Tonight may be the last time I sleep onboard Pesto.
Only the future knows.
Whatever it comes to be, though, it will not be the same again.
As I sit here at my usual spot in the salon, thoughts of the years past flow naturally to mind, and I reminisce of my relationship with Pesto.
See, I always thought that my connection with the yacht in which we lived and cruised would be one of love. And it may come as a surprise that it wasn’t.
But wait – I am not that cold. Read on.
Of course, I have a tremendous sense of pride and gratitude for owning her, and a bold admiration of her qualities. It has been an honor to be her skipper indeed ! But the affection and passion that would exist in a relationship of love, those I didn’t feel. And that was somewhat of a surprise to me.
Instead – and here was another surprise – our bond, between Pesto and I that is, grew into something somatic, nearly organic. In a way, I did feel she became a part of me (I know it probably sounds idiotic but, oh well, I just felt like sharing it …). As we gained hours and miles together, my senses got more and more used to Pesto’s every movement and noise, to a point that I could “feel” her.
Offshore, for instance, even while napping in the cabin, I was constantly aware of all tensions, the balance of the sails, how the autopilot was coping with the elements and so on. I knew when she was laboring harder than necessary, or just happily. There was this one occasion when we had just left Tahiti en route to Rarotonga, Cook Islands. The wind had just picked up from behind the island and we were sailing at full speed. But something in her movement caught my attention. Sure enough, I found a loose water hose which had drained most of the content of the fresh water tank down into the bilge. On another instance we were getting ready to leave on a week-long trip on land. I had done all checks before and we were ready to go. But then I felt this urge to “just take a final look into the engine room”, where I found a small stream of sea water hissing into the boat. A through-hull fitting that had been sold to me as Bronze was actually Brass and had just disintegrated due to electrolysis, letting water in. Had we left with that going on, we would have found Pesto under the marina’s water by the time we returned. I used to joke that Pesto talked to me ☺
With such a bond with her, how does it feel then to be getting ready to disembark?
And I am not writing this for anyone to pity me. To the contrary, this is a beautiful sadness, and I am not ashamed of it, nor trying to avoid it. I am just sitting with it. This sadness exist because this relationship, this special bond, is about to change and eventually end, on the wake of our Journey’s completion. But the fact that it shall fade does not cancel or diminish all the great experiences that I had because of it. These are memories that will forever inhabit me – and that’s the beauty of it all.
And for this, tonight I celebrate. In sadness.