Changing Pace

Well, it’s just another dreary winter night aboard ‘Seafire’.The wind and rain and darkness are a constant this time of year but I’m happy enough with what we have in comparison to the rest of Canada. Does anyone have a cure for webs between the toes? Hopefully, the little trailer is on the move within a few days and webegone for a few weeks. The blogs will continue from where they may.

A change of pace, a change of waters. This is the tideline during spring freshet in the Strait of Georgia showing the outflow from the Fraser River....here's to spring!
A change of pace, a change of waters. This is the tideline during spring freshet in the Strait of Georgia showing the outflow from the Fraser River….here’s to spring!

It has been occurring to me that ‘Seafire Chronicles’ is evolving from being merely a journal of the ‘Musings and mishaps of the crew’  to a description of a spiritual evolution of myself and some of my fellows. That, in large part, is what sailing is about but as I evolve I realize a growing interest in minimalism and movement away from the shallow waters of materialism. No worries, we’re still on track. (In my last blog, I mentioned a fascination with third world people and lifestyles. Let me recommend a NFB documentary I saw on Netflix called ‘The Chocolate Farmer’)

 I received an e-mail today from a friend who was celebrating an anniversary after realizing the cruel betrayal of a partner and then a horrible ordeal with health problems. This friend is a fighter and a survivor who, remarkably, is grateful for the better person they have become through their experience. I want to share a few lines from that e-mail. “So we love, we learn. I believe that our “stories” are always about ourselves, and the players within those stories are there for our own growth. There is no blame, no right or wrong, just discovery and truth. Finding our own truth is the key to serenity.”

 To parallel this dear friend’s inspiring words here’s a quote from Jean Gau, a solo mariner who sailed a very slow boat around the world twice. “They understood nothing of the great dream which charmed the seas of his passage since it was not the same lie taught in their village.”

 I have become convinced that you are probably doing something right when it does not agree with the status quo. If you are feeling ‘normal’ and generally fitting in, something is very wrong. Maybe I’m just a contrarian, but I have learned it is best to try to drink upstream of the herd. Popular opinion shouldn’t affect the course of your life.

Those people I admire most are able to stand out from the crowd and are not deterred from their goals by the contrary ideas of others. I am dead envious of folks who have found a partner with whom they have joined their lives and created a positive energy far in excess of their individual sums. What things they achieve! I’ve introduced my readers to a few of those couples. Recently I received an e-mail from another of these ‘Super’couples.

 A lady who was my Spanish teacher here on Gabriola Island moved home to her native Colombia with her partner. In two years Laura (Pronounced Loura, not Loro, which is Spanish for parrot. A bit of humour for a language teacher) and her partner Kelly, have cleared some land, started a small coffee plantation, built a house and started an English/Spanish language school. They are in Soccoro located in the foothills of the Colombian mountains where the climate is moderate, the soil is rich and the Eco-tourism industry is beginning to boom. The political climate has stabilized there. Cartegena is described by many as one of the most beautiful cities in the world and you can now feel at ease visiting there. If you are inclined to do something off the track and want a real Spanish immersion situation let me hook you up with Laura and Kelly. Most of the photos in this blog are courtesy of them.

Laura and Kelley have built this house in the mountains of Colombia...note the absence of insulation!
Laura and Kelley have built this house in the mountains of Colombia…note the absence of insulation!
L'escuela
L’escuela
A little piece of Canada in the Colombian Foothills
A little piece of Canada in the Colombian Foothills
Laura harvesting oranges on their finca (farm)
Laura harvesting oranges on their finca (farm)
Kelly and friend looking good at the end of the day
Kelly and friend looking good at the end of the day
YES. it works daily as the prime farm vehicle.That is really a 1966 F-100 truck. clearly, there's no road salt used there
YES. It works daily as the prime farm vehicle.That is really a 1966 F-100 truck. Clearly, there’s no road salt used there.
Doggy guards part of the coffee harvest
Doggy guards part of the coffee harvest

The drawing at the end of this blog is something I adapted with the intent of it being the logo for this boat when I was about to register it in Canada as the ‘Brass Monkey’. While in that process I learned that the name ‘Seafire’ which I had bestowed on a previous vessel had serendipitously become available. I took that as an omen. That’s why you’re reading the ‘Seafire Chronicles’ instead of ‘Tales Of The Brass Monkey’. I’m thinking of bestowing the drawing and the name ‘Monkey Business’ on my little teardrop trailer. Wotcha think?

Monkey business
Monkey business

Author: Fred Bailey

Fred is a slightly-past middle age sailor /, writer / photographer with plenty of eclectic hands-on skills and experiences. Some would describe him as the old hippy who doesn't know the war is over. He is certainly reluctant to grow up and readily admits to being the eternal dreamer. He has written several books including two novels, 'The Keeper' and 'Storm Ecstasy,' as well as 'The Water Rushing By', 'Sins Of The Fathers', 'The Magic Stick', as well as an extensive inventory of poetry, essays, short stories, anecdotes and photographs. His first passion is the ocean, sailboats, voyaging and all those people who are similarly drawn to the sea. He lived aboard and extensively cruised the BC Coast on 'Seafire' the boat he refitted to go voyaging, to explore new horizons both inner and outer. This blog was about that journey and the preparations for it. Circumstances prevailed which forced the sale of his beloved vessel. Now on a different tack, the voyage continues. If you follow this blog your interest may provide some of the energy that helps fuel the journey. Namaste Contact me at svpaxboat@gmail.com

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