Currently off the coast of California there is a man arduously sailing upwind and heartily laughing out loud at his good fortune. You may know him...it's Captain Ben! The deed is done (or certificate of ownership or whatever) and we are officially the owner of a Catalina 38. She is being delivered up the coast by Ben and his band of sailing buddies to her new home in Sacramento. Tonight, Saturday, Sept. 3rd, he should be pulling into Morro Bay after a long trip around Pt. Conception (here's hoping nobody got pregnant on the journey!). Thanks to Dan Garr and Chris Link for volunteering to help deliver the boat up the coast.
Here's a great little diddy from today: Ben texted me this morning (I know it ruins the adventure for all of you who think we are totally going off the grid....there's cell service out there...). He encountered people in Santa Barbara who told him horror stories of rounding Pt. Conception....sudden change of weather, 30+ knot winds, 20 foot swells, etc....heck, I even looked it up on Wikipedia which said:
"The ancient Chumash people of the region may have seen Point Conception as the "Western Gate," through which the souls of the dead could pass between the mortal world and the heavenly paradise of Similaqsa.
Uh...hmmm....ok. Not too comforting or... is it?? Ben's a good guy, I'm sure he'd get into heaven, depending on the requirements. Murder...no. Drunken debauchery....yes. Then there is the other perspective, like our friend Jason who grew up on a sailboat, whose input was, "look for a good weather window and go for it" BTW..thanks Jason for being Ben's weather consultant via e-mail.
But if it's one thing I have learned about this process of setting sail, it's that I need to look beyond the fear (my own and other's) and find my own way. Ben and I have talked hours on end about this!
So...I digress....One of Ben's favorite books he read as a kid was "Jonathon Livingston Seagull" which will make more sense in a minute. Here's the summary via Wikipedia:
The book tells the story of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a seagull who is bored with the daily squabbles over food. Seized by a passion for flight, he pushes himself, learning everything he can about flying, until finally his unwillingness to conform results in his expulsion from his flock. An outcast, he continues to learn, becoming increasingly pleased with his abilities as he leads an idyllic life.
Sound like anybody you know....by the way, it was written by Richard Bach, not Ben Doolittle.
Ben texted me after he rounded the dreaded Point Conception, which turned out to be a piece of cake, and inlcuded barbecuing and napping.
"And a bird just landed on the steering wheel."
"Tired beat up bird far from shore finds safe place to rest"
"He just brought all of his friends".
So I pass dad's latest update onto Mickey and JP, to which Mickey replies,
"Hey, maybe it's all of his bird friends from his other sailing trip saying, "Hi! Welcome back!"
Ben's text response, "Weeping"
So if you happen to be on the coast somewhere in California this week, listen for the sound of Captain Ben cackling and talking to his old bird friends!