July 3rd a few years ago I had the good life. It was a damn good life. I was climbing and cutting trees, making moola and answered to no one. I was living on my sailboat for the past year and I realized today how much I miss that life. The space was small but the freedom I had was infinite. The night of the third was the fireworks show in Poulsbo, WA. I’d attended a few times in the past but nothing like I experienced a few years ago. Doug and Paul invited me to be a part of their raft (tied together boats) to be anchored out in the middle of Liberty Bay. It was a bit of a trek up there and since I only had a few hours I used my motor to get me up there that night. It was about a two hour journey with my trusty ten horse motor. (Pushing a six thousand pound sailboat mind you).
As I arrived in the harbor it was amazing! Hundreds and hundreds of boats, flags flying, people partying, fireworks popping. It was too cool. I motored through the floating communities that were set up to watch the after dark event. I finally found my group of buddies. Mostly sailboats with a few motor boats. Even the ever popular ‘party boat’ from the marina I lived at. I tied up at the end of the line which actually worked out quite well. Since you could travel from boat to boat as you party the night away, I didn’t get a lot of transient traffic being at the end. I had my bottle of Jameson, dinner cooking on the BBQ and my hammock set up on the forestay in perfect line with the fireworks display.
My sleep that night was amazing. The abundance of girls in bikinis all around us hamming it up in the dinghies of daddy’s yachts were enough to put a huge smile on my face. Even with thousands on people in the harbor that night, it was one of the quietest nights after everyone finally crashed for the night. Clear sky, stars were out and I saw more shooting stars than I’ve probably seen my entire life combined.
Early the next morning it was a slow awakening of everyone. We made breakfast, drank some beer and planned the exit. The next night was the fireworks display in Port Orchard so we all got a two-fer. Happens every year and its pretty kick ass. Anyways, we all managed to file out the harbor in almost single file order. Lots of motor boats, but even more sailboats. The winds were calm and the weather was absolutely one the most perfect days ever! Most of the guys got impatient with the wind, dropped their sails and motored back. By car it’s about a forty five minute drive. With good wind it’s at least three or four hours. This day since the winds were calm it took All… damn…. day… And I was perfectly content with that. After motoring out of the congested strait, I locked my rudder and started to configure my equipment to start sailing. After a little experimenting with jibs and mains along with holy rail settings, I found the groove. It’s an amazing feeling when you get your sailboat configured just right and it’s as solid and as straight as a train on tracks.
I had a decent tan going on and for the first time in unknown years, I took off my shirt and didn’t give a shit about who saw me. People would pass on the way back to Port Orchard and gave me weird looks for trying to sail back in almost dead winds. I didn’t care. I had five degrees heel and it didn’t budge a bit. I cracked open a coors light, made myself a sandwich and cranked up the Jack Johnson. The wind and configuration was so perfect I was able to lock the rudder and go up to the bow and drag my feet in the water.
I wish I had a knack for explaining these things better. It was so amazing and I honestly don’t know of many other things that have made me as happy as that day. It even is in the running to beat out my Harley experiences. And by far no girl has offered me even a fraction of what that day did for me. (That statement keeping me single even longer I’m sure).
Upon arriving back in Port Orchard I was being waved at from the Seattle Ferry and was able to drift along the boardwalk and breakwater checking out the crowds. Of course I was scoping for hot girls too but that’s nothing out of the ordinary. That night I actually stayed in mooring and walked along the downtown strip to watch the fireworks that night. Tons of people, vendors, beer and women wrapped up the weekend quite well.
I am regretting not keeping a regular journal about my time living on the sailboat. It’s the feeling in my soul that I wish I could share with everyone. It’s not about money or status. It’s not even about having the best brand of sailboat. (Mine is the joke of the marina… It has poor sailing characteristics). It’s not about your job title or family lineage or even what you claim to know. My trip back from Poulsbo that day was truly what people live their entire lives for. I found it and I should give in an let it change my life.
Turtle is sitting at the marina, lonely and neglected now. She needs love because she gave me something amazing. I’m dragging my feet on selling her because somewhere deep down inside it will break my heart when she’s no longer mine. Ugh…
Today, I really needed Turtle.