Sun 12 June 2016 Cawsand Bay, Plymouth, UK
Last week I ordered some charts from Sea Chest, the chart agent here in Plymouth (and the best one I know anywhere). I’ve come out here to anchor in Cawsand Bay to wait for the charts to arrive. I could sail off somewhere while I wait but the weather’s grim and I have things to do.
This morning a RIB zoomed around the bay laying buoys before a flotilla of dinghies raced around them on the grey sea under looming grey skies before their crews returned to the beach to stand around chatting and eating ice cream in the drizzle. The last man home, hopelessly behind the others, was warmly cheered ashore. Why can’t I be happy with a dingy and Sunday morning racing? Here I am, in among them, sorting my charts for far off lands. What a contrast! They all seemed to be having a jolly time.
I’m coy about my plans. There’s a school of thought that says one should announce to the world one’s intentions to sail to France/across the Atlantic/round the world/to the moon/forever so that peer pressure ensures one sticks to them. I think that’s a mistake. There are many risks that could affect the accomplishment of my plans but chief among them is that I find that I don’t like the life. Long passage-making may just be too tiring, too boring or too scary. Weeks at anchor in countries where I don’t speak the lingo or like the food may pall. I may just decide that I don’t want to do it anymore. If I decide to pack it in and go home then that should be my decision based solely on my own internal reasoning, rational or otherwise, not one that’s influenced by societal pressure of any type. Because one feels others would take a dim view of turning back is a bad reason not to do so. So I’m keeping my plans to myself, even the short Plan A but also the longer Plan B and the much longer Plan C. If I opt for plan A and carry it out then that will be a triumph and I want to view it as such, not as a failure because it wasn’t plan B or C. Furthermore, completing plan B or C would be a failure if I don’t enjoy it.
The rain is hammering down now, the dinghy sailors have all gone inside, and I want to finish sorting my charts of warmer places.