There comes a time in every repair cycle when I think we are never going to get out. No matter how much we have accomplished – rebuilding the fridge, putting in a new mizzen step, writing a unified field theory – there always seems to be more to do. The skies look dark Birds don’t sing. Some guy with a Tennessee twang and a guitar starts hanging around the boat, singing about our hard luck. As friends update their blogs with cheery pictures of potlucks in sunny anchorages, we sit in the cockpit, swaddled in all our sweaters, sanding the roller furler foil and wondering if it is ever going to stop raining long enough to put primer on the boom. Then paint the boom. Then reassemble the outhaul.
Around about now, I need to give myself a good shake and remember that nothing lasts forever. Years ago, I was stuck in a tiny airport in Indonesia. Every hour, our flight got delayed another hour. About eight hours in, I was starting to go a little Shining. A woman I was travelling with put a hand on my arm and said, “Everything ends. No matter how boring, or awful, it all stops eventually.”
And she was right. Three hours later, we finally flew out of there. Just like we finally sailed out of Cartagena. And we finally sailed out of Colon.
|I’m almost done.|
|No, really. Almost done.|
We have our strategies. Erik and I look through The List (you have to have a list), and designate which jobs have to be done before we sail. New forestay? Yes. Repair the dinghy chaps? No.
And I remember how lucky I am to be doing this at all. As I write this, I am watching the kids ride their scooters around the local park. As they race past, they shriek, “Mom! Look at me, Mom!” It isn’t raining at the moment. I could be sitting in a grey cubicle somewhere, but I’m not. And the rigger should be working on that forestay this afternoon.
Mr Tennessee Guitar can save his sad songs for somebody else today. Because we are going to get out of here. Soon.