Provisioning is stocking up, getting stuff, accumulating until you feel ready. There is a different readiness scale for every person. Some never get to the point where he or she feels ready. We refer to this as the “gotta build another spice rack” syndrome. Well, Alembic has a spice rack, a small plastic one behind the sliding door in my galley. So we should be ready.
Bill and I spent the summer provisioning in the wee hours that remained after we spent our days rebuilding an old house. I felt the need to bring aboard enough food to keep us well fed for ten months. I look forward to catching fish, finding local fruits and veggies, and learning about local culinary delights, but what if I don’t catch a fish? What if the fruits and veggies are not available?… So I stocked up. I also anticipate plenty of fabric repair and creations. Sails, sail covers, awnings, cushions, lee cloths (so you don’t fall out of your berth at sea), pockets to hold every little thing all need to be created, mended, or improved. I am ready for every eventuality with fabrics and all of the grommets, buckles, strapping, ropes, and gear needed. Bill has taken care of stocking up on all electronic, plumbing, engine, rigging, and fiberglass repairs. He also repaired a hatch that sprung a leak the week before departure, and performed every technical maintenance task he could envision. So we are ready! No we are not.
Saying good bye is the hardest part of leaving. I must have called or visited my parents more this summer than I had in the previous 25 years all together, because I was/am suffering from departure guilt. Leaving our children was a bit easier, because they are so busy with their exciting lives as young adults and they are terrific at online communications. Leaving York Maine was accomplished a year ago, when we sold our family home, so that pain is subsiding somewhat. And how do I say goodbye to all of my esteemed colleagues and dear students of Casco Bay High School? Well, I didn’t. I simply said to them, and convinced myself, that I would be back to see them all soon. Bill and I have very close relationships with all of our many siblings, their spouses and children, and will be missing them all terribly. And weighing heavily on my mind is how I will manage without my dear friends, the Winn Dixies. They threw us a party the night before departure, serenading us with a delightful skit, choreographed to “Come Sail Away” that still plays continuously in my mind. Their hugs and Rose Quartz will fill my heart’s holes.
So, goodbyes have been said, leaky hatch has been repaired, provisions have been stowed, water and fuel tanks have been topped off, cars have been ditched, and dock lines have been untied. We are off.