KATIE & JESSIE on a boat

aboard lovely Louise…


20 Comments

PRESENTATION TIME

FTMEYERS_2012_SMALL-111

PHOTOGRAPHY // ABBEY MOORE

First of all, a huge thank you for all the positive feedback we’ve received after finally posting the “homecoming” post… which clearly I had been avoiding. And I mean it when I say HUGE thank you… HUGER than the two silly words “thank” and ” you” could ever express. And yes, I know “HUGER” is not a word. But you get it.

To everyone we met along the way… to every one who leant a hand, to everyone who has shared our story with others… and to everyone who completely randomly stumbled upon this blog. Receiving emails from strangers who had never heard of “The Great Loop” and who are now interested in traveling it, is fantastic. That is my whole purpose here, re-introducing this adventure to my generation, and to those who never even knew it existed. It is possible. If Katie and I made the full circle without sinking a boat, trust me, so can you.

Second of all, I bring to you exciting news… we are doing a presentation on our adventure for the very first time Tuesday, Jan 13 at the Glen Arbor Township hall 7:00 PM !!!!(Leelanau County, MI). Condensing two years into 30-45 minutes is an adventure in itself. Quite frankly we are tempted to just tell silly stories until you are all baffled that the two of us actually came out alive. Weaved in with some of our best and worst of days, you will get a clear over-view of the logistics… with time to ask us those questions you have secretly been wanting to know. Lets go ahead and get two questions out of the way that no one ever dares to ask…

“Where did you go to the bathroom?”  –  A bucket.

“Did you ever get bored and kiss?”   –  Seriously? No.

The Glen Arbor Women’s Club is hosting us, and it would be so great if you could join. HOWEVER, if you can’t, there is yet another opportunity to listen in the following weekend at the Chicago Boat Show! Look for us at the “Cruising Outpost” booth.

CHICAGO BOAT SHOW (McCormick Place, downtown Chicago)

FRIDAY 16TH :

Cruising Outpost booth 6:00-7:00 PM

SATURDAY 17TH:

Cruising Outpost booth 1:00-2:00 PM

Seminar Room 2:15 – 3:00 PM

 

Email me with any questions jesszevalkink@gmail.com

SEE YA’LL THERE!!!!!!

603211_10151381417602437_498354850_n

47742_10151381418002437_358222160_n

 

 

FTMEYERS_2012_SMALL-32 FTMEYERS_2012_SMALL-47 FTMEYERS_2012_SMALL-56 FTMEYERS_2012_SMALL-60  FTMEYERS_2012_SMALL-116 FTMEYERS_2012_SMALL-119 FTMEYERS_2012_SMALL-130 FTMEYERS_2012_SMALL-140


38 Comments

WE DID IT!!!!!!!

home stretch-47

Katie, Reggie, Louise and I completed America’s Great Loop on September 4th, 2014. Crossing our wake just north-east of Northport Point, my stomach was in knots as I processed that it was the last day. I didn’t write in my journal for 5 days because I was having a hard time understanding what I was actually feeling, I was drawing blanks. It’s been nearly 4 months and I am still unsure If I can find the right words, hence my reluctancy to write this post. From the moment I got home, I stopped writing, I stopped reading, I stopped looking at the clouds, I stopped appreciating where I was, and suddenly 4 months passed and I don’t think I have accomplished a thing. Today is the last day of the year, and the first day I am realizing that it is is all in the past. Mission complete : )

I thought it would be fun to reveal my very first, and last journal entries

IMG_5826

This photo was the morning we left Northport, fueling up and saying our goodbyes. We look like babies.

September 4th, 2012  // Leland, MI

“Sitting on the dock in Leland. Cannot figure out how to start this journal for the life of me, I’ve never been one to write. English was my least favorite class. Last Fall Katie and I decided to buy a boat, and sail it to the Bahamas. Today we left. And for some reason, I am more relaxed right now than I have been all summer. I am happy. I wonder if it will last. Reggie is eating flies. Katie is fixing our amateur dock-line situation, Ben and Tucker are grilling us a bass dinner. This is the beginning. I have zero answers to my millions of questions. I don’t know where we will end up, or if we will ever make it home. I don’t know how we are going to make money. I am impressed we even made it here today without hitting something. The only thing I know is that I have a new home now, and it sails.

When we rounded Northport point and I took the last look at my little town, the only thing clear was that I haven’t a clue what I am doing. But I am okay with it. I know we will be okay. I know we will mess up. But it’s okay. In two days we will be in Muskegon to un-step our mast and cross to Chicago. As much as I am looking forward to Katie and I being on our own, and figuring things out together, I am not looking forward to saying goodbye to Ben – who will be getting off the boat in Muskegon. I don’t know when I will see him again. I don’t expect him to wait. If I linger on the subject it makes me queasy.

Quickly we are becoming resourceful. Peeing off the stern to save room in our holding tank, and trapping bugs by duct taping them to the ceiling.  The return fuel line even popped off and diesel was everywhere in the engine room. Ben fixed it before I even registered what the problem was and when he asked me what I would have done if he wasn’t there I said ‘ Shit. I don’t know.’

This is fun. I wonder whats next.”

home stretch-33

Angry skies on our last leg home.

September 2nd,  2014 // Sturgeon Bay, MI

“I’ll never forget this day.  I have given up. I’m crumbling like a stale muffin. Screaming like a boiling tea pot. Mother nature does NOT want us to make it home, she has dictated every decision we have made as incorrect. With 34 miles to travel from Mackinac to Beaver, we left the harbor knowing it wasn’t going to be a pleasant ride. At this point home is around the corner, if something goes wrong – I can call the wizard, even though he probably wouldn’t answer the phone. Every degree we turn the wind follows, every tack we make is pushing us backwards. In 8 hours, the Mackinac Bridge is the exact same distance behind us. When we passed underneath the structure, it was magnificent. Now I just want it to go away. By 7 pm we give up, darkness is closing in, Beaver Island is too far. A mushroom cloud is taking over half of the sky. Its been creeping on us all afternoon and at this point we are being stalked. The wind continues to increase nearly stopping us in our tracks. We divert to “Sturgeon Cove”.  The change of course lays Louise on her side and we fly forward moving the same speed as the storm clouds. We can’t outrun them anymore. The sky has turned Mammatus, my favorite of all clouds, although it represents nastiness. We set anchor in the cove, which is not at all a cove, exposed in every direction but one. In the cockpit I am stiff, perplexed – I am done. Spending the a few days with our Mothers on Mackinaw was so comforting, I could taste home, making these last 3 days unbearable. I just want to be there. Right now is the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen, which is kind of making me angry. The sky has been raping us all day, and suddenly it wants to cuddle.”

I really had myself convinced I was over it, ready to be home, ready to move on. Over the last 4 months, it is clear to me that my frustrations were mistaken. I was only hating that it was all coming to an end. I spent two years figuring out my role on the water, and suddenly I had to do it all over again on land. I didn’t want to start over. I spent all my time thinking about what my life on land would be like once I got home, and now here I am spending all my time thinking about what my life would be like if I never came home. Reading back on this now makes me laugh. Sometimes things only make sense in retrospect.

home stretch-54

Two days later, we round Northport Point on a cloudy day wearing nothing but smiles. Well not really, we had clothes on. We knew the “dad’s” would be zooming our direction in the Pantera at any moment and kept a close eye on the horizon.  Katie’s phone rung, it was her Dad, “Hey girls, we broke down we gotta hop on the Mastercraft, but keep on coming.”  We found this hilarious and envisioned throwing a line to the broke down “Pantera” and towing them back to the marina for our grand finale. I mean what are the chances that the dads break down on their way to welcome home their daughters? Silly question. The chances are good, very good.

home stretch-37

In no time, we spot 4 jackasses ( I say that with love ) hooting and hollering like teenage boys. My dad was driving the Master-craft at what looked like full throttle. We immediately start laughing so hard we’re crying. They keep coming towards us, and my Dad circles around so close to the cockpit he drenches us with spray. They were just as excited as we were, if not more. They were proud. We were proud. The moment was better than the one I had dreamt up in my head since day one, instantly erasing any negative I had ever felt. We did it.

WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We did it.

home stretch-38 home stretch-39 home stretch-40 home stretch-41 home stretch-42

home stretch-44

home stretch-45 home stretch-46

home stretch-55

home stretch-53

home stretch-48 home stretch-49 home stretch-50 home stretch-51 home stretch-52

To my readers… thank you for coming back time and again. You are the our greatest source of encouragement.

There is so much more I have to say.

So many people to thank.

This blog is not over yet.

We have several presentations coming up this month, and I will keep you updated on the when & where.

HAPPY NEW YEAR.

 

WE DID ITTTTTTTTTTT!!!!

 


22 Comments

No wonder men have such a hard time understanding women.

home stretch

 FOX ISLAND // AUGUST 26

“My Imagination doesn’t run wild like It used to. Last time I was here I pretended this rock was my castle, and when I got bored of that I played “animals” with my sister. Now, I’m laying here with my headphones in, feeling like this is completely normal – as if it were my own back yard. Mostly trying to understand how it took us nearly two years to get here.”

“I couldn’t sleep last night because I lay in bed writing a book in my head until it kept me awake so long I had to pick up a real one.”

“I’ve noticed I avoid putting extremely honest words on paper. If I don’t write them – I don’t feel them.”

“There are only three boats anchored here. OH, probably because the wind is hauling ass out of the one direction the books specifically advise you NOT to anchor here in. If sketchy, rocky, windy, and rough channels don’t scare us anymore, I am unsure what does. Not even the spiders we share this house with, the snakes we share our bath with, or the poison ivy we share the woods with.”

“Going home. That’s what scares me.”

 

ENROUTE TO BLIND RIVER // AUGUST 27

“Pissed. I have never been so cold. Neither of us have any more layers to put on. I can’t wait to crawl into a warm home. 2.5 knots into a 15 knot head wind. Why are we even trying? We should turn around. But the thought of backtracking drives me insane. Bad attitude today.”

“We spend the morning whining and bitching, which ultimately made it hilarious because we both know that we don’t have a damn thing to actually whine or bitch about.”

“We tacked back and fourth until were got so frustrated we full throttled dead into the wind and waves to make it to Blind River. We are so stupid.”

“My face is burning. My finger and toes and are in the de-numbing tingling phase. I am done.”

“Katie got so pissed at me when we walked into the town of Blind River. She is scary when she is pissed, and not worth arguing with. It all had to do with “who had the right directions to get into town.” She thought she was right, I thought I was right, and when I was trying to make light of the situation she said she didn’t want to talk about it anymore. But the way in which the words came out of her mouth, “I don’t want to talk about it anymore” was like a gun shot to the chest. We can’t get along all the time. This is the final stretch. We are bound to break at some point”

 

AUGUST 28 // EN-ROUTE TO AMERICA – CROSSING THE NORTH CHANNEL

“TODAY. IS. A. NEW. DAY. LETS. START. OVER.”

“The sky is icy blue, not a cloud in it. The breeze is on the nose again but no stronger than I could push air out of my own lungs. We are both dressed like we are about to go flying down a ski hill. If I close me eyes I am on a chairlift, but I left my mittens at home.”

“We don’t sleep anymore. We have become goo brains whose minds are running marathons through deserts, mountains, and valleys and apparently Great Lakes.”

“Only a matter of hours until we cross the imaginary line that separates two countries.”

Patrick is driving today. I am so cozy in the cockpit after bringing my entire bed outside. Both of us have a book in hand, and feel the need to be nowhere else. If I am not okay with anything, it is that I have spent my last days unable to talk myself out of a crappy attitude. Look at where I am.”

“I think every day that I write I contradict myself. I make no sense. No wonder men have such a hard time understanding women.”

AUGUST 29 // DRUMMOND ISLAND

“The customs man showed up in his combat boots and gun on his hip. If not for his costume he would come across as a very nice man, but the suit beefs him up to be a tough action figure. He didn’t go anywhere besides the cockpit. I was nervous he was going to inspect the plumbing. It’s been broken for some time. If we were to get hit with a ticket for that, it’s on me because I am technically the plumber in this here house.”

AUGUST 30 // DE-TOUR, MICHIGAN

“Less than 100 miles from crossing our wake and we are stuck in a town called DeTour, Michigan. How Ironic” – Katie

“Lake Huron was not welcoming this morning. The waves grew larger. The rain fell harder. The wind wanted us to stay in Canada. We were in no mood to experiment.”

“Every once and a while we make good decisions. Like to tie up here in DeTour. A thunderstorm kept us wide-eyed and wired for 4 hours and the thought of being anywhere but here was disturbing. It’s the loudest and most intense thunder I have heard since being in the Bahamas. Thunder crackled so loud I felt like I was laying inside an egg shell that could crack open at any moment.”

“Our goal is to make it to Mackinaw Island by Monday, where we will meet our mothers who will arrive via ferry. We have two days, and it looks as though a weather window will get us there with ease. I have not seen my Mom since Christmas. Enough stuff has happened between then and now it feels like years.”

“We were on 7 & 4 news last night in Michigan !!!!! What?!?!?!?!”

 

AUGUST 31 // LES CHENEUAX ISLANDS – MICHIGAN

“Docked in Cedarville next to Uncle Dave and Aunt Connie. How wonderful it feels to reunite with these friends who helped us get ready for this trip since day one. I love them. Now I truly feel close to home.”

“Mother nature was so bi-polar yesterday. Waves. Rain. Fog. Sun. Heat. No rain. No clouds. Flat water. More rain. More waves. And then sun again. Mother Nature and I are on the same level – all over the freakin place.”

“At one point today we cruised at 6 knots, sails up, calm glassy rollers pushing us forward, warm air and sunshine. And for a moment, I never wanted it to end. I knew where I was, I knew who I was, I knew exactly what I wanted. It has been a long time since I had that feeling, I forgot it could exist.”

“The rain started falling. Hard. But it was warm rain. I turned the music up louder as the rain fell harder. I loved every drop.”

“Tomorrow, we get to see our MOMMIES !!!”

 

SEPTEMBER 1 // Mackinac Island

“We sailed into Mackinac at the exact same time our Mothers came flying in on the ferry. When we saw the ferry coming we turned around to parallel them. The moment we spotted two little ladies jumping up and down in the top deck flailing their arms, Katie and I both started jumping up and down laughing and crying at the same time. Within seconds the wake of the ferry rocked us so hard we both fell over and disappeared into the waves and laughed even harder. It never crossed my mind I might cry when seeing my Mom after all this time – but obviously her being there meant more to me than I realized. ”

“Only three days left.”

home stretch-2 home stretch-3 home stretch-4 home stretch-5 home stretch-6 home stretch-7 home stretch-8 home stretch-9 home stretch-10 home stretch-11 home stretch-12 home stretch-13 home stretch-14

home stretch-15 home stretch-16 home stretch-19 home stretch-18 home stretch-17 home stretch-22  home stretch-20 home stretch-25 home stretch-24

 

 


7 Comments

We won a Grammy.

Fox-4 Fox-3 Fox-2

HI YA’LL. Katie and I have been nominated twice for the “Liebster Award” by alwaysgoblog.com as well as sailingwanderer.com. This is an award granted to bloggers – from bloggers. A fabulous way to share stories, and get connected. Helping promote each others blogs goes to show how the cruising community extends a hand on and off of the water. Thank you to everyone who has shared our site with others. Having this blog through our travels connected us with so many people we wouldn’t have otherwise been connected with. The power of the internet is so insane it kind of creeps me out (in a good way) LOVELOVELOVELOVELOVE – spread it.

So here’s the deal. The person who nominates you asks a series of questions. In return, you nominate other bloggers and ask them a series of questions.

 

QUESTIONS from CECELIA POTTS of alwaysgoblog.com

What do you tell people when they tell you they, too, have always wanted to live on a sailboat? It’s not as charming as it seems. But I’d encourage it. I wish more people – young people – wanted to give it a try.

The one cruising memory that comes to mind when you’re looking out an airplane window is: 

What keeps you awake at night when you’re on the boat?  Well my ex-boyfriend of course. Accidentally touching feet in the v-berth. Nightmares of life on land. The halyard smacking the mast. The anchor chain. The rocking. The rotted bulkhead creaking. Water bottles rolling around by my head. The temperature anytime it’s not 72 degrees… so pretty much everything.

Dumbest thing you’ve done (or are still doing) on the boat? TRY TO BE A PLUMBERThere are honestly too many to count. I hit several rocks in Canada. I am a hot mess when it comes to fenders, throwing lines, tying knots, and righty-righty/lefty-loosy concept.

Any books or movies that one must simply binge on that highlight the cruising experience? Katie, could you please enlighten us?

Boats are small spaces. How do you you regain peace after a small battle with your crew? Hahahahaha. The answer is simple – don’t battle. Not enough space for karate. You are nothing without your crew. You need them. Compromise. Agree to disagree. If you are single handed – you are superhuman.

Do you have tan lines? At one point, we could both be completely naked and anyone nearby would assume we had bikinis on. Currently I am all one color – white, like, whiter than Caucasian.

What would you do if you had monkey butlers at your disposal for a day? I do, her name is Katie. Kidding. That monkey would deliver me answers every time I have a question about something… which is all day everyday. They would also be diesel mechanics.

What surprised you most about choosing this lifestyle? How little one needs to be happy.

What’s next? If I knew I probably wouldn’t tell. It’s a surprise – even for me.

 

 

QUESTIONS from BILL REGAN of sailingwanderer.com.

Why the heck do you want to live on a boat anyway? Because it’s much more challenging than living on land. When I am on land I can’t help but think about how easy everything is. Boat life toughens you up a little bit. Just getting groceries is like solving an equation, but on land – it is a brainless activity. If you abide by mother natures rules, and if you are patient, there is no greater freedom than living aboard.

What is your favorite meal onboard? Can of Trader Joe’s turkey chili with lots of srirrachaand salty tortilla chips, followed by several pieces of chocolate and a warm beer.

What is your dream location to cruise? Honestly, my back yard. The Great Lakes are amazing, and I am proud of them.

What’s been the funniest moment onboard?

If you could give one piece of advice to newbie cruisers, what would it be?  The less things you have, the less things you have to break. Don’t be scared of sharks, there are more sharks on land than there are in the sea. Make mistakes – they are the greatest part of your story. If you are the kind of person who refuses to ask for help (cough cough, calling most men) get over it – go ask for help. If you are the kind of person that has a hard time parting with all of your things (calling most women) get over it – leave it behind, it’s probably unnecessary. Oh and crying is allowed.

 

I NOMINATE the LIEBSTER AWARD to the following:

KEVIN DE REGT  thederegtory.wordpress.com – Hillarious writer. Single handed 25 year old doing America’s Great Loop before heading back to Dartmouth for his masters. Buy this kid a drink and feed him a hot meal if you meet him on his travels okay?

DAVID ADOLPHS tusitalasailing.com – An friend who made his dreams reality, and has sailed to the other side of the world. So happy for him.

AMY & MARY lakemichiganinadugout.blogspot.com/p/expedition.html- two bad ass chicks who hand made a canoe and sailed the perimeter of Lake Michigan –  I KNOW, AND YOU THOUGHT WE WERE CRAZY. http://vimeo.com/57895612 AMAZING.

 

If you weren’t on this adventure, what would you be doing?

What question do you hate answering the most?

What question do you wish more people thought to ask?

What was the dirtiest job you have been faced with?

What did you bring on your trip that you later realized was ridiculous?

Describe a moment when you wanted to quit.

Whose boat do you secretly wish you could hop on to travel with and why?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


17 Comments

CAPTAIN KATIE

541548_10203100418411988_8937826124362098131_n

Can we please have a round of applause for our new captain,  who is not only a deep sea fisher woman but has just completed her US COAST GUARD MASTERS CAPTAIN LICENSE ! ! ! The most common question we got traveling aboard was “Who is the captain?” In which we laughed and said both of us. Truth is that yes, I was the one driving most of the time, but when it came to decision making, problem solving, navigating, statistics, logistics, and pretty much everything required to get from A to B, Katie ran the show. The captain of a ship is not just the person at the helm, it is so much more than that – Captain Katie everyone ⚓ hire her today, or at least buy the woman a drink. Proud of ya MA.

Back in the day… before either of us knew a damn thing about captaining or plumbing… and our toilet was broken… we figured it would be a better captains chair than a toilet anyways.


24 Comments

What happens when the cake is gone and everyone stops cheering?

Benjamins-27

The Benjamin’s // North Channel, Canada

8 . 24. 2014

Tucked into boulders of pink granite, out of the wind, out of this world.  Few boats are anchored around the corner, but here in our own natural harbor, it feels as if we are the only ones. I lie on a sprawling rock, so smooth it seems to have melted this way. I never thought I would hear myself think this but for the first time in a long time, the heat of the sun feels incredible. I myself might melt into this rock and stay here forever.  I love today equally as I loved the day we arrived in the Bahamas. The only difference are the things I have learned to love, and those I have learned to hate.

Do you ever confuse your dreams with your memories?  Sitting here right now, is real. But it’s only a matter of time until what is real becomes a memory, and not much longer after that until I’ll swear it was just a dream. The soles of my feet are torn up from running around barefoot, climbing rocks, and crouching in peculiar positions to avoid spiders. I found a beautiful black feather, a frog prince, marble sized eight legged creatures, a raspberry patch, neon green moss to sink my feet into,  an otter residency, and a water snake. A dense web stopped me dead in my tracks millimeters before my face broke through it’s camouflaged dinner plate. Quiet from the moment we anchored here, Katie and I have spent the day exploring alone.  Taking in our surroundings individually, it is this place we have looked forward to most. To think that I grew up sailing to this land with my family puzzles me. I haven’t been here since I was 14 years old. But this time I am 25, and somehow I made it here with the same friend I got in most trouble with as a kid.

All of this is almost over. If I think too hard about it I could cry. If I don’t think too hard about it I smile at the thought of the people I am going to hug, a place to do handstands, vegetables, driving around in my truck with the music turned up loud. I don’t enjoy driving Louise long hours like I used to. It wasn’t long ago I had no problem tuning out at the helm, spending hour upon hour in silence, a stream of thoughts as entertaining as watching a Netflix series. I can barely stand to sit in silence with myself at this point. I am sick of thinking about the same shit all day. The same senarios, the same conversations, asking the same questions I continue not to be able to answer. I am almost home, but with more questions now than I had two years ago. I am irritated with how hard my brain works and how little it accomplishes. Where is the “off” switch? Staring at the clouds helps. They are constantly changing. I have become obsessed with them. They are saving me.

By sunset we mounted Bill (outboard) on Bonnie (dinghy) and explored the Benjamin’s with the sexy whine of gasoline feeding into the motor. The smell of the exhaust itself is nostalgic. We turned into children after the silence of the day. Pointing out familiar rocks; ones we jumped off, ones we slept on, the place we tried to brand ourselves with a metal s’more stick, and the woods we ran around naked with nothing on but hot pink crocs. Based off old photos we haven’t changed a bit. Besides not having braces, and over plucking my eye brows, my boobs haven’t even grown. Katie still wears the same hemp bracelet she had on last time we were here. She is still the same distance taller than me, and still one of the weirdest people I know. It was temping to pierce each others ears with a safety pin just for tradition, like we once had on the bow of my fathers boat when my parents were down below taking naps. I never really listened to my dad on his boat, I didn’t care about sailing. I didn’t pay any attention to my mom. I thought my sister was weird. All I wanted at 14 years old was to vent about the boy I thought I loved who was an asshole, only to hear my best friend tell me that I deserved better. I cared only about what was going to happen on friday night, and that I was getting my braces off that year. Here I am in the same place, feeling desperate to re-live that family trip as an adult. It seems like just yesterday I was in the galley begging my Mom for a sugar-cube, staying out of my Dad’s way when something broke and he stomped around trying to fix it, hiding jealousy from my sister when she got to learn how to motor around in the dinghy first. Now here I am living in my own fiberglass hull, feeding myself sugar in the galley, stomping around when something breaks, and hiding my jealousy when Katie and Reggie go for dinghy rides without me (not really) I cherish my moments alone.

This day seems to be shoving itself in my face with satisfaction and reluctance. Satisfied with every choice made that has gotten us here. Reluctant to figure out how to live any other way.  Like a fat kid eating cake, an entire auditorium is screaming to finish every last bite. No one wants the show to be over, not even the fat kid because he doesn’t know how else to live. Love it, every last taste. What happens when the cake is gone, and everyone stops cheering? Are you fat and happy? Or just fat?

n1252170682_30046700_3063

Benjamin’s // 2003

n1252170682_30046698_2033

Benjamin’s // 2003

n1252170682_30046699_2558

Benjamin’s // 2003

 

Benjamins

 

Benjamins-3

Benjamins-4

Benjamins-5

 

Benjamins-6 Benjamins-7  Benjamins-9

 

Benjamins-10 Benjamins-11 Benjamins-12 Benjamins-13 Benjamins-14 Benjamins-15 Benjamins-16 Benjamins-17 Benjamins-18 Benjamins-19 Benjamins-20

Benjamins-22 Benjamins-23 Benjamins-24 Benjamins-25 Benjamins-26  Benjamins-28 Benjamins-29 Benjamins-30 Benjamins-31 Benjamins-32 Benjamins-33

Fox-6  Fox-8  Fox-10  Fox-12 Fox-13


29 Comments

Chicken Noodle Naked.

Topaz-19

A wonderful Canadian Man named Robert told us to come here. We wouldn’t have, if it weren’t for him.  On the map it looked pretty far out of the way. Katie and I are picky when we decide to go “out of the way”. PICKY is a silly thing to be when living aboard, because the whole act of cruising is choosing to go “out of the way”. Nothing is convenient and commonly the most magical places are found on the side streets. We took the side street. We found magic. And would have stayed forever if mosquitos did not drive us away from homesteading.

We have stopped caring about a lot of things that would normally be important. Like clothes for example. Besides the fact that our entire Canadian experience has been that of an Arctic exploration, any moment the temperatures are suitable for nudity, we are nude. I’ve become the designated fire starter although it is not my gift. Something about starting a fire naked feels more like a survival task than an I-am-in-Canada-on-a-cool-rock-and-there-is-a-fire-pit-right-there task. Therefor my desire for survival increases and I pretend my face is painted tribal and my warm clothes are not laying on a log behind me. Woman-make-fire-or-we-will-die. And POOF, there is a fire. In reality I am scrambling around breaking branches, swearing, and blowing on the base of the fire until I black out.

I wished the hike up to Lake Topaz was longer. Honestly I could have walked forever. Not even a mile up a muddy trail, I remembered what a good friend once told me; “There’s a difference between the ocean and the woods. The ocean doesn’t give a shit about you. It always wants to spit you out. But the woods, they care about you.  They seem to hold you in.” As I walked through the woods I thought hard about this. How being at the mercy of the ocean is first of all CRAZY, and second of all TERRIFYING. I have been on the ocean while it is literally choking on Louise like poison, without a care in the world that there are two innocent human beings aboard. When a storm comes through, nothing protects you but your own fiberglass haul.  When the ocean is angry, it is allergic to fiber-glass. I can’t say I have ever felt that in the woods. I of course have never spent time in the woods like I have on the water. However, the woods feel warm, like they enjoy your company. There is no anger. And when a storm comes, you feel protected, you are provided with resources for shelter. You could even make a tree house.

Quietly we hiked. It felt so good to get off the boat and be in a different kind of wilderness. In my mind I was thanking Katie for teaching me to appreciate nature like she always had. I have always thought it was beautiful, and loved being surrounded by it. But not until recently did I start thinking about my footsteps, making a point to avoid disrupting anything on the ground when it did nothing to disrupt me. Remembering not to pull leaves off trees or flowers off stems in the same way I walk through a department store and touch every item just to see how the fabric feels. Katie can walk through woods identifying trees, plants, insects, and birds. She could easily survive in the woods and probably should have been the designated fire-starter. But simply enjoying nature myself,  has done nothing to further educated me. Unsure if I could survive in the woods, but certain that I would like to learn how.

When we reached Lake Topaz there was a large banner stretching across the water that said “Skinny Dipping Only”

We must have come to the right place.

The cloudy turquoise water felt like swimming on a different planet. A Canadian planet I suppose. We were the only ones there stirring up the rested pollen at the surface, listening to Reggie bark at his own echo. It didn’t matter that it was cold. It wanted to stay. I wanted to portage Louise up to this little lake and let her float around like a rubber ducky, in her element but protected by the woods. I wanted to build a tree house. The lake my bath tub. Louise my lake house. The woods my neighborhood and the creatures my foreign friends. Over time we would all speak the same language.

Thanks Robert (Ursa Major II) for telling us about this place. Thanks Dave Welch for making me think differently about the woods. Thanks Katie for teaching me to truly appreciate nature. Thank you Reggie for always knowing which path to take. Thank you Louise for taking me places I never would have come. And thank you Trader Joe’s for your fabulous Chicken Noodle Soup.

 

 

 

Topaz-10

Topaz-20  Topaz-18 Topaz-16 Topaz-15 Topaz-14 Topaz-13 Topaz-12 Topaz-11 Topaz-25 Topaz-24 Topaz-23 Topaz-22 Topaz-21

Topaz-41

Topaz-26 Topaz-27 Topaz-28 Topaz-29 Topaz-30 Topaz-31 Topaz-32 Topaz-33 Topaz-34 Topaz-35 Topaz-36 Topaz-37 Topaz-38 Topaz-39 Topaz-40  Topaz-42  Topaz-44 Topaz-45  Topaz-47 Topaz-48 Topaz-49 Topaz-50

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 784 other followers