Sunday, June 29, 2008

French Wells to Pittstown Point, Bahamas

Secret being left behind

Today I left Secret in my wake. She looked so forlorn and lonely as we zoomed off. I wanted to turn around and stay. I don’t know what I want, to be honest. I never do.

We woke up with the weather forecast on the shortwave this morning so we could pack, and I stuffed as much as I could into our backpacks. Dad’s convinced he’s going to have to mortgage his house to pay for my overweight baggage. You don’t understand, I wanted to stay. This is my house. I left all of the dishes, most of the books, half of the clothes, all of the tools. I was doing pretty well, until Dad started freaking out about the engine.

He had taken the fuel injectors out yesterday, and hadn’t put them back in. We had both half-counted on Jorge, the Cuban diesel mechanic, showing up today. I had told him to put off putting the engine back together for a little while, hoping Jorge’d be able to do something with it. Jorge did show up, but not until three, at which point, Dad had been panicking over the engine for hours. With one deft twist of his fingers, Jorge loosened the bolt that both Dad and I had been striving with for days. He really is magic.

He put the fuel injectors back in but left the fuel lines and the air filter off--he promsied to come back and get the things going, which he’s confident he can do. He once rescued a diesel that had been to the bottom of the ocean and back. He just can’t fix the engine today, is the problem. I’m convinced that if we could stay jsut another week, maybe two, he’d have everything straightened out. We just don’t have time. What sailboats need, more than anything, more than even love, is time.

Jorge had to catch the mailboat at five, so we had to leave Secret by four, giving Dad and I about fifteen minutes, once the engine was back together, to put the dinghy on deck, get everything strapped down, off the deck, and shipshape. We didn’t do that badly, but I felt like one of those World War II families, forced to abandon their homes forever in half an hour’s time. If I sell Secret, I may never see her again after today. Can I live with that?

I was in tears as we left. I’m grieving the loss of all of it: the water, the sky, the stars, the heat, my home. The first stage of grief is denial, they say, and I’m firmly there. I refuse to believe it ends this way, not with a bang but a whimper. I’ll be back, I promise. Dad says August. Teh thing is, until she sells, I have an escape valve. Anytime I discover the bravery within myself, I can buy that infamous ticket I’ve been threatening to buy for six months, and hop on that plane. Will I have enough courage? Probably not. But there’s nothing I love more than the thought of escape.

1 comment:

Wizzard said...

Hi Melissa :)
The adventures of "Secret" will continue if I am able to purchase Her. You will always know what and where She is. You would also always be welcome aboard. I am excited about sharing my past and future adventures with you.


Wizzard :)