Well why didn’t anyone tell me that the Hudson River was going to be like living a scene from “The Sound of music” ? I could hear Julie Andrews singing from the depths of the hills. Mountians, cliffs, forests, castles, winding through a river and cutting through canyons. Are we in Austria? Where are we? I have never really heard anyone talk about the Hudson River with enthusiasm, were they trying to keep it a secret? Or was I just never listening? I love surprises.
Finally I am beginning to feel like myself again. Like I am living the life of a musical where everyone sings instead of talks. Coming back down several notches after running around the east coast trying to keep up with people that move a lot quicker than me. The last two weeks swept by faster than any of them yet. The speed of life is slowing back to down where I am most pleased – to that of no ones but Katies’ and my own. But lets be honest, Louise sets the pace here not us. A 35 year old woman, who travels at 5 knots in her prime, dictates what can be accomplished in a day. It is safe to say that for us girls to work in harmony with that woman, Katie and I quickly had to tack on ten years of patience and understanding. We must all be on the same page, if we weren’t, at least one of us wouldn’t be in the picture anymore. I am only 25 years old, but in order to operate peacefully my mental state parallels Louise’s’.
A few days up the Hudson and all of the sudden I am hiding behind a tree holding back my tears. “God, I am such a girl” I scream in my head, embarrassed and trying not to let anyone notice. Before I even had the chance to register what we were actually doing at the marina in Catskill, NY, the backbone of Louise was being hoisted up by a large crane, and surgically re-positioned sideways on the deck. Straps, ropes, stays, spreaders, and a large wooden cradle had completely taken over our home. No longer could we walk anywhere on the deck, it was a confusing mess that interrupted half of our very small living space. A in-penetrable maze. The large wooden cradle embracing the mast, took away any nautical beauty replacing and it with an imaginary sign saying “en route to ‘Burning Man’ “.
If you are confused about that entire paragraph, let me explain. Shortly after Catskill New York, there bridges on the Hudson River, Erie Canal, and Trent-Severn waterway with a vertical clearance of 22 feet. Meaning that the mast on our boat, with a vertical clearance just shy of 40 feet, must come down in order to travel under these bridges. This was a process we also had to go through in the beginning of our trip, to travel the rivers. But that time, we shipped the mast on a truck with all of it’s working parts. Which in return, left us with an empty “patio”… extending our living space with lots more room for activities. Like handstands, cartwheels, guitar playing and fishing.
So yes, I am the first to admit that my emotions got the best of me after our beautiful sailboat transformed into a sad, sad looking trailer park. About a week after, we pulled up to a dock in Oneida Lake. There was a single handed man who had been cruising for 14 years. Without me even touching base on the subject, he mentioned how he teared up when his mast was recently un-stepped. I smiled, and told him I completely understood. I felt like less of a “girl” knowing that a grown man also got emotional over this silly part of life aboard.
After smashing foreheads into the wooden cradle, stubbing toes on newly exposed hardware, and tripping over ratchet straps enough times, we learned our way around the maze. Accurate hand and foot placement was discovered the hard way, via injuries. But then again I am pretty certain there is no other way. It is what it is. Burning man here we come.