I’m not sure how that makes me feel.
There is a strong sense of confidence based on my years of preparation for this trip. That confidence has only increased due to the recent upgrades to the boat. That feeling is tinged with a bit of itchy feet to go use all my new toys and books I’ve brought aboard. At the same time though, I have no doubt that I will miss my friends and life here in Anacortes. I will never truely leave this town.
I went for a hike near town yesterday with Andy. The nettles and lady fern are prime for the picking and the oyster mushrooms will be sprouting soon. It’s been great to have the last few weeks to spend time with my Anacortes friends. My unexpected termination has truly given me the chance to savor some quality time with good people, while still making good progress on the boat.
I spent four days in Portland visiting family and friends. The smell of the Willamette Valley will always be associated with the sensation of coming home.
I spent a summer living in Boston, Masechussets interning for iRobot. I loved the company and they loved me. They strongly encouraged me to transfer to MIT and continue to work for them. But I couldn’t stand living in Boston. I remember my final, return flight and the smell of the green hills of Portland as they hit me like a nostalgic punch in the face as I unloaded from the plane. That was the first time that I realized that places have a smell. I know Portland’s very well. In the last five years the smell of Anacortes and the San Juan Islands have imprinted themselves onto my brain just as strongly. I yearn for the scent when away for too long.This was a beautiful time of year to visit my old stomping grounds. Everything is blooming. Baby farm animals are frolicking and suckling. All of nature is rejoicing at the increasing daylight and warmth. The deep seated love of nature that I posses was born in the thick forests of the foothills of Mt. Hood. Without parents who made it a priority to raise children near the woods and instill a confidence to explore them, would I have the confidence to explore the wild coast of western British Columbia today? I had those lush hills to track animals, forage for wild food, and build countless forts. Without those happy days, I couldn’t have reconnected with the inner child that set me on my present course. These last couple weeks at the dock have been productive. I’ve geered up on a lot of safety equipment and practiced using all of it. I added a 50% and 25% jib sheet to my collection after getting a bargain at the Sailboat Wrecking Yard. More, smaller canvas configurations make me feel better about the possibility of getting stuck in stormy weather while in the middle of the Strait of Georgia.
All my food has been stocked into the different lockers. I’ll be really surprised if I end up eating all of it. I can already tell I packed too much, but better to err on the side of caution. Guidebooks and charts are safely stowed but easily accessible. A new salt-water spigot in the galley will cut down on fresh-water consumption. My SPOT satellite tracker is setup to notify friends and family about my status. Just before leaving, I’ll tie it to my Facebook page and Twitter page, and my progress can always be tracked by visiting my tracking page.