will not be here for the things that happen to us.  We’ll also miss seeing our nieces and nephews grow up and it’s tough to accept that the relationships we have with them will not be as strong over time.  I love my family and we are all very close, so it’s tough to say goodbye and to not be an close part of their lives anymore.  I don’t want to lose them – which I know is crazy to think – because family is always there, right?  That’s what makes them family – but that’s a fear nonetheless.

But this is the path that we have picked – so I can only hope that the bonds we have forged with our friends and family will be stronger than distance.  That when we come back to visit or when we return at the end of the trip, that we’ll be able to pick back up where we left off.  Perhaps those relationships will not be exactly the same, but maybe they will be even stronger from having survived the distance.  

For other posts on this topic - check out the other blogs in the Raft Up:
Dana:  svnorthfork.blogspot.com
Behan:  sv-totem.blogspot.com
Steph:  www.sailblogs.com/member/nornabiron 
Tammy:  ploddingINparadise.blogspot.com 
Ean:  morejoyeverywhere.com 
Lynn:  sailcelebration.blogspot.com 
Diane:  www.maiaaboard.blogspot.com 
Jaye:  lifeafloatarchives.blogspot.com 
Verena:  pacificsailors.com 
Toast:  Toastblog.toastfloats.com

1 comment:

  1. Good subject guys! Too many cruisers write like they're invincible. We all know the reality of cruising is mostly anxiety with great gleaming rays of joy once in a while. Keep it real! You're doing it! Craig and Kay