Friday, 10th May and I’m back home until the weather settles down. This is a time of reflection and a time for recuperation. I can examine what has taken place as if I am an impartial observer and not the participator who was involved in working the boat, making decisions and doing what was required.
What is there to recuperate from? After all, I sail for pleasure; why should I have suffered?
There is always a psychological aspect to small sailboat adventuring. A readjustment needs take place when one is removed from the security of familiar surroundings where no imminent danger to life or limb is present. The adrenaline does not run when I’m at home gazing out the window observing what is happening in the garden. Magpies, Great Tits, wind-blown willow, washing hung out to dry; these pose no threat, but out there in a tiny boat dancing over white crested waves, the adrenaline runs and the heart beats faster. The sea and the wind are no respecters of persons; they have no heart or feeling. They can be friends and foes and not distinguish the difference or understand the consequences of their actions.
When the going gets tough you can be anxious as to the outcome. Will you make it on the tide? Will you get around that headland before time runs out and the flooding tide confirms your worst fears? You will be out all night before you can get in to a secure haven? The relief when at rest with your boat at anchor and the sense of achievement can only be experienced by the sailor. Satisfaction, thankfulness, peace and contentment flow from within. You want to tell others of your excitement, of your times of testing and of your joy.
So what am I recuperating from? Well, now that I am back in familiar surroundings with no pressures or deadlines to meet, no uncertainties, just calm and no real challenges, I focus on myself. What do I see? A man who has lived in the best of times – the post-war era when prosperity boomed, then a time of Thatcher gloom, and now more gloom, but in my late seventies, nigh on eighty, I have my God-given health. I look back with gratitude to all that life has favoured me with, or should I say God, because truly He has done it.
He is the One who calms the storms of life and gives peace. I know that He will heal my ‘sailor’s thumb’.