Thursday, May 3, 2012

What Are Friends For?

I can tell you!  They phone you up while at Granville Island and encourage you to stay out of the boutiques.  “You do not need anything.  You live on a boat.” 

Friends laugh with you, cry with you, support and encourage you.  Friends also let you be a friend back.  They let you laugh with them, cry with them, support and encourage them. 

Friends are friends when you haven’t spoken in a while and pick up where you both left off - as if there was never a time lapse. 

Friends are honest, even if it is not what you want to hear.  Friends are gentle; friends are kind. 

Friends can be family and family can be friends.  Sometimes you want your friends to be family.

 I would not be where I am today without my friends. 

It has been just over a month since I retired from the BC Provincial Government.  There has not been one iota of regret or doubt or trepidation.

I already wonder how I had time to work!  I am involved with Brentwood Bay Power and Sail Squadron, Bluewater Cruising Association and WOW (Women on Water).

For Brentwood Bay, I am a Bridge member, meaning I attend meetings monthly as well as prepared and presented a talk on single handing my sailboat, Ta Daa.  BCA and WOW is very exciting.  WOW is a group of five women from BCA who are in the preliminary stages of organizing a WOMEN only one day boating seminar for the Spring of 2013.  And BCA has asked me to be on the Watch for the upcoming year. 

I have been up to the Comox Valley a couple of times to visit family and friends.  This is always so enjoyable and especially when I get time with the grand kids. 

I have half-assed trained for the Times Colonist 10K run,  which I did complete with my daughter on April 29.  We crossed the finish line and that is all that matters.  Thanks, Meg!

The biggest task was to rummage through all the lockers, nooks and crannies on Ta Daa and get rid of what was no longer needed or wanted.  It was also a time to take stock and reorganize.  In doing so, I decided it was a good idea to participate in the Giant Marine Garage Sale (put on by the Victoria Maritime Museum).  The garage sale on April 21 was a huge success.  Of all the items I took, I only came home with two. 

I have learned a bit more about electrical on a boat.  I had to replace a pump, which involved some wiring and I installed a fan in my aft cabin, which also involved wiring. 

Leaving work also meant that I needed to have my dental work up to date.  You guessed it; appointments were necessary to replace old amalgam with acrylic.  Three appointments and the work was completed.  You gotta love dentists these days.  I just laid back, took the injection like a big girl and watched TV for the duration of the work. 

Since January I have been attending courses on Thursday evenings.  I took three:  GPS, Chartplotting and RADAR.  These courses finished mid April. I have to tell you, an exam is an exam.  I still get sweaty palms and a mind full of doubt as to whether I will pass or not. 

Through BCA I attended a night of stargazing at the Observatory.  It was an awesome evening.  If you have not been there it is a must see!

The school I will be attending – Western Academy of Photography – had two photography shows: one for the advanced students and one for the Photography and Written Image (Photojournalism) students.  The work was stunning.  I will aspire to the level of the 2012 graduating class.  If I can do that, then I know I will have something to offer the world!

I have also had time to lunch with work buddies.  It was great to catch up!  I had to add at this point nothing I heard wanted me to change my mind and come back to work – hee hee. 

Since I was planning to leave home port on April 29 after the 10K run Ta Daa and the dinghy needed to be prepared.  Dinghy outboard needed a tune up so I delivered that to the Mercury guys, the dinghy got washed and more air added, Ta Daa got refueled and went for a short run.  All systems go!

The biggest news yet!  When I received this news I felt as though I had won the biggest lottery.  I received a call from the skipper of Red Heather.  Red Heather is a 40’ Olson sailboat.  She is racing in the Victoria to Maui race at end of June.  No, I am not racing but I was asked to be crew on the return trip – Maui to Victoria.  This is a Pacific crossing of approximately 3,500 nautical miles.  Why you ask?  I have always wanted to cross an ocean and I also want to complete this journey in memory and honour of my husband Ron.  It was something that Ron and I thought we would be doing together.  Ron will be with me the whole way.  He will experience this journey through my eyes. 
A quote from my husband, “Take my hand, hold on tight, we are going on another adventure.”  Ronald, my love, I suggest you to hold on tight.  I am taking you on an adventure. 

Our adventure starts on July 25 and would not be possible if it weren’t for my daughter and neighbours who will be caring for Winston while I am away. 

So here I am at Granville Island having some repair work done on Ta Daa:  the hot water tank needed to be replaced, the starboard window needed to be resealed, the anchor light needed to be replaced, we needed to trouble shoot the RADAR and I needed a heat guard built for the hot pipes on the heater.  Today I was having an emotionally challenging day.  The very place I sit is the very place Ron and I purchased our first sailboat, and our second sailboat and our third.  Dreams have turned to reality for us on Granville Island. 

I asked you, what are friends for?  Friends come and temporarily take you away from Granville Island.  They understand, they make you laugh and they share fond memories of Ron.

Thank you to all my friends for your support and encouragement to get me this far.  I love and respect each and every one of you.

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