Over the past few years I've been slowly working my way through the Patrick O'Brian books. I discovered them through the movie "Master and Commander", and found to my surprise that they are strangely addictive. I say strangely because, although I've done quite a lot of sailing with my father when I was in my teens, I have never been especially drawn to seafaring stories, especially ones so detailed and full of mizzens and such. But O'Brian is peerless. Witty as Dickens or Austen, and, oddly for his time, (He died in 2000) incredibly historically accurate. It is this wit as well as intelligence, the richness of language, and relationships in the stories that draws me. I find I am disappointed that there are only twenty, yet I'm in no hurry to read them all quickly. I savour each one, pausing for months between them, there is so much in each, and plenty to reflect upon.
Tonight I stumbled on some information about the Soren Larsen. She appears quite regularly around our coast in summer and I idly thought what a nice adventure it would be to sail on her. She does a circuit each winter around the Pacific. I even looked up the route and cost. Avoiding a decision, one website let to another. Suddenly this quote hit me between the eyes:
"For the truth is that I already know as much about my fate as I need to know. The day will come when I will die. So the only matter of consequence before me is what I will do with my allotted time. I can remain on shore, paralyzed with fear, or I can raise my sails and soar in the breeze."
- Richard Bode
A perfect summary of my life's philosophy! In the past I've not just sat back and let life happen around me. Well, not for long, anyway. Perhaps I will sail again out of my comfort zone and book a bunk. Remember where you saw it first...
Finally, on a much more pragmatic note, thank you GH for taking me out sailing. It was a perfectly lovely day! Do you like my photo?