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Never At A Loss For Words

Dreams and Reality

CANADA | Tuesday, 13 May 2014 | Views [49] | Scholarship Entry

A few months into our budding romance, while on a bike ride, we stopped at the top of the hill over looking a bay dotted with sailboats. “I’ve always wanted to live on a sailboat.” I mused. He looked at me in disbelief. “It’s true!” I said. “I love to travel but eventually I miss my bed and having a home. If I lived on a sailboat I could travel all over the world and my home would always be with me.” A smile crossed his face as he confessed that he shared the same dream. And so it began.

Ten years and many adventures later, we quit our jobs, sold our house and set off to find our floating home. We slept in the back of our battered old truck as we scoured marina after marina wondering if we would ever find the right boat. Weathered, old sailors promised us that we would know her when we saw her. They were right. On a warm October day in Washington our dream became reality.

During those first few months on the boat, excitement danced the tango with fear. Each day was a learning experience. The anticipation of the next lesson added spice to life.

We sailed our home back to Canada, to a charming marina on the east coast of Vancouver Island. We planned to spend the winter there learning to sail and preparing the boat for our grand voyage.

It was our third night at the marina, I was pouting because instead of snuggling and watching a movie on the laptop, he was researching the best anchoring system. As the evening wore on, he said he wasn’t feeling well and was going to bed. I stewed until the thought of a warm bed melted my anger.

I had just drifted off to sleep when a bang shook me from my dreams. Every noise on the boat was new to me. Is it normal? Are we sinking? The light shone through my porthole. Light? I don’t remember that light being so orange. I sat up. “Wake up! I screamed. “A boat is on fire!!’ I scrambled out of the V-berth, dressed in the t-shirt and yoga pants that I had gone to bed in. I grabbed a jacket and raced up the companionway. I could hear the approaching sirens. I hurried to wake up other boaters. An explosion rocked the dock as the flames found another boat. I ran back. “We have to move our boat!” I cried. My heart was pounding. I was struggling to stay calm. Always the clear thinker in a crisis, he suggested that maybe I should put on some shoes. I looked down at my bare feet. The feeling was surreal as I stood in the cold winter rain, my face warmed by the heat of the inferno. Was this really happening?

Tags: 2014 Travel Writing Scholarship - Euro Roadtrip

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