I want to say that it was Lin Pardey who offered up a working definition of a voyage: a trip under sail (preferably with an epic cast, I'll add) that begins and ends at the same place.
There are a lot of things that you can do while living aboard a sailboat.
You can gunkhole. You can island hop. You can be harbor-bound. And you can make great ocean-girdling passages, acting out what you would make of this life on the biggest stage going.
In the last ten years we have done all of these things.
And, while we've been doing all those individual passages and coastal jaunts and seasons in and out of the tropics, we have also been doing this one overarching thing. We have been making a voyage. We have been tracing this secret line, known only to us and only after we have found it, that has led some 65,000 sea miles from Kodiak and now, barring any vicissitudes of the sea over the remaining 9, all the way back.
We left Kodiak literally in tears over leaving a place and a life that we loved very much. And now - wonderfully odd symmetry! - we return wondering just where the hell that town that we loved so much might be. Literally. It isn't foggy, but the clouds are awesomely low, and the City of Kodiak, though it should at this point be in plain sight, remains hidden to us.
Whatever else might have happened on this 10-year voyage, we have certainly found a kind of life that we could thrive in. And now that we're going back to another sort of life, at least for the time being, I have a sense of giving ourselves over to a great uncertainty, and wondering how our precious family will do amidst the shoals and reefs of land life.
Alaskan friends from elsewhere in the State have asked me if we were really going back to Kodiak when we returned, with just a hint of wonder in their voices. But the truth is that Alisa and I have never really considered going anywhere else in Alaska. Kodiak is still home, not least because it's the place in Alaska where we still have a community of friends.
We never like it when people want to come down and see us off at the dock when we're leaving some place. But I have an inkling that we'll see old friends at the dock tonight when we arrive, and for that Alisa and I will be tremendously grateful.
This post was sent via our high-frequency radio as we're far from internet range. Pictures to follow when we reach internet again. We can't respond to comments for now, though we do see them all!
radio email processed by SailMail
for information see: http://www.sailmail.com