Most sailors have a touch of the poet in them, unless they are the mad mariners of Melville or Conrad, perhaps. I like to think that a keen eye for a navigational star on a cloud-torn night might lead to an appreciation of art on land. But since when does art have to be on land?
The online log of S/V Alchemy, her restoration, her crew and their voyage
“You never enjoy the world aright till the sea itself floweth in your veins, till you are clothed with the heavens, and crowned with the stars: and perceive yourself to be the sole heir of the whole world.”-Thomas Traherne
"He that has patience may compass anything."-François Rabelais
"The Great Lakes sailor is wild-ocean nurtured; as much of an audacious mariner as any. "-Herman Melville
"[The sea is] neither cruel nor kind ... Any apparent virtues it may have, and all its vices, are seen only in relation to the spirit of man who pits himself, in ships of his own building, against its insensate power." -Denys Rayner
“For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can't readily accept the God formula, the big answers don't remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command nor faith a dictum. I am my own god. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.” -Charles Bukowski
"A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality." -Yoko Ono
My wife, my high-school-aged son and I plan to start voyaging in 2018 for an estimated five to six years. I hope to move us aboard before that point to work out the kinks of living on a boat.
The careful reader will note the URL of this blog has "alchemy 2009" in it, a reference not only to our boat's name, but also to the original, anticipated departure date.
This is called "tempting the gods of the sea and life in general" and will not be modified. You have to know when to fight, and when to appease. Frankly, it matters that we go, not when we go. This is a good lesson for all aspiring voyagers, I think: the hubris of long-range planning lurks like an evil watermark on every "to-do" list.
Here you will find various notes on our preparations, labours and education as we try to become better sailors in a good old boat. I hope to continue to discuss in this blog the realities of preparing for a marine-focused extended sabbatical, the issues both mundane and philosophical confronting the potential cruiser, and the efforts required by everyone involved to make it happen.
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Author's text and most images other than product shots specifically created by product manufacturers are copyright 2006-2018 M. Dacey/Dark Star Productions. Photos sources linked from online news and related organizations are copyrighted to their creators.
Middle-aged, bookish Canadian with compact family in process of exploding career and prospects in favour of lengthy, low-rent sabbatical has boat, seeks ocean. Must have non-smoking bilges.
All contents (C) 2007-2018 M. Dacey/Dark Star Productions