Thursday, July 08, 2010

Mea Culpa

I am a worrier, it’s just my nature. I have the one of the world’s most creative imagination with regards to things to worry about. I have learned to use this worrying to plan and prepare. Luckily, worry doesn’t enter much into my life when I’m in action, it’s only in the anticipation. So, for example I worry for months about being ready for a WaterTribe Everglades Challenge, and sharks, and alligators, and pythons... Yet once on the beach at Ft Desoto, all worry is gone, and it’s just all fun and adventure.

This too is how I approached sailing and our recent ‘Tag Team 200’ trip. I worried about everything, so much so that we did rescue drills and man-over-board drills prior to the trip. I worried I’d be scared the whole time. And I worried that Paul wasn’t up to the skill level needed for the trip, I already knew I wasn’t. In the end, worrying about Paul was a waste of my time and a big mistake, one that deserves a public “mea culpa”.

Married for 28 years, we had a small Phantom sailboat for the kids when they were in high school. Then we’d bought Alan’s first sailboat, a used Isotope catamaran as his HS graduation present. This was eventually replaced and followed with Hobie Cats, Nacra Cats, and even Alan’s (and friends) homemade sailing canoes. I’d always seen Alan as our family’s sailor. He’d had some sailing lessons during a summer camp one year and during a visit to my parents in Hawaii one summer. But I seemed to have forgotten that many lessons must also have come from Paul.

Until Paul and Alan built our Core Sound 20 “Dawn Patrol” a couple of years ago, I’d never really been in a sailboat sailed by Paul, or knew much about his previous sailing experiences. Sure he then went on to do an Everglades Challenge in 2008, and a North Carolina Challenge in 2009 (picture below), but I’d have said that Paul was crew to Alan, our sailor.

I remember at one point I mentioned this to Paul. How would I know he could sail, I’d not really seen him in a boat much. He responded that I’d not been there when he learned to bicycle either, but I had no trouble assuming he could, and know he can.

Both before, and even during our Tag Team 200 trip, I’d assumed Steve to be the most experienced, after all, he blogs about it :)  But during our trip, my ability to totally relax with Paul at the helm, even trust that he knew what he was doing when he put me at the helm, getting to our destinations safely each evening, and of course the many comments from Steve about our great sailing had me realizing my mistake.

Steve makes mention of our sailing prowess often in his daily accounts of our trip. He really does mean Paul’s prowess. No real surprise in the end I guess, Paul always comes through, on everything, during all of our life together.  And I’m quite proud and happy being his “first mate”, for now!

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