Choos­ing ad­ven­ture or a lie-down

Kapi-Mana News - - WHAT’S ON - JANIEWALKER

The north wind has de­cided to scream around to the front, mak­ing the boat lurch side­ways. I’m clutch­ing our dog and yelling at Dean to bring the bloody sails in.

He can’t hear me over the wind. I hate this. I hate sail­ing and I want to get off.

No, we’re not some­where in the middle of the Pa­cific Ocean. We are two hours from Mana Is­land, cross­ing Cook Strait from Queen Char­lotte Sound. I’ve done this trip a dozen times.

‘‘You’ve just sailed 7000 miles around the Pa­cific. You should be used to this now,’’ says Dean, out of frus­tra­tion and worry for me.

‘‘I know,’’ I re­ply, with my head hung. I’m up­set and feel­ing so very stupid.

He’s right. And un­til this week, the feel­ing of fear and fail­ure has stopped me from even think­ing about the idea of go­ing on an­other sail­ing ad­ven­ture.

I’ve also been get­ting an­noyed at liv­ing on a boat – ev­ery time I put some­thing down I have to move three things to make room, I’ve got two new bruises and I need some space.

But I now un­der­stand why I am go­ing to plan the next sail­ing trip with Dean. In five years or so we plan to sail to In­done­sia. Gulp.

Our ducks are in or­der: the boat has been scrubbed and things put away; I’ve set­tled into some in­ter­est­ing work and Dean is back teach­ing sail­ing; dog­gie has checked her weemails in her fa­mil­iar spots and is happy. Our

Boat peo­ple ‘‘You’ve just sailed 7000 miles around the Pa­cific. You should be used to this now.’’

fam­i­lies are OK.

But I’m un­set­tled. Dis­cov­er­ing noth­ing feels de­press­ing to me. My world is just a tiny dot.

Soon I’ll be vol­un­teer­ing with the New Zealand Red Cross as a refugee sup­port vol­un­teer in Porirua.

I had my first train­ing night re­cently and we lis­tened to a for­mer refugee, now a New Zealand ci­ti­zen.

He said things about be­ing about to fi­nally re­set­tle in a peace­ful coun­try. He was so beau­ti­fully and heart­break­ingly open with us.

And, of course, he has much big­ger fish to fry than me.

It’s go­ing to be a huge thing for me to sup­port a fam­ily af­ter what they’ve al­ready been through and what they are about to go through. But it’s an edge of life that I know means ad­ven­ture for me.

The al­ter­na­tive is com­fort and ease. Sounds bor­ing and waste­ful.

Some days all I want is a cup of tea and a lie-down, and I must do that of­ten so I don’t get run­down.

But I’m go­ing to stay with the con­vic­tion I had when we came back from our Pa­cific sail­ing ad­ven­ture last year – that it’s time to stop think­ing and get on with ac­tion.

There’s a new boat down the pier from us and its own­ers made a big change re­cently. They’ve moved from Chaf­fers Ma­rina in Welling­ton. They’re scrub­bing and nest­ing and get­ting to know their new hood.

They’ve com­mit­ted to a dar­ing life and ad­ven­ture is a strong south-east­erly away.


Dean on D’Urville Is­land in Jan­uary – an­other ad­ven­ture.

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